Here Are the 8 Things You Should Seek Out During Berlin Art Week 2017

From Chris Dercon's season opening at the Volksbühne to a Harun Farocki retrospective, Berlin's fall art season has a lot to offer.

Daria Martin, A Hunger Artist, still, HD film. (2017) © Daria Martin, courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

The German capital is getting ready for the 2017 edition of the Berlin Art Week, a coordinated series of openings at institutions, project spaces, and private collections around the city, marking the beginning of the new art season. This year, the art week also includes the highly anticipated new art fair, Art Berlin, co-managed by the city’s previous fair abc, and Koelnmesse, the company behind Germany’s oldest and grandest art fair, Art Cologne.

In addition to the fair, all eyes will be on the new Volksbühne, and the first season at the storied theater under the artistic direction of Chris Dercon, whose appointment provoked ongoing disputes and criticism. A new Volksbühne location opening at the defunct Tempelhof airport’s Hangar 5 will be inaugurated with dance performances by French choreographer Boris Charmatz. Meanwhile, at the HAU theater, Belgian performance artist Miet Warlop is getting a retrospective across the house’s three locations.

Here are the eight major shows at the city’s institutions that you wouldn’t want to miss:

Haegue Yang, Silo of Silence – Clicked Core, (2017). Installation View KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Courtesy the artist.

1. Haegue Yang, “Silo of Silence – Clicked Core” at KESSELHAUS (Boiler House) at the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art,  September 10, 2017—May 13, 2018

For what will be her first institutional exhibition in Berlin, the KINDL Centre for Contemporary Art has invited Yang to produce a single, large-scale artwork created specifically for the center’s Boiler House, a striking 20-meter high space inside the former brewery. The artist will employ her trademark material of window blinds, using them as tools to focus on her personal memories of the “aggressive industrial development in South Korea in the 1970s and ’80s.”

The KESSELHAUS (Boiler House) at the KINDL — Centre for Contemporary Art is located at Am Südhaus 3, 12053 Berlin, Germany. General admission is €5 ($6).

Monica Boynvicini, Structural Psychodrama #1 (2017). ©Monica Bonvicini / VG-Bild Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Tobias Hübel.

2. Monica Bonvicini at the Berlinische Galerie, September 16, 2017—February 26, 2018

For her solo presentation at the Berlinische Galerie, Monica Bonvicini has produced a site-specific installation to be staged in the museum’s large exhibition hall—a move that is a hallmark of her decades-long practice, which often focuses on the institutional viewing space. Because the Berlin exhibition runs in tandem with the 15th Istanbul Biennale, in which Bonvicini is also participating, the show is influenced by both Berlin and Istanbul, and is said to feature elements of each major city.

Berlinische Galerie is located at Alte Jakobstraße 124–128, 10969 Berlin, Germany. Day tickets are €10 ($12).

Daria Martin, A Hunger Artist, still, HD film. (2017) ©Daria Martin, courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

3. “Daria Martin: A Hunger Artist” at Schering Stiftung, September 14—December 10, 2017

The London-based artist’s new film is being billed as Martin’s “most ambitious work to date.” Such a lofty description might be accurate in this case: layered themes—including voyeurism, power relations, the surreal, the artist’s myth, and bodily transformations—are brought together under a Kafkian influence, as the film is an adaptation of literary master Franz Kafka’s modernist short story, “A Hunger Artist,” from which the work borrows its title.

Schering Stiftung is located at Unter den Linden 32–34, 10117 Berlin, Germany. Admission is free.

Jeroen de Rijke/Willem de Rooij, I’m Coming Home in Forty Days (1997). Production Still, Courtesy of Galerie Buchholz and Willem de Rooij.

4. Willem de Rooij, “Whiteout” at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, September 14—December 17, 2017

A selection of works by the Dutch artist that span the past 20 years will present his influential practice in a new context. Of particular interest is the inclusion of some of de Rooij’s earliest works that were made during his collaborative practice with the late Jeroen de Rijke, which functioned under the name de Rijke/de Rooij until de Rijke’s untimely death in 2006. As such, the show will focus on both de Rooij’s works produced with a partner as well as how he functions within a solo, independent practice.

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art is located at Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin, Germany. General admission is €8 ($10).

Harun Farocki / Antje Ehmann, Feasting or Flying (2008), video still ©Harun Farocki / Antje Ehmann 2008.

5. “Harun Farocki: Mit anderen Mitteln – By Other Means” at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, September 14, 2017—January 28, 2018

Farocki’s formidable career—in which he has produced over 100 experimental and documentary films, essays, shorts, and feature films—takes center stage in Berlin this fall. Mounted across several venues in the city, the collaborative exhibition will be the first comprehensive retrospective of the German artist’s work. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in particular will present Farocki’s film installation works, a facet of his oeuvre that he began to research and make in the mid-1990s.

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein is located at Chausseestrasse 128/129, 10115 Berlin, Germany. Admission is free.

Geoffrey Farmer, Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late,Farewell. (2013). Still. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.

6. Geoffrey Farmer, “The Care With Which The Rain Is Wrong” at the Schinkel Pavilion, September 17-November 12, 2017

For Berlin Art Week, Geoffrey Farmer will take over both exhibition floors of the Pavilion with two large-scale installations conceived specifically for the occasion. In his work, Farmer uses narratives and imagery to investigate artistic and cultural histories—as such, the installations presented here will look at the history of the Schinkel Pavilion’s location, as well as the city of Berlin itself, through the display of massive archives of images modified by the artist.

The Schinkel Pavilion is located at Oberwallstraße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. General admission is €4 ($4.75).

Boris Charmatz, A Dancer’s Day (2017). Photo: Tristam Kenton. Image Courtesy VOLKSBÜHNE Berlin.

7. Boris Charmatz, “Musée de la danse” at Volksbühne at Tempelhof Hangar 5, September 14-24, 2017

In the French choreographer Boris Charmatz’s carefully orchestrated performances, he subverts the traditional dance house by reframing it as a new kind of museum, which he aptly refers to as Musée de la danse. One of the performances included in Berlin Art Week, titled A Dancer’s Day, will be making its world premiere on September 14 at the new, second location of Chris Dercon’s Volksbühne, the Hangar 5 of the defunct Tempelhof airport. For the work, Charmartz has employed a cast of thirty dancers to focus on the daily routines of dancers—warmup, rehearsal, performance, rest, and finally, the dance floor—over the course of a six-hour performance.

Volksbühne at Tempelhof Hangar 5 is located at Tempelhofer Damm, 10965 Berlin, Germany. Admission varies according to performance; Tickets generally cost €20 ($24).

Miet Warlop, Mystery Magnet. Photo by Reinout Hiel. Image Courtesy HAU Hebbel am Ufer.

8. Miet Warlop Retrospective, at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, September 14-16, 2017

The Belgian artist returns to HAU Hebbel am Ufer for a retrospective of her “portraits of a decade,” a series of three individual works which Warlop produced for the institution periodically over a span of five years. “Mystery Magnet” came in 2012; in 2015, she returned with “Dragging the Bone”; and just this past April, she debuted the performance “Fruits of Labor.” At HAU 2, all three works—which she refers to as “living images”—will be brought together in one exhibition.

HAU Hebbel am Ufer has three locations: HAU1, Stresemannstr. 29 / 10963 Berlin; HAU2, Hallesches Ufer 32 / 10963 Berlin; HAU3, Tempelhofer Ufer 10 / 10963 Berlin, Germany. Admission prices vary according to the event. 


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