Article by Elizabeth Schippers // May 08, 2020
In response to the recent digitalization of many art exhibitions and resources, a group of galleries in Berlin have come together in newfound solidarity. Initiated by Galerie Tanja Wagner and OFFICE IMPART, BerlinViews is an initiative connecting over 25 galleries and gallery models across the city. The website is developed to promote the visibility of art in Berlin and prevent an economic standstill in times where the option of visiting a gallery in person is not always available self-evident. For this reason Tanja Wagner and OFFICE IMPART included, aside from established and younger galleries, various new gallery formats and online platforms on the site.
Among these alternative platforms is left gallery, an online art space that falls somewhere between art gallery and app store as it focuses on the development and distribution of “downloadable objects,” as well as Galeria Plan B, which defines itself as a mix of an exhibition space and a research center, focussing on Romanian art of the last 50 years.
AXS ART is an online art buying platform that combines the digital and physical experience of art, and its partner company Art Tours Berlin provides studio visits, talks and gallery tours all over the city. By being digitally represented, BerlinViews allows for alternative spaces like these to be put in the spotlight, highlighting various different approaches beyond the traditional art gallery.
Each gallery and initiative is introduced by means of a short text delineating the gallery’s focus and priorities in terms of the artists represented and the art exhibited. In addition to this short description, the galleries highlight one of their represented artists and their work, along with prices and further information on the artworks featured on the website. Anyone who is interested can then click the “inquire” button, which leads to a contact form with which the visitor can directly contact the gallery.
Alongside the promotion of various galleries in Berlin, the website is intended to explore other ways of digital collaboration and networking, as well as the potential of digital formats and content. Anne Schwanz, one of the founders of BerlinViews, tells me: “BerlinViews is a starting point for us and the base for exploring different ways to convey content in different digital formats. Right now, we are gathering ideas for taking the next steps in the future.”
Though the doors of galleries across Berlin are slowly opening, many people are not yet able to travel due to the risk factors. This initiative gives a lively insight into the scene, providing an easy overview to explore the galleries one can not yet see in person, while also presenting a teaser of the galleries’ work. In this sense, BerlinViews can be viewed as a handy tool and addition to the exhibitions and programs of the represented galleries.