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As the days go by, so does the artistic program of abc. Performances and time and sound based artworks can thus be looked at in retrospect. At a fair that is focused on artistic practices and an in depth representation of solo positions, I was interested in finding out about those works that were specifically produced for the fair, those that are time based, site specific, spontaneous and ephemeral and those that are best experienced individually.
Paula Doepfner at Galerie Tanja Wagner. Photo: Julia Hartmann
Having reflected on certain works both from within the steady blur of the opening day and with a little more clarity and focus yesterday, it seems necessary to assume another position, somewhere up and away from or aside from the works. It might be rewarding (might be) to write with a view to saying something that could hold at once the results of an attempt to look properly at individual works, what it is that such a mode of looking might actually be offering and also to consider things from a wider angle that could encompass and locate the problems that arise with such an attempt that are specific to abc’s format.
Photo: Joseph Fuller
It is not exactly naïve to attempt to spend meaningful time with the works in any particular art fair, but it seems fair to describe it as hopeful at best. After all, in truth, it is never really what is being asked of you. What is seen in a fair is pretty much a display of signs that point to an artist’s work as it exists somewhere other than where you are currently standing. But everyone knows this and it is not really a problem: it serves a function for those who need it.
However, as it is repeatedly described and fairly so, abc is a little bit different. Not a whole lot but enough to affect the mode of looking at work whilst you are there. There are a few factors that lead to this: the scale of the venue, the single artist format, the lack of observable VIP distinctions, the absence of repetitive walls; and at the risk of repeating what is apparently obvious, there is a definite sense of collective attention as a result of this intimacy.
Berlin’s weather has provided abc with the perfect conditions to long for a dry place for spending one’s day with art. Day two is again loaded with an overabundant artistic program; nevertheless I decided to dive into the international representations of the fair. Being it galleries, artists or publishers, I went for a hunt to find some exciting positions outside the European context, wanting to know their expectations of abc.
Adriano Costa at Mendes Wood. Photo EYEOUT
My first encounter was with Qi Li, one of the editors of LEAP, a bimonthly Chinese-English publication that covers Chinese contemporary art as well as stories from the global art world. It is their first time of representing the magazine in Berlin, Qi Li tells me, as they have been concentrating their visibility mostly on fairs like Frieze, Art Basel and those in Asia so far. This year, however, their endeavor of getting recognized in Berlin starts with abc, where they hope to get some feedback from the diverse and local art crowd. “Abc is in a way different to Frieze, for instance, because of its focus on local galleries. In London or Hong Kong people know about Chinese art, but here the visitors rather come to see what is happening in Germany.” Nevertheless, LEAP is getting attraction and publicity that might lead to sustainability in Germany, as Qi Li hopes. Another goal is to connect the Chinese readership with what is happening in Berlin and expand the focus on reporting on the international art world. So in a way Qi Li is also on a mission to bring some of Berlin’s artistic spirit to China.
Chisa & Tkacova at ROTWAND. Courtesy Rotwand Zurich
Promised to become the art event of the fall, Berlin Art Week has kicked off with a typically hip streetparty at Auguststrasse this Tuesday. Following up on the promise, the week will carry on with a massive art program spanning from four major painting exhibitions, gallery openings, artist talks, performances, art fairs, parties, to whatever will pop up out of the artists’ creative minds. The stakes thus are high, as Berlin’s art scene is not only catering to a manageable art circuit but to a whole city of art enthusiasts. And for me – as an expat to the city – this wide-ranging interest in all kinds of culture is something that I really appreciate about Berlin.
Some impressions from this years abc.
Photos by Marco Funke
Clive Phillpot: Booktrek Text in English € 20,00
Clive Phillpot was a librarian at Chelsea School of Art in London before he became Director of the Library at the MoMA in New York in 1977. Being the initiator of the Artists’ Book section at Basel art fair, he collaborated with Printed Matter and Franklin Furnace, and works as a London-based freelancer today. Phillpot is a key figure in mapping out the field of artists’ books from an institutional point of view, and Booktrek is a collection of some of his essays written between 1972 and 2010. Assembled are texts and ideas on books by Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Long, Daniel Buren, Dieter Roth and many many others, as well as his thoughts about the development and reputation of the medium as such over the years. Phillpot finely fillets differences in the approach and use of books by different artists on both sides of the Atlantic. His “fruit salad” chart visually defines the much-discussed term “ artist book “ on yet another level and reveals once more Phillpots deep involvement with the subject.
Returning for the second day at abc, there is something like a coming-into-focus and a sense of things becoming a little clearer. Given time to adjust to the particular feel of the venue, certain works begin to emerge requiring a softer, more deliberate type of looking.
Andrew Kerr at BQ, The Modern Institute. Photo: Joseph Fuller
Andrew Kerr’s paintings, shown by BQ, Berlin and The Modern Institute, Glasgow, displayed on both the white walls and the wooden supports of the temporary structure, feel enjoyably quick and provisional whilst dramatising the specific form of the painterly study, with their small, muddy compositions stapled and photocopied, almost as if the decisions concerning what to do next are still being considered.
