Capital of the Art World
Deutsche Bank Partner of Berlin Art Week Again

The Berlin Art Week is only in its third year and it has already established itself as an important event in the calendar of the international art community. Small wonder as Berlin is one of the most important production sites for contemporary art. In fact, Berlin is the unofficial art capital of Europe due to the around 300 galleries there, the growing number of project spaces, and not least the numerous museums and art institutions in the city. For the Berlin Art Week, some of the most important players in the art world have pooled their resources again. On the occasion of the abc and Positions art fairs, they have organized a varied program consisting of new exhibitions, performances, screenings, and talks. Aside from eleven established institutions, including Neue Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, nine off-spaces are participating. Once again, Deutsche Bank is a partner of the Berlin Art Week.

The abc is being held again in the Hallen am Gleisdreieck, where around 110 international galleries are exclusively presenting solo exhibitions. Many of the artists are represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection, including Mike Bouchet, Fernando Bryce, Bernhard Martin, Charlotte Posenenske, Tobias Rehberger, and Wiebke Siem. A new event in the abc are gallery nights with numerous openings at participating Berlin galleries.

Thanks to art projects, many unused buildings in the German capital have been given a new lease on life. For this year’s Berlin Art Week, the former department store Jandorf in Mitte has been reactivated. In the light-filled rooms of the listed Wilhelmine building, the Positions, formerly Preview, are presenting around 50 galleries. The tradeshow is viewed primarily as a forum for up-and-coming young artists from Berlin.

The exhibition offer of the institutions involved in Berlin Art Week is very international. KW is presenting two of the most interesting contemporary video artists, both of whom explore the influence of the Internet, digital images, YouTube blogs, and trash TV on today’s visual culture. The British artist Kate Cooper shows how perfect computer-generated advertising images have change our our view of women’s bodies. Ryan Trecartin, a young star in the U.S. scene, investigates the limits of human receptivity with his garishly colorful, extremely rapidly cut “Digital Happenings.” In 2008, Trecartin was represented in the show Freeway Balconies, curated by Collier Schorr, at the Deutsche Guggenheim, which today is the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. For his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, the artist, one of the most idiosyncratic proponents of “Post Internet Art,” conceived a new site-specific environment.

During the Art Week, the KunstHalle is presenting a preview of Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art. Seven of the twelve rooms of this comprehensive interactive installation are on view in Berlin. With his alternative museum, the Benin-born artist questions the cultural demarcations between the West and Africa. Before the official opening of the show on September 20, selected rooms can be experienced in the museum restaurant and shop right in front of the KunstHalle as part of the action Meschac Gaba @ Unter den Linden. Additionally, eight golden bicycles are available in the Humanist Space. Bike tours are offered devoted to topics such as “religious diversity” and “art in a field of tension between Street Art, museum institution, and private collection,” bringing Gaba’s art to daily life in the city.

Haus am Waldsee is dedicating a show to Michael Sailstorfer. The conceptual artist among the young German sculptors transforms bus stops into one-room apartments and trees into projectiles. In the Neue Nationalgalerie, a retrospective of Moshe Gershuni’s gestural-expressive painting explores existential issues. No Father, No Mother is the Israeli artist’s first large-scale exhibition at a European museum in more than 30 years. While the . Berlinische Galerie is closed for renovation, the building was provided with a branch for the Art Week in the form of a giant transparent plastic bubble developed by the group raumlabor berlin. One of the events being staged in this so-called kitchen monument is a “discursive dinner” during which the topic of alternative architectural models will be discussed.

The numerous project spaces in which current discourse and debate take place are also extremely important for the image of Berlin as a location for art. The development work, carried out in around 150 off-spaces, is benefitting the city’s entire art scene. Some 50 of them advertised themselves as temporary partners of Art Week. A prominent jury consisting of  the artist Mathilde ter Heijne, the critic Kolja Reichert, and the curator Anna-Catharina Gebbers, selected nine of them, including team titanic with the exchange project PROFIT | PROPHET, which brings together artists from Cairo and Berlin, and L’oiseau présente with rip, cut – grow, a presentation dedicated entirely to the material paper. Fragile, massive works by different artists are on displac in the exhibition space in Ballhaus Ost.  

The collaborative effort between the various partners participating in the Berlin Art Week showcases the entire spectrum of the art metropolis Berlin in a concentrated program. And it is only logical that Deutsche Bank, which views its KunstHalle as a forum for the city’s creative scene, is taking part in the Berlin Art Week again.

Berlin Art Week

9/16/2014 – 9/21/2014