Berlin Art Week: The Hit List 2021

Sept. 9, 2021

This year, Berlin Art Week celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Beginning next week, the annual event will showcase the best that Berlin’s creative scene has to offer, from project spaces to museums to private collections and commercial galleries. From September 15–19th, Berlin will play host to a number of exhibition openings and events across the city.

In addition to its events and exhibitions, Berlin Art Week will once again be supplemented by journal entries such as interviews, essays and photo spreads related to the featured shows, artists and curators. Gallery Weekend will also take place during Art Week again this year, after it was postponed this spring. To help you find your way through the Berlin Art Week and Gallery Weekend 2021 programs, we’ve compiled a hit list for you, to highlight some of the most exciting openings and events during the week.

Plus, check out our social media channels and the bottom of this article for instructions on how you can win two tickets to this year’s Berlin Art Week events.

​BQ Galerie

Mara Wohnhaas: ‘Rekommandeur’
Part of Gallery Weekend *Discoveries
Exhibition: Aug. 31–Oct. 30, 2021
bqberlin.de
Weydingerstraße 10, 10178 Berlin, click here for map

This autumn, Gallery Weekend *Discoveries kicks off a series of exhibitions in which many of the participating galleries emphasize new discoveries: artists who have yet to show in the galleries will be presented to a larger public for the very first time. For her first exhibition at BQ Galerie, Mara Wohnhaas has developed an expansive metallic installation reminiscent of the construction of an amusement ride. The audiovisual program of the fair, with its ostentatious centrepiece of the commander, and his inexhaustible repertoire of catchphrases, becomes the focal point of the installation.

​FuturePerfectLand

Opening Reception: Friday, Sept. 10; 12–8pm
Sept. 10–26, 2021
futureperfectland.com
Monopol Berlin, Provinzstraße 40–44, 13409 Berlin, click here for map

​FuturePerfectLand is an open air funfair for speculative realities. A former distillery in Reinickendorf is transformed into a haptic, affective and performative fairground, set against the backdrop of industrial brick buildings overtaken by wild greenery. Seven temporary worlds co-exist here, the funfair “rides.” These site-specific, immersive, participatory and transdisciplinary environments submerge you in a world on the border between reality and fiction through audio, visual, performative, narrative and/or somatic strategies. Participating artists include: Betty Böhm, Jorge Castillo Chavarria, Paul Chaney, Shelley Etkin, Valeria Germain, Christoph Rothmeier, Gabriel Vallecillo Márquez, Sofia Nordmann & Alexander Bieß, Raul Kirchhoff & Caique Tizzi, Andreas Heim, William Russell and Aurelie Richards.

FuturePerfectLand 2021 // Image by Curatorial Collective for Public Art

Akademie der Künste

Group Show: ‘Nothingtoseeness – Leere/Weiß/Stille’
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sep. 15; 11am–midnight
Exhibition: Sept. 16–Dec. 12, 2021
nothingtoseeness.de
Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin, click here for map

John Cage described the equivalent of silence in the visual arts as “nothingtoseeness” and circumscribes nothingness through seeing and feeling. The ‘Nothingtoseeness – Void/White/Silence’ exhibition is dedicated to this experience of seeing and the broad spectrum of meanings of the colour white, emptiness and silence. The works of 75 international artists selected as examples deal with the relationship between material composition and surface and context, tone and silence, fullness and emptiness, complexity and simplicity, meaning and meaninglessness. On the opening day, entrance to the exhibition at Akademie der Künste is free from 11am until midnight.

Stephan Huber: ‘Shining,’ 2001 // Photo by Stephan Huber, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

​Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Brook Hsu: ‘Fictions’
Part of Gallery Weekend *Discoveries
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021; 7–9pm
Exhibition: Sept. 16–Nov. 1, 2021
k-t-z.com
Kohlfurter Str. 41/43, 10999 Berlin, click here for map

Taiwanese-American artist Brook Hsu grew up in Oklahoma and currently lives and works in New York City. Hsu’s body of work includes a combination of painting, textile, sculpture, and texts that explore autobiographical and mythological realms embedded in art historical narratives. Her exhibition ‘Fictions’ is part of the Gallery Weekend *Discoveries program, which emphasizes new artistic discoveries.

​Hamburger Bahnhof

Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga, Sung Tieu: ‘Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021’
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021; 8pm
Exhibition: Sept. 16, 2021–Feb. 27, 2022
smb.museum/…/preis-der-nationalgalerie-2021
Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin, click here for map

This past February, an international jury nominated Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga and Sung Tieu for the Preis der Nationalgalerie in 2021. In the ‘Shortlist’ exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, the nominated artists address topics such as movement and migration, belonging and alienation, self-perception and external perceptions of the self, shifting logics of public and private space, as well as the potential of sound and music to act as a social force.