Andrew Kerr at BQ, The Modern Institute. Photo: Joseph Fuller
First thing I did on the fair was a step back, fretting from the crazy whip lady, one of the many shows/actions to be set up and taken down in the course of 2 hours in the Upcoming Exhibitions section right by the entrance.
Is she performing a Julius von Bismarck?
What I thought was as incidental as unfortunate, actually gave the tone for the whole abc experience. More of a festival then a fair maybe, this year’s abc is definitely an experience, and this in the most literal sense of the word. +20 for the creative presentations of the galleries. They really spared no trouble! Walking with me Anna Russ from Berlinartlink seems to be on some kind of art high. And it is true.
Performance by Alexandra Bachzetsis, “A pice danced alone”
Art Berlin Contemporary (abc) opened yesterday at STATION Berlin. Riffing on the “not quite an art fair” concept, abc encourages a certain creativity and freedom of interpretation on the ‘booth’ concept to its exhibitors, with an emphasis on showcasing single artist projects. Exhibitors responded well to the open and experimental structure, including a number of site-specific works, and employing sometimes playful mechanisms to engage and attract. Featuring large and small-scale sculptures and installations, hot dog booths, whip-cracking femmes and performances, it’s a fresh change from the conventional art fair format. Below is a selection of images taken from the day.
Image: Opening with Ohio (Glasgow), Credit Peter Lorenz
Don’t miss the “Upcoming Exhibitions” at the entrance area of abc. “Upcoming Exhibitions” has been curated by Shanaynay (Paris) and projects come from the USA, Italy, France, Germany, England, Belgium and Mexico and range from exhibitions for fictive artists, performances, sculptural works or a play.
Born out of the necessity to develop a felicitous structure for exhibiting within its context, Upcoming Exhibitions allots each participating space two hours to inhabit and exhibit a project of their choosing, amounting to 14 exhibitions, one occurring every two hours within a single space situated near the entrance of abc.
“Upcoming Exhibtions” and the accompanying publication have been developed in collaboration with Red Bull.
The ongoing programme for “Upcoming Exhibitions” is as follows:
Treize, Paris – Friday 20.9.13 at 4pm
Works Sited, Los Angeles – Saturday 21.9.13 at 12pm
The Ister, Brussels – Saturday 21.9.13 at 2pm
Auto Italia South East, London – Saturday 21.9.13 at 4pm
Lulu, Mexico – Sunday 22.9.13 at 12pm
Peles Empire, London – Sunday 22.9.13 at 2pm
New Theater, Berlin – Sunday 22.9.13 at 4pm
Living labour Text in English € 16,00
Living Labour is published parallel to the exhibition Arbeitstid at Onstad Kunstsenter Oslo. It supplements the exhibition with additional works and essays on the issue of work dominating most of our waking hours despite economic instability and the rise of precarious labor force. Various writers including a few labor theorists discuss ideas of over-identification with work as a privilege and work-performance as part of an elaborate self-actualization. They also discuss the consequences for society against the backdrop of the Scandinavian labor movement and further share ideas on resistance by drawing scenarios of who we could be if we were non-workers and what alternative ways of living might look like.
With contributions by Will Bradley, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Carl Cedarström and Peter Fleming, Annette Kamp, Michala Paludan, Olivia Plender and Hester Reeve, Ole Martin Rønning, Kathi Weeks
Ryan McGinley at Bischoff Projects. Photo: Joseph Fuller
A common and often helpful metaphor for the consumption of the majority of art fairs or film festivals is that of the opposing positions of the bulimic and the anorexic. In the face of the desire to see everything, a decision must be made: frantically consume everything and anything, only to forego holding onto any of it later, or pick and choose and peck around the edges, only to be left feeling pretty hungry and as if something was missed. Often there seems to be no third way, with the characteristic experiences of such events being those of disorientation, a particular form of dizziness and by the end of it a sense that as a whole, it all remains fairly illegible.
At least on the surface, abc seems like it might be able to offer something a lot less frantic and more digestible. Everything appears at once low key and finely tuned. There is a distinct look throughout the venue – scaffolding, birch – that is never overwhelmed by the work being shown; an atmosphere seems to have been established that pronounces and maintains a certain steadiness and sense of rhythm that is wholly welcoming. On an initial walk around, and in view of the distinctive format of abc (each gallery presenting the work of a single artist), this feels like a fully designed and considered menu as opposed to the standard, all-you-can-eat nausea one might be used to.
Once again, EYEOUT received many applications for the Blogger Residency in conjunction with abc this year. Julia Hartman and Joseph Fuller have been selected to report on abc for EYEOUT.
Julia Hartman studied Art History and English in Graz (Austria). In her blogJules and Art she primarily writes about young, no yet established artists. A special area of interest for Julia is Chinese contemporary art in comparison to western art.
Joseph Fuller lives in London and studied art and film in Oxford. Writing forms the core of his creative practice, both in terms of his own work, as well as independent reflections on the work of other artists. Joseph recently returned from a 18-month stint in Mumbai (India) where, alongside his own projects, he worked for artists and galleries.
