Over 120,000 visitors, including more than 25,000 at the art fair Positions Berlin Art Fair – this is the résumé with which Berlin Art Week ends. Visitors and the media praised the close links with the city and its scenes. The festival meeting point in the Uferhallen gave lasting impulses and attempted to bring the important and attractive art production locations into the city’s consciousness. Above all, the admission-free Sunday was a great success. “It’s Berlin Art Week, and the whole world is going out for art again. – is how the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung summed up the great success of this year’s Berlin Art Week.
Image above: Berlin Art Week, Uferhallen Berlin, Kunstaktien, 2022 © Clemens Porikys
With more than 120,000 visitors, Berlin Art Week once again proved that the city has one of the most vibrant art scenes in the world. The all-day events in the specially set up festival meeting place ‘BAW Garten’ were very well received, the numerous other events such as the performance night around the performance by Simone Forti in the Neue Nationalgalerie, the summer party in the Fahrbereitschaft or the guided neighbourhood tours no less so.
“A big thank you to Berlin Art Week for helping us become ‘a museum with everyone, for everyone’, and for introducing such an influential but hitherto little-known artist in Berlin as Simone Forti to a wide audience,” says Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Neue Nationalgalerie, about his special programme for Berlin Art Week.
Under the motto ‘Explore’, the Berlin Art Week presented the ‘BAW Garten’ as the central meeting point for this year’s festival. On the grounds of the Uferhallen in Berlin’s Wedding district, residents, art lovers and the curious were able to come together in the midst of numerous artists’ studios – and, with free admission, meet in the green open-air area to exchange ideas, discover and help create. Workshops, performances and talks invited visitors to familiarise themselves with the art on site.
At the Uferhallen, in addition to the ‘BAW Garten’, the exhibitions ‘On Equal Terms’ and ‘Uferhallen Kunstaktien’, as well as the architectural intervention ‘Die Tore’-a cooperation between Neuem Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), On Equal Terms and Kulturprojekte Berlin, were captivating. Other institutional highlights included the three stations of the Mona Hatoum exhibitions at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, the Georg Kolbe Museum and Kindl – Centre for Contemporary Art, as well as the presentation of Anna Uddenberg at the Schinkel Pavillon, LuYang at the PalaisPopulaire, Jenna Sutela at the Ernst Schering Foundation and Leila Hekmat at the Haus am Waldsee.
“For me, it is always impressive to see the city in discourse, alive and open. Showing Mona Hatoum’s exhibition cooperatively at three historically and currently differently positioned and acting locations is of course a risk. But for me it shows Berlin in its most beautiful form: international, multi-layered and fluid,” says Julia Wallner, former director, about the Georg Kolbe Museum’s cooperation.
Not to forget the large exhibition in the Gropius Bau entitled ‘YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal’ as well as – a real discovery – the Animal Anatomical Theatre on the campus of Humboldt University, staged by KW on Location with the artist Rachel Rossin. The joint venture between Savvy Contemporary and panke.gallery also received a lot of feedback.
This year’s programme also included the winners of the Project Space Award and the Berlin Art Prize. Among the temporary spaces across the city, Karl’s Strawberry House – the ‘Musée de la Fraise’ – deserves special mention. Like the LAS Light Art Space in the Halle am Berghain, the Art’Us and The Fairest in the Kühlhaus or the Räume 3 in the former Tegel Airport, they belonged to the new section ‘BAW Featured’, which presented special artistic interventions with new perspectives on urban spaces.
About the now complete opening of the Humboldt Forum, Hartmut Dorgerloh, General Director, said: “The Sauer Power Club Night was a complete success, Slavs & Tartars set our large inner courtyard swinging both acoustically and visually, the numerous mainly younger audience responded enthusiastically – and so did we.”
The Positions Berlin Art Fair at the former Tempelhof Airport with its strong offering of 88 international galleries from 20 countries presenting their most important positions from contemporary and modern art and the gallery project K60 in the Wilhelm Hallen once again proved the strength of the art market also and especially in Berlin.
Kristian Jarmuschek, director of Positions Berlin, looks back very positively on the past days: “It was simply great to see how many people were looking for a shared experience with art. There was a great atmosphere throughout and the hangars were full of curious visitors who were, above all, interested in buying. I’m really pleased with the appreciation our fair is getting here in Berlin and with it all our great galleries and their artists!”
The galleries of the Gallery Weekend Berlin, including the internationally leading Berlin galleries such as Esther Schipper, Sprüth Magers and neugerriemschneider, were among the participants of the Berlin Art Week.
Moritz van Dülmen, managing director of Kulturprojekte Berlin, says about the successful festival week: “Five days, hundreds of exhibitions and events with 150 participating partners and over 120,000 visitors – so much art and Berlin compact as well as togetherness can only be found at Berlin Art Week.
Our festival meeting point also made the Uferhallen the hotspot of the week as a production and studio location, thus attempting to take the pulse of the times by simultaneously focusing attention on the opportunities and dangers of Berlin as an art city.”
The next Berlin Art Week will take place from 13 to 17 September 2023.