On Friday, May 1st, all 47 participating galleries will host vernissages for Gallery Weekend shows. All fourty-seven of them. How to survive that visual information overload, you ask? The connoisseurs of art and architecture tours Niche Berlin suggest you stick to the artists you truly wish to see, to the people you truly wish to support or to the places you truly wish to discover. Don’t get distracted! They’ve gathered tips for three extraordinary art locations that complement the official Gallery Weekend program and will make your weekend more memorable by with stunning views and atmospheres, guaranteed.
Artist Weekend: Ngorongoro
While Gallery Weekend is mainly about, well, the galleries, a group of Berlin based artists has gathered to stage an event that is all about the artists: Artist Weekend. On the 5.000 sqm complex of a former GDR semiconductor plant in Weißensee, you will be able to stumble upon artworks by more than 100 artists in their ‚natural habitat’: the studio. The show Ngorongoro is not based on a specific concept, but rather on the phenomenon of artists’ networks: It is all about peer-groups and recommendations between them. Well, why not make this very common practice official for once. The exhibition is initiated by the artists Christian Achenbach, Jonas Burgert, Zhivago Duncan, Andreas Golder, John Isaacs and David Nicholson (yes, only guys), and it will feature up and coming younger artists side by side with local heros and internationally renowned ones such as Anri Sala, Bruce Nauman or Berlinde de Bruyckere.
The show’s name, Ngorongoro, derives from a collapsed volcanic crater in Tanzania, listed as a natural and cultural World Heritage Site due to its unique and diverse biosphere, undisturbed by humans. Paralleling this diversity, Ngorongoro could be called an undisturbed artistic project (undisturbed by the market? By influences of curators and gallerists and institutions? You decide), and this can be felt thoroughly in overwhelming enthusiasm and surprising ideas: instead of just handing in a smaller piece, as originally planned, John Bock will actually contribute a large installation and deliver one of his rare performances on site, for example, while Gregor Schneider found the exhibition grounds to be the perfect site to bury one of his older artworks, feeling it was about time that it vanished from the face of the Earth. Rumor has it the eclectic site has inspired many other stunners. This flourishing artistic biosphere sounds like a real adventure trail.
Opening: Thursday 30 April 2015, 14:00 – midnight
Exhibition: Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – midnight
Lehderstrasse 34, 13086 Berlin-Weißensee
Hinter den Vögeln, Niche Berlin: Ekaterina Burlyga – EWIG
Speaking of Gregor Schneider and burial grounds: One of his former students, Berlin based artist Ekaterina Burlyga, is presented in her first solo show in our very own project space on a graveyard in Wedding. Yes, this might be self-adulation, but her show is actually one we would recommend even if we weren’t part of it: In the former flower pavilion with its large glass windows, Burlyga is showing a stunning wall installation of slowly descending used oil, which vibrates from sinus waves deriving from speakers behind it. The waves influence our perception: By using them, Burlyga imitates a strategy sadly used in advertising to put people in a consumer mood. The artist often references unspeakable or invisible phenomena that complement the realm of existing discourse. Used oil, by the way, is more interesting than it sounds, as it bears residues of its former usage in it and therefore becomes almost unpredictable as an artistic material. Research and experiment are thus a huge part of Burlyga’s artistic practice. By confronting the crude past of used oil with its actual beauty, Burlyga catapults 17th-century vanitas artworks into our times. The beautiful cemetery around the pavilion functions as a subtle subtext for subjects such as life cycles, eternity and, ultimately, disuse and death. For the show, the artist conceived the edition EWIG (20+2AP). This eternity comes in a bottle.
Friday 17:00–20:00, Saturday 12:00–20:00, Sunday by appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org)
St. Elisabeth Kirchhof, Wollankstrasse 66, 13359 Berlin Wedding
Fahrbereitschaft: Larry Weekend
If you haven’t been to the Fahrbereitschaft yet and were looking for a good excuse to make it all the way out to Lichtenberg, this is a prime opportunity. On the wonderfully absurd grounds of the former secret GDR traffic division that is now home to the notorious Haubrok Collection and numerous studio spaces, all doors will be open during Gallery Weekend, starting in the evening of Wednesday, the 29th of April.
You will be able to see works by Florian Pumhösl or David Claerbout, for example, as well as other works from the Haubrok foundation. Around it, more than a dozen open studios will grant sneak peaks into what is being produced on the grounds (which is not only contemporary art).
One initiative shall be highlighted here: The studio of Stefan Behlau and Dennis Loesch will be hosting Larry Weekend, an ironic wink at Gallery Weekend. Similar to Ngorongoro, their groupshow will gather works by like-minded artists, but on a much more intimate scale, concentrated more on the artistic practice itself. It will feature Anne Ahrens, Dennis Loesch, Fresh White, Marlene Stark, Robert Lazzarini, Sarah Bohn, Stefan Behlau and Stephen Suckale, some of which were Loesch’s fellow students at Städelschule.
And if you’re still hesitating: The almost brutally colourful Vietnamese Dong Xuan Center is also worth a visit and right next door, another one of those stunning places. Mitte can wait.
Opening: Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 19:00–22:00
Exhibition: Friday – Sunday, 14:00–19:00
Herzbergstrasse 40-43, 10365 Berlin-Lichtenberg