We’re pleased to welcome Julia and Joseph to Berlin and are excited for their contributions about abc, which will be published daily here – in the abc Journal, as well as on EYEOUT’s blog.
Don’t forget: Free Download of EYEOUT Berlin with highlights of the abc program
In the app you’ll find information about abc with selected highlights from the program.
EYEOUT Berlin is available for free in the App Store until Sunday, 22 September.
Article by Alison Hugill; Studio Visit Photographs by Conor Clarke
Rumour has it that Michael Sailstorfer’s studio building in Weissensee, on the tranquil outskirts of Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district, was once the production studio of early German film pioneer Joe May. Witness to the cinematic origins of Fritz Lang and Marlene Dietrich in the 1920s, the high vaulted ceilings of these stable-like workspaces are now the preserve of a number of Berlin-based artists and designers. Many of Sailstorfer’s artworks are large-scale creative interventions into natural processes, using such a range of materials and resources that few could imagine a studio space that would enclose them. And, in truth, a big part of his work is realized in the great outdoors, mostly in picturesque fields or farmlands scattered throughout rural Germany.
The making of “Antiherbst”, part of the EMSCHERKUNST.2013 exhibition, Photo by Achim Kukulies
Today we take a closer look at abc partner Hotel Concorde Berlin and its architecture.
It was no simple task for Berlin architect Jan Kleihues to come up with the design for the Hôtel Concorde Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm. Just like everywhere in Berlin, the surrounding buildings were limited to a height of 22.5 meters (74 feet), while individual structures again and again break through that boundary almost arbitrarily. The ambitious, tapering form, of the Hôtel Concorde Berlin creates unity within the urban fabric. With the views that vary from every side and the regular rhythm of the façade, the hotel takes on an almost sculptural character. This is emphasized even further by the natural stone façade made of Kirchheim limestone, the structure of which changes its visual effect depending upon how the light falls.
The beginning will also be the end. Abc’s performance program will open and close with the same artist at the same booth: Today at 12.30 pm, the young Canadian artist Michele di Menna will arrive with a box, unpack her stuff at Galerie Kamm’s (A05), and arrange her exhibition. Thus, her performance “The unpacking of _______.” will be the opening performance in more than one way.
When she will repack her stuff on Sunday at 6pm with “The repacking of ___________.”, many more performances will have seen the light at Station Berlin in Luckenwalder Straße. A gong, which is itself an artwork by Pae White (neugerriemschneider), will announce events. They will take place at the galleries’ booths, at the Miss Read book fair or on the „Upcoming Exhibitions“ stage in the entrance hall, where project spaces will present themselves in 2-hour-slots. The program is diverse: There will be a live-wiring to Burkina Faso at Christoph Schlingensief’s Operndorf installation (Andy Hope 1930, Anri Sala, Aino Laberenz), a talk with Martha Rosler, a dance performance by Alexandra Bachzetsis (in collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer) and many more things to discover.
The focus that was put on the performance program is just one of the many details that distinguish abc from the usual fair format.
Text and pictures by Nathan M.
art berlin contemporary’s sixth edition opens today at Station Berlin! Following the success of last year’s art fair format, galleries across the world were invited to demonstrate their ability as producers for artists at this year’s fair.
With 133 galleries representing around 18 countries, around half of the galleries displaying work are based in Berlin, and one third are from elsewhere in Germany in Europe.
Since the foundation of Artek – one of our partners for abc 2013 – in 1935, some 8 million Alvar Aalto stools have been sold worldwide. A few years ago Artek started to collect old Aalto furniture from flea markets, schools, elderly people’s homes and garages. Artek wanted to give these classic pieces of design a new lease on life, an original opportunity to tell their story. They are called the 2nd Cycle. They will be present throughout the restaurant and cafe at abc. Come sit at a piece of history.
Photo by Marco Funke
The final touches are being made and preparations are well underway for you to come and see this year’s exciting edition of abc.
Things kick off at 4pm today for the opening but don’t forget if you cant make it you can follow us this weekend by following #abcberlin and check back here where our contributors and team members will be journalling the events, behind the scenes news and our tips for the weekend here.
See you at Station! Happy abc 2013!
Special tours for children come courtesy of Ephra at abc this year and take place on Saturday and Sunday every hour from 1pm. Tours can be booked by contacting email@example.com or on site at abc. The artist Rebecca Raue is the founder of Ephra – Kinder in die Kunst. We asked her a few quick questions to see what is in store for our little abc visitors at abc 2013.
What will you be showing your young tour guests?
We will have a preselected tour of artworks that are especially attractive for children.
In a way we will establish a “childrens path” through abc, with some highlights, but always with our eyes open to see more…
How will your tours be different to those for adults, what do you point out in particular?
We focus on the experience – seeing an artwork confronts us with feelings and inspires us with ideas and it is the individual reception of an artwork that matters.
We will empower the kids to be experts of their own experience.
Anything you are looking forward to in particular this year at abc?
The performance slots that Maike Cruse invented will change the atmosphere at the abc.
We will be participating in a celebration of art and that is very exciting.
