Text and pictures by the Bigs team
Now that Berlin’s art establishments have woken up from the holiday sleep, we would like to welcome you to the new and improved Bigs WDIM! This weekly update now contains not only pictures from the events we visited this last week but commentary and a +/- system for you to gage whether or not you came up with the right answer to the all important winter question: Is it worth leaving my warm bed to freeