Project Space Festival // NuN and Sonntag Present a Nexus of Art, Food and Summer Socializing

Berlin Art LInk, NuN, Brad DowneyBrad Downey, “Inside Out, Upside Down” exhibition at NuN, Berlin; Image courtesy of NuN, Berlin

Article by Susannah Edelbaum in Berlin; Friday, August 29, 2014

With new work shown at a different location for a single day, every day throughout August, Berlin’s Project Space Festival is a living advent calendar of contemporary art, winding down to the inevitable end of summer. During week three, with a ladder for guests to scale directly up and into the Neukölln gallery NuN, Brad Downey’s piece, Inside Out, Upside Down, even got attendees to climb right into that particular day’s advent window. With a couple free cases of weissbier waiting next to the ladder for thirsty viewers and a vegetarian barbecue grilling on the sidewalk, the Wednesday night show was as festive as any Christmas fête.

Berlin Art Link, NuN, Brad Downey exhibitionBrad Downey, “Inside Out, Upside Down” exhibition at NuN, Berlin; Image courtesy of NuN, Berlin

The little round cups of add-it-yourself himbeere and erdbeere syrup (for the weissbier) were a sweet prologue to Downey’s work: numerous anchors — of the construction, not boating, variety — laboriously plugged into the walls in colorful lines, swirls, and half-moons around the otherwise empty space. The no-meat grill, along with the DIY weissbier add-ins, seemed intent on color-matching Downey’s anchors. (Why are the shades of small construction materials so often based off a Crayola box or a vegetable plot, anyway?) Sweet-art-savory, color-color-color. Watching the other visitors hang out, climb up and down the ladder, and gather around the grill, a friend explained to me the double entendre behind the German meaning of anchor, Downey’s medium. The word for the construction material, Dübel, is also an infantile substitute for screw, as in sex, perennially verb-ified (dubeln) by middle schoolers.

Berlin Art Link, NuN, Brad Downey exhibitionBrad Downey, “Inside Out, Upside Down” exhibition at NuN, Berlin; Image courtesy of NuN, Berlin

Berlin Art Link, NuN, Brad Downey exhibitionBrad Downey, “Inside Out, Upside Down” exhibition at NuN, Berlin; Image courtesy of NuN, Berlin

Earlier in the week, moving from the hardware store to the office supply closet to source material, another pleasantly minimalist show was created out of equally quotidian items. Ignacio Uriarte’s Black and White exhibition was comprised of two pieces, hung across the room from one another at Sonntag, an apartment-cum-gallery-space in Schöneberg. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, fashionable, friendly people drank tea and ate cake at the dining room table between the two works, one a framed black abstraction made from layers of permanent ink, the other a geometric hanging of creased, plain printer paper, folded to create repeating diagonal stripes. Uriarte, the artist, sat among them.

Berlin Art LInk, Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag

Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag

The owner of the apartment, Adrian Schiesser, calls Sonntag a “social sculpture;” since 2012, viewers have filled the sunny, top-floor space and hung out on the balcony for a different show on the third Sunday of every month. April Gertler, Sonntag’s co-founder, bakes cake, the exhibiting artist’s favorite type. (For this show, it was fruit tart.) Artists can do whatever they’d like with the space, as long as they don’t remove the furniture, but Adrian will remove himself if the work entails space-consuming installation. There was no need this time around for Uriarte’s simple, organized “office art,’ an informal name that indicates the material and certainly not where the work belongs.

Cake and barbecue, weisse beer and coffee. Minimalist work, maximalist chilling — Project Space lives up to its “festival” self-reference, with a month of considered pieces providing a thoughtful backdrop to more generalized hanging out, giving daily show attendees something to think, and talk, about. With a few days left on the calendar, go view, go eat, go hang.

Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag

Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag

Berlin Art LInk, Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag

Berlin Art LInk, Sonntag, Ignacio UriarteIgnacio Uriarte, “Black and white” exhibition at Sonntag; Image courtesy of Sonntag
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Additional Information

Project Space Festival:
www.projectspacefestival-berlin.com

NuN:
http://www.nun-berlin.com/

Sonntag:
sonntagberlin.tumblr.com

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