Portrait photo of Rebecca Raue by Katrin Greiling
New this year: DriveNow brings mobility to all our visitors, just use a DriveNow branded BMW or MINI vehicle – abc kept a special parking lot in front of the ground at Luckenwalder Strasse. To enter the Carsharing club the first 100 followers register for free here and save the regular 29 Euro admission.
Also this year we have some great catering on site for when the art all gets too much and you need to take a break from seeing the great works.
2013 once again heralds a fantastic catering offer from Mogg & Melzer including delicious Pastrami sandwiches, salads, soups, bagels, goulash, fresh meat from the grill and sweet things like NYC cheesecake as well as tea, coffee and other beverages. Everything is located in the mainhall of Station Berlin and is easy to grab on the go or for those who want a longer break.
For later in the evening we have champagne courtesy of Pommery so you can easily raise a toast to the weeks events!
Image by Ailine Liefeld
In the sixth edition of abc art berlin contemporary, first-time director Maike Cruse presents over 130 galleries and 18 countries, with the three-day-long fair pushing each gallery and institution to demonstrate their abilities as producers for artists. With many pieces made specially for the fair, abc features work from artists including Julieta Aranda, Nina Beier, Adriano Costa, Maria EIchhorn, Mark Flood, Kasia Fudakowski, Laetitia Gendre, Ryan McGinley, Jerszy Seymour, and more. Supplementing the pieces displayed, some artists have elected to introduce time-based or performative aspects to their work, as well as lectures, artist talks, and discussions—for example, Nasan Tur will be giving an artist talk on contemporary urban landscapes on 20.09 at 13h at Station Berlin. Other artists with performative, time-based, or otherwise animate elements to their projects include Alexandra Bachzetsis, Kasia Fudakowski, and Thomas Zipp.
Here are a few of the projects we are looking forward to!
Uji Handoko, also known as Hahan, is an Indonesian artist producing colorful critiques of capitalism through various visual media. His work is almost as gruesome as it is cutesy—built upon traditional punk visual tropes and imagery, Hahan offers a fresh and witty commentary on consumption and production through his bright, almost cartoony aesthetic.
Shanaynay have just arrived with us here at abc from Paris where they introduce “Upcoming Exhibitions”. This is a project in which a new exhibition produced and initiated by 14 invited international project spaces will occur every two hours in abc’s entrance area. Project spaces are 1857 (Oslo), Am Nuden Da (London), Auto Italia South East (London), Betonsalon (Paris), Cleopatras (New York City), Gasconade (Milan), Generation Works (Washington), Lulu (Mexico), New Theater (Berlin), Ohio (Glasgow), Peles Empire (London), The Ister (Brussels), Treize (Paris), Works Sited (Los Angeles).
Check our programme page here for full details.
The structure of “Upcoming Exhibitions” has been designed by June 14 Meyer-Grohbrügge&Chermayeff. “Upcoming Exhibtions” and an accompanying publication have been developed in collaboration with Red Bull.
Image Copiright Shanaynay
Conceptual yet unpretentious, clear yet fun: Annika Kahrs and Kasia Fudakowski are among our favorite contributors to abc. By the way, we’re delighted to see how many young promising female artists are participating this year! But back to our favorites:
Annika Kahrs’ works address the impact of irritations on the perception of situations. Some might have experienced her performance piece in KW’s show “One on One” lately. It consisted of two piano players pausing their play as soon as you entered the room. At abc, Produzentengalerie presents Kahrs’ video Playing to the Birds, 2013 – a video on the construction of communication and perception. It documents a pianist playing Franz Liszt’s Legende # 1, a solo piece full of twitter-like trills. It is based on the legend of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to and being understood by birds. Now, the pianist’s audience consists of cage birds. The viewer thus observes birds listing to a piano play, based on the »translation« of their communication into a score. Captive in a highly artificial environment exposed to unnatural communication, they have nothing in common with the wild protagonists the saint patron of animals communicated with.
In the last few years Berlin’s West has seen a constant rise in prominence, with the heart of the city slowly moving back to its center. After galleries rediscovered Potsdamer Strasse they are now opening new locations ever further into the West. This is also were some of our international visiting gallerists’ will find a place to stay while in Berlin. Besides the activities of the art scene, there has also been a general increase in construction activities with new architectural landmarks opening frequently. One of these is our partner Hotel Concorde on Augsburger Strasse 41. For an extra close look at its architecture come back next week and visit our journal for more.
The installation “Butterfly” (2013) has been created by French artist Laetitia Gendre for abc – art berlin contemporary.
The metallic structure and the drawings on canvas hung one after the other, form an ephemeral construction, while the drawings themselves represent views of constructed spaces identified as habitations – although this interpretation is sometimes cast into doubt. All the images originated in found photos, put online by amateurs in order to show the state of construction work. The spaces are shown as bare arrangements of walls, floors, and steps. Deprived of any furniture or objects, they appear to be quite inhospitable.