Sandra Mujinga: ‘Stretched Delays (1),’ 2017, Filmstill // © Sandra Mujinga / Croy Nielsen, Vienna, The Approach, London

​Sweetwater

Christopher Aque
Part of Gallery Weekend *Discoveries
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021; 12–8pm
Exhibition: Sept. 15–Oct. 30, 2021
sweetwaterberlin.com
Leipziger Str. 56-58, 10117 Berlin, click here for map

New York-based artist Christopher Aque presents his solo exhibition at Sweetwater, opening as part of Gallery Weekend *Discoveries. The artist’s work explores the connections of power structures and dynamics to notions of desire and sexuality. For this show, Aque has produced a new body of work taking cues from the public fountains and pedestrian traffic of New York City.

Coven Berlin

Group Show: ‘Somabog’
Opening Performance: Thursday, Sept. 16; 7pm
Exhibition: Sept. 16–26, 2021
covenberlin.com
Kunstpunkt, Schlegelstraße 6, 10115 Berlin, click here for map

The body, like the bog, is a site of contradiction. Internal conflict, inherited trauma, and frayed nervous systems are interwoven with physiological capacities for sensitivity, pleasure, and renewal. The body is as much a vessel to luxuriate in as it is one to die in. Bogs remind us that bodies do not need to meet the traditional definition of fertile, and that those deviances from the norm have been deemed trivial or even dangerous. Coven Berlin’s ‘Somabog’—featuring artists Daniela Bershan, Natal Igor Dobkin, MINQ and Daddypuss Rex—slows things down. This immersive performance format creates the conditions for deep listening, somatic excavation, decolonizing the lineages of body practices, and delving into the deep rhythm of reproductive labor. Events run long, there are beds in the space, and guided meditations help you dig for peaty parts of your somatic body that you might not recognize.

Coven Berlin: ‘Somabog’ // Image by Cooper Lovano

Times Art Center

Group Show: ‘Más Allá, el Mar Canta (Beyond, the Sea Sings)’
Exhibition: Sept. 16–Dec. 19, 2021
timesartcenter.org
Brunnenstraße 9, 10119 Berlin, click here for map

This exhibition at Times Art Center, subtitled ‘Diasporic Intimacies and Labor’ and curated by Pablo José Ramírez, explores narratives of migration from China to Central America and the Caribbean as a starting point to consider systems of kinship and ontologies of intimacy. The artists’ work in the exhibition speaks from the conundrum of diasporic subjectivities, powered by either personal explorations or by collective motifs whose common ground is the always poignant reminder that there is no political imagination without community. The exhibition features works by Esvin Alarcón Lam, Sybil Atteck, Nicole Awai, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Andrea Chung, Christopher Cozier, Colectivo Hapa, Richard Fung, Mimiam Hsu, Peng Zuqiang, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Humberto Velez, and David Zink Yi.

Savvy Contemporary

Bili Bidjocka: ‘Enigma #59: Roman’
Opening Reception: Thursday, Sep. 16; 7pm
Exhibition: Sept. 17–Oct. 31, 2021
savvy-contemporary.com
Reinickendorfer Str. 17, 13347 Berlin, click here for map

Bijodka’s solo exhibition opens during Berlin Art Week, with an exhibition that muses on notions of memory, and the lack thereof. According to Vilém Flusser’s ‘Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie,’ history is characterized by the fight between text and image, revealing a struggle between historical consciousness and magic. Flusser claims that texts do not represent the world; they represent images. To decipher texts thus means to discover the images they represent. As such, it is no wonder that Bidjocka called the fictional protagonist for this exhibition “Roman”, French for “novel”.

Bili Bidjocka: ‘Enigma #59: Roman,’ 2021, Solo exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary // Courtesy of SAVVY Contemporary

Gropius Bau

Thea Djordjadze: ‘all building as making’
Opening Reception: Friday, Sept. 17; 2–10pm
Exhibition: Sept. 18, 2021–Jan. 16, 2021
berlinerfestspiele.de
Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin, click here for map

Starting on September 18th, Gropius Bau will present an extensive exhibition of Thea Djordjadze’s work in its spaces, among them the so-called Schliemann Saal, once home to Heinrich Schliemann’s excavated archaeological findings between 1881 and 1885. Existing and newly created works will engage in a dialogue with these historical spaces and past archaeological exhibitions at the Gropius Bau. Influenced in equal measure by historical artefacts and concepts of modern art and architecture, Thea Djordjadze’s sculptural works are characterised by formal ruptures and an idiosyncratic material aesthetic.

Thea Djordjadze: ‘His and My Own Measures,’ 2017/2019, (detail) // Copyright Thea Djordjadze, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Courtesy Kunst Museum Winterthur and Sprüth Magers, Photo by Reto Kaufmann

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