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Berlin Art Week 2020 – Review

Editors’ Choice

Berlin Art Week 2020, Berlin’s first major city-wide event since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, is coming to a successful end today with tens of thousands of visitors. The organisers are relieved and more than satisfied with a successful and programme-rich art week: The great demand and the completely booked-up time slots have confirmed that there is a great desire for analogue events, always in compliance with the necessary rules of distance and hygiene. At the same time, the diverse open-air programmes in the best late summer weather were very well received, as were the complementary digital formats. The Berlin Art Week was attended by 20 art institutions and museums, the fairs Positions Berlin Art Fair, paper positions berlin and photo basel/berlin, 13 private collections, 10 excellent project spaces and numerous galleries. The Gallery Weekend 2020, which had been moved from spring to September, took place at the same time.

ART at Berlin - POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2020 - Foto Bjoern Breckner - 4 --min
Impressions of the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2020, Photo: Björn Breckner

For five days, visitors to the Berlin Art Week were finally able to discover analog positions in contemporary art and experience the cultural diversity of the German capital: Cooperations of various partner institutions, longer opening hours, a new reservation tool, outdoor events, a varied range of tours and the bilingual digital programme have created special insights into Berlin’s art scene. “Together with our partners, we have taken up the challenge of realising a major event in this extraordinary year that will provide access to art for all Berliners*. We are very pleased that the concept of Berlin Art Week has worked out so well even in these difficult times,” says Simone Leimbach, head of exhibitions and events at Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, which is responsible for Berlin Art Week. “The great demand has confirmed that analogue events are still needed, the digital can only be a complement. The visitors* have been understanding and prudent and have been able to experience art in a much more intensive way than might otherwise have been the case, despite the greatly reduced ticket quotas resulting from the Corona Regulation,” Leimbach continues.

One of the highlights of Berlin Art Week was a new edition of Hans Haacke’s work ‘Wir (alle) sind das Volk’ (We (all) are the people), initiated by the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) and realised by Kulturprojekte Berlin. At numerous partner institutions such as the Akademie der Künste, the Berliner Festspiele/Immersion, the Gropius Bau, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart-Berlin, the Kindl-Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Savvy Contemporary, the Volksbühne Berlin and many other locations, the intervention could be seen in the form of flags, banners and posters on the facades and squares of the partners.

ART at Berlin - POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2020 - Foto Bjoern Breckner - 3 --min
Impressions of the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2020, Photo: Björn Breckner

In addition to the completely sold-out Positions Berlin Art Fair with paper position.berlin and photo basel/berlin, which took place this year with over 130 exhibitors and a supporting programme of talks, award ceremonies and performances at the former Tempelhof Airport, the highlights also included the second edition of the fair at St. Agnes in the König Galerie and Studio Berlin, a cooperation between the Boros Foundation and the Berlin club Berghain. No less than four new partners also presented positions at Berlin Art Week for the first time: Brücke Museum, ifa Gallery Berlin, Savvy Contemporary and Times Art Center Berlin. Many private collections in Berlin offered exclusive insights into their holdings with special opening hours and 10 winners of the Prize for Artistic Project Spaces and Initiatives were honoured for their work during the Berlin Art Week, as was the Berlin gallery ChertLüdde, which won this year’s VBKI Prize for Berlin Galleries.

The 10th edition of Berlin Art Week will take place from 15 to 19 September 2021.

The Berlin Art Week was again made possible with funds from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Companies and was sponsored by Gasag AG. 

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