For the first time an Editions exhibition conceived by Index /Kirsa Geiser takes place at abc. Over 30 positions will be shown and these are from Texte zur Kunst (Tony Oursler, Keren Cytter, Matthias Weischer), artflash (Antje Engelmann, Louise Bourgeois, Raymond Pettibon), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (John Bock, Thomas Hirschhorn, Haegue Yang), Distanz Verlag (Florian Meisenberg, Michael Sailsdorfer, Katharina Grosse), SOS-Edition (André Butzer, Mauricio Guillén), INDEX Editions (Natalie Czech, Florian Auer, Miriam Böhm), Edition Block (Alicja Kwade, Olaf Metzel, Mona Hatoum), Monopol (John Baldessari, Lawrence Weiner, Katja Strunz), Laura Mars (Dorothy Iannone), Schinkel Pavillon (Andro Wekua, Friedrich Kunath, Dirk Bell), Little and large Editions (Martin Boyce, Liam Gillick, Dan Rees), Niels Borch Jensen (Carsten Höller)
verschiedene Fahrradteile montiert, 4 Unikate, signiert und nummeriert
2013 marks the 80th anniversary of Alvar Aalto’s three-legged Stool 60 made by Artek. Part of the celebrations include a collaboration with abc to bring these special, iconic pieces to the edition for galleries, artists and visitors to experience and enjoy.
A quintessential piece of modern design, Stool 60 is one of the best-known design items in the world, and an iconic piece in the Artek collection. Today, it’s being revisited by international designers and fans including designer Nao Tamura, fashion designer Mads Nørgaard, Comme des Garçons, Monocle, Tom Dixon and Mike Meiré.
Take a seat at abc!
Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo
Courtesy of Artek
Bridget Waldach explains her work “Brain Box” which will be shown by Galerie Bo Bjerggaard
“I tried to trace the path from an idea to an ideology. The notion of idea is an open one; we often use the term as a syn- onym for inspiration. Things or possibilities inspire us – they seem to have an external source. In the “Brain Box” I show this external link by the bands that stretch from or towards the ceiling. The main strand leads to the ceiling and falls back into the Brain Box, ending in a knot. The idea becomes entangled, resulting in an ideology, or becomes a system that connects various concepts.
How does an idea become ideology, a system of belief? When and how does an idea become radical? How is society connected to the individual? When do we become trapped in our own labyrinth of thought? The Brain Box shows the path of a person who reacts to and positions herself in relation to society and history. It is the spatial sketch of an idea that can, under certain circumstances become an ideology, a model for living.
Spanned bands give rise to a hierarchical system in which biographical elements become the foundation and the com- panion of a thought. Through the various concepts noted on the wall, facts are connected to fictions, actions to reactions, and events to experiences. Rubber bands of various thickness stand for different connections, tracing a development that ends tragically in its radicalization.
Cultural symbols such as the pentagram find their way from the outside (via the elastic bands) into the thought process. The pentagram is a highly complex symbol: on the one hand it stands for the universal human; but turned it on its head, as on the right wall, it symbolizes evil. On the floor is the red five-pointed star fully colored, which, for example, the RAF selected as the ideological symbol of their political struggle.
Kennedy Magazine Text in English € 14,00
Kennedy is a new magazine from Greece and calls itself “journal of curiosities”. The first issue indeed turned out wonderfully curious with a great mix of stories, interviews and portraits of places and people like artist Olaf Breuning and Erwin Wurm, editorial director Pula Goldstein, musicians Eddie Ruscha and Andrew Weatherall and a journey in photos from New York to Barbados. Especially nice to read is the portrait and interview on Craig Walzer, a writer and owner of a well assorted and iconic bookshop on the island of Santorini, who we would love to go and visit on the spot. The extract of an essay by G.K.Chesterton on “The Bluff of the Big Shops” from 1927 has lost none of its actuality and is as relevant today as it was then. Also worth mentioning are the beautiful photographs this magazine is filled with.
BQ Berlin and The Modern Institute are delighted to present a series of new paintings by Andrew Kerr at abc 2013.
Andrew Kerr describes the work: “Paint sketches without direct observational study. Paintings on paper, the paper pinned to a board, that board on an easel. Over several sittings the paper is more or less covered. An aim is to paint into definition: make less abstract. Recently, though, aims are changing, without aims, even. It’s more staying with embarrassment, abstraction and worry. Letting it disappoint. Acrylic paint made duller. The paintings aren’t so big, they are half lit and low contrast tonally. Perhaps there is a central figure of some sort. Layers become milky, a sluggish chemistry. Pinks, browns, parched yellows with dark oranges for outlines. Unconvincing shadows, soft grounds and few diagonals. Stopping at a crumb or dribble out of reach. “
Andrew Kerr was born in 1977 in Glasgow where he lives and works. Kerr makes paintings and sculptures from paper and found objects. His works represent observations, or everyday elements in an unfamiliar way; by magnifying the qualities of an object; its contours, areas of tone or colour, and its materiality, or by emphasising a particular relationship between an object and the illusory space it inhabits. Dictated by the movement of paint across a surface Kerr’s paintings consistently break the expected development of the composition, creating scenes that are unexpected and inquisitive.
“Naval illustration”, 2013
Acrylic on board
37 x 56 x 0.3 cm
Photo: Keith Hunter
courtesy the artist; BQ, Berlin; The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow
We caught up with Tina Wentrup, of Wentrup gallery who told us about the gallery’s collaboration with Michel Rein and Ratio 3 for this year’s abc to bring Mathew Hale’s “MARIA UND JOSEPH”, 2011-13 to the edition.
Who and what are you going to be showing? Can you tell us about the piece (briefly)?
Mathew tells it like this: “Each of my works begins without preconception. That is how I find my form. I do not imagine what I am going to produce before I start. I hope to be the servant of true impulse, to speak before I think. In that sense these collages can be seen, retrospectively, to be symptomatic; both of my internal world and of the external society that we all share in at a particular moment in time. In 2011 I found myself producing a series of collages that incorporated material concerning Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Charles, Princes Diana AND the UK riots of that same year, as well as a childish misconception about how babies begin. It was the first time that I had spontaneously produced a series of works that were clearly related … and I began to see that they could be formulated into one work – or one arena of cultural response. The resulting work, MARIA UND JOSEF, 2011-13, which was first exhibited in Galerie Michel Rein in Paris in 2012, does not make the kind of a+b+c sense which would allow it to be anatomized cleanly, but it does bring together, and organize in one place, a conflict.”
Why is this event important in your art calendar, Tina? What makes it interesting or special?
It’s the opening event in fall, one of the best options to get important collectors and curators into town because galleries + museums are offering an outstanding program. The fair offers with an open concept the possibility to realize unique installations which could otherwise only be shown in museums.
The work is a collaboration. Can you expand on this idea and how it came about?
We have a close relationship with both galleries and are collaborating since quite a while. It’s a perfect opportunity to combine three different galleries (to motivate foreign galleries to show in Berlin because we initiated the project) to show a very complex and demanding work in Berlin.
MARIA UND JOSEF, 2012
Installation View, Galerie Michel Rein, Paris
Sure, a partner can come in handy when you have to pay a four-digit fee for participating at abc. But then, of course, the collaboration between two or even three galleries can turn into a thought-provoking creative progress, that makes one plus one add up to much more than two.
We spoke to gallerist Heike Tosun (Soy Capitán, Berlin), who is collaborating with Galerie für Landschaftskunst (GFLK), Hamburg to present a new installation by Klara Hobza. GFLK is an unusual gallery slash project space. It was co-founded by artist Till Krause in 1992, and has been promoting and featuring artists with a strong interest in interventions outdoors, in the public sphere, ever since. GFLK is also where Tosun first became aware of Klara Hobza in 2009. Hobza had relocated all her artworks from her studio in New York via raft, kayak and freight container to Hamburg, to exhibit them on the dismantled raft in Till Krause’s space (Departing America, 2009). Tosun, who admires this kind of innovative exhibition practice typical for GFLK, was eager to collaborate for abc. »It’s been like forming a temporary collective with Hobza and Krause«, she says. The ideas are circulating and gaining from the three different perspectives: gallery, artist and project space.
We can’t wait to see the result: At this year’s abc, Hobza will surprise us with the outcome of an impossible horserace. More cannot be said yet, but we are sure, with all these thought-provoking ideas flying around, it will be great.
Official poster for Klara Hobza
The Last Race which took place on the “Land for 5 Final Acts”, 2013
Today we’re happy to present the first post of our second contributor Niche Berlin, in the next weeks they will give us their unique insight into what they are looking forward to at this year’s abc. First up Daniel Keller and DIS.
This year’s abc will be “performative” and young. Speaking of young: we’re especially excited about the contributions by Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler gallery presenting Daniel Keller and New Gallery, showing the artist collective DIS. Both galleries are dedicated to building up young artists whose works engage with a contemporary culture in which the internet is a given and who naturally exploit its possibilities –some of them are labelled post-internet artists.
This year there are some galleries working together to bring unique presentations to abc.
One which work that will be presented is by Lisson and KOW and that is Sanitago Sierra. In his work Santiago Sierra often addresses structures of power that operate in our everyday existence. Sierra’s work intervenes into these structures exposing situations of exploitation and marginalisation, famously hiring underprivileged individuals who, in exchange for money, are willing to undertake pointless or unpleasant tasks. Sierra’s work never repeats reality, but challenges it exposing its intrinsic mechanisms. The essence of the work is often in the tension generated and sustained between the event or its documentation and the spectator, who is exposed to what can be described as the formal and poetic articulation of the voice of all those who are normally marginalised or disenfranchised.
Today do you read me?! brings us a publication from the other side of the Globe showing us the world of failure.
Pie Paper – #4 Failure Text in English 23,00 €
Pie Paper is a magazine from new Zealand and dedicates each issue to one different topic or idea. The topic of the current issue is failure, for which the makers have compiled an astonishing amount of examples in text and image. This small booklet actually is a small cultural history of the phenomenon of failure. Examples range from Aether and how it used be held for the carrier of light in the universe to the Global Underground metro system connecting cities worldwide which Kippenberger imagined and started to build entrances for.
Today “do you read me?!” presents Berlin.Status 1 & 2. On our behalf its worth pointing out some of the artists you will find in both these catalogues that will also be at abc in only two weeks time: Julius von Bismarck (Alexander Levy), Michael Sailstorfer (Johann König), Ulrich Vogl (Galleri Opdahl), Katinka Pilscheur (Galerie koal), Nasan Tur (Blain I Southern)
This year there are some galleries working together to bring unique presentations to abc. Konrad Fischer Galerie and Galerie Wien Lukatsch collaborate to bring us new works by Nina Canell.
The precarious installations of Nina Canell could be read as essays on changeability and uncertainty. Her communities of objects quietly interact with each other through modest arrangements, balancing careful ambitions to sustain certain frequencies, movements or altitudes. Electrical debris, wires and neon gas establish temporary, almost performative sculptural unions with natural findings such as water, wood or stones, yielding open-ended moments of synchronicity. An improvisational methodology and a flexibility of form highlight Canell’s quest for sculpture, which exists somewhere in between the material and the immaterial, forming and questioning the conductive relations between solid objects and mental events.
Radio, concrete, chromed bronze
Installation view Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart
Photograph by Nick Ash
We’re happy to present the first post from abc partner and journal contributor “do you read me?!”. Besides enriching abc with their great collection of international magazines “do you read me?!” will present a selection of their favourite art publications in our journal. Read on!
- Issue 13 Text in English 11,00 €
Turps Banana is a quarterly magazine from the UK about painting, made by painters. This unique approach of being written by painters rather than by art historians or critics gives the examination of the issue a very intimate extra-engaged twist of colleagues presenting and discussing each others work. The magazine features exhibition reviews, interviews and studio visits accompanied by plenty of images. The current issue 13 starts with John Chilvers` comparison of two London shows: Frank Auerbach: Early Works 1954-1978 and London`s Post-War Art Scene: David Bomberg and the Borough Group, followed by an article about John Wilkins by Tim Renshaw, an interview with Stewart Geddes by Bert Irvin, Michael Szpakowski on Jake Longstreth, facing the difficulty of never actually having seen the work for real and discussing aspects of reproduction. In a Turps Banana interview with Matthew Collings and Emma Biggs we gain a deep insight into the making of their carefully constructed collaborate canvases. There is also an interview by Katarina Blannin with Andrew Bick on his abstract paintings that are all made in a very methodical yet random way of echoing previous paintings. Also in this issue: an interview with Lee Maelzer by Geraldine Swayne, San Coombs talking to Tim Allen and a review of some recent painting shows in New York.
you can buy it here
For the next instalment in our series of interviews with some of our participating galleries we spoke to Larissa Bischoff, of Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt who will be presenting Ryan McGinley (USA).
This is your first time at abc – what are you looking forward to the most?
We are looking forward very much to share our passion for Ryan McGinleys work with the abc visitors.
Who and what are you going to be showing?
We are going to show two amazing works by Ryan McGinley. We will present them on a wallpaper Ryan created especially for abc, consisting of coloured and black and white portraits. Ryan takes intimate photographs that celebrate the beauty of youth and freedom. His photographs express the joyfulness and liberty of a generation that is exploring its surroundings.
Why is this event important in your art calendar? What makes it interesting or special?
We love to spend time in Berlin. The internationality of the city is reflected in the abc. The possibility to realize a solo presentation of an artist without architectural guidelines is fantastic. This focus on individual works of art excites us.
Tommy & Heather, 2012
76,2 x 114,3 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Bischoff Projects
This year we thought you might like to know a little bit more about some of the galleries who will be participating in abc. First up is LA’s Freedman Fitzpatrick who will be showing Hannah Weinberger. We caught up with Robbie Fitzpatrick this week.
This is your first time at abc – what are you looking forward to the most?
We moved to LA from Berlin at the end of last year, so in no particular order: new artist projects, gallery openings, Edd’s, friends and colleagues, Berghain.
Who and what are you going to be showing?
We’re presenting a new sound installation by Hannah Weinberger. She is composing individual ambient soundtracks for six large stones weighing 200-500 kg, hollowed out, and transformed into resonating speakers. Installed at the entrance and in the main hall, the emanating sound layers will merge with the noise of these high traffic areas to create a subtle, seemingly morphing soundtrack for visitors congregating in the vicinity.
Why is this event important in your art calendar? What makes it interesting or special?
We opened at the end of April, so abc is our first fair and our first solo presentation. It’s a bit of a home-coming and we’re ready to present what we’ve been up to. That abc is not a typical fair format also means that we’re getting to present the work in an non-traditional booth format, alongside many of the galleries whose vision has influenced how we are shaping our own program.
More news on the works to be debuted at abc this year.
Upon being asked to realize new artworks for this years abc many artists have been developing projects specific to the site and relating to the surroundings. When approached by his gallery Supportico Lopez, the German artist Jan Peter Hammer immediately had a Berlin specific idea in mind. His work “Gedenktafel für die Verlierer der Wiedervereinigung/ Memorial for the Losers of the Reunification” refers on many different levels to the recent history of Berlin. On the one hand, the material itself, plays with the tradition of the commemorative bronze plaques that one can find all over Berlin’s historic sites. Then there is the idea of the bronze plaque, a reminder to the structural changes Berlin’s eastern part went through after reunification. In the words of Jan Peter “(the plaque) is meant as a memorial for all our lost neighbours, for all the aging workers and pensioners, who were replaced by the dapper families and sleek professionals that now populate East Berlin.”
Jan Peter Hammer “ Gedenktafel für die Verlierer der Wiedervereinigung/ Memorial for the Losers of the Reunification”
2013 Bronze 92 x 108 x 7 cm
Courtesy of Supportico Lopez, Berlin
Under the banner ‘Paries Pictus’, Robin Rhode, of South Africa, uses the walls of galleries and museums for site-specific interventions of drawings. In a private performance during the installation process, the artist directs children to use oversized crayons, created specifically for this project, to colour in geometric vinyl graphics applied directly to the walls by Rhode, turning the exhibition space into a life-size colouring book. The outlines are based on the shapes of the Bauhaus Bauspiel, designed by Alma Siedhoff-Buscher in 1924 for the children’s room in the model Bauhaus building ‘Haus am Horn’ in Weimar. Just like the Bauspiel, Rhode’s project embraces play as an educational device. At the same time, it asks broader questions about authorship, art and chance.
Paries Pictus – Colour in the Pictures
Installation view – Stevenson, Cape Town
Gabriele Senn Galerie brings us a rock and roll element to abc with Michael Riedel’s art work.Since their debut manifesto-like song “Formed A Band” (2004), the British punk rock band Art Brut have gathered a 10 year history of self-referentiality. This finds its logical continuation in the cover design of “Top Of The Pops” by Michael Riedel. Art Brut and Michael Riedel are probably what you call a perfect match. Riedel’s work comes like a strikeout of flirtatious with a beautiful success story with the title “Top Of The Pops”.
Michael Reidel, “Art Brut: Top Of The Pops“
Besides a range of new young artists, this years abc will also feature a group of new young international galleries. One is Freedman Fitzpatrick. After opening their gallery in Los Angeles earlier this year, Robbie Fitzpatrick and Alex Freedman are now coming to Berlin to present the Basel based artist Hannah Weinberger. Her new sound installation, comprised of 6 large stones turned into speakers will be integrated throughout abc. This will be one of many works presented this year that are interacting with audiences and including their surroundings.
Hannah Weinberger, When You Leave, Walk Out Backwards, So I’ll Think You’re Walking In,
Kunsthalle Basel, 2012
Courtesy the artist and Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles
Photo: Gunnar Meier
More news on work to be debuted at abc this year from abc HQ.
This time we wanted to share with you a peek at Thea Djordjadze whose work comes courtesy of Sprüth Magers Berlin London. In her fragile installations, structures and objects Thea Djordjadze makes references to modernism, science, music, archeology and politics. For the more sculptural ensemble piece, the artist uses everyday materials such as foam, ceramic, fabric and plaster together with found objects.
Thea Djordjadze Installation view, Aspen Art Museum
© Thea Djordjadze courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London, Photo: Jason Dewey
In the first of a series of entries to our journal, we walk you through some of the new works that you will see at this years abc from many of our international artists.
Who better than abc Director Maike Cruse to give us the inside track on how abc is shaping up so far for 2013? We caught up with her.
abc is proud to bring to you the gallery list for this year’s edition. Around half the galleries will come from Germany, one third from elsewhere in Europe plus significant representation will come from the Middle East, the United States, Canada, Africa and South America. Galleries will also come from cities including London, Berlin, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Cape Town, Milan, Vienna, New York, and Barcelona. A full list can be found here
art berlin contemporary is delighted to once again be part of Berlin Art Week for 2013.
Founded in 2012, Berlin Art Week – which takes place from 17 – 22 September – will entice collectors, curators, arts enthusiasts and tourists into the German capital.
Around 130 emerging and established galleries have been invited from all over the world to exhibit. Alongside German and European galleries, we will also see participation from exhibitors hailing from North and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
We look forward to seeing you there!
abc and EYEOUT, the mobile art guide, are looking for two contributing writers who are into the contemporary art scene and interested in covering the abc.
What you get: three nights at Berlin’s fashionable Hotel Mani, where you’ll be right at the heart of things, for 13–16 September, plus VIP credentials for abc.
What you contribute: three blog entries to be featured on the abc website. If you’d like to be part of this project, write and tell us why you’re the blogger to choose: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: 28 August 2012
abc and A.P.C. are launching a limited edition of tote bags. The design of the bags plays on the similarity of the abbreviations of the two names and feature the letters A.P.C., acronym for Atelier de Production et de Création, on one side and A.B.C., acronym for art berlin contemporary, on the other.
The bags will be sold from A.P.C. stores in Mulackstrasse, Berlin, Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, and Mercer Street, New York from the 20th of August and from the art berlin contemporary fair from the 13th to the 16th of September. Don’t miss your opportunity to get it!
Dear friends of abc – art berlin contemporary
Welcome to our Journal! Together with our contributors Freunde von Freunden, Sugerhigh, Available Works, Niche and Bpigs we look forward to keeping you updated on abc artists and program highlights, as well as offering you the latest art news and recommendations for interesting events in Berlin.
Updated regularly – so visit us for the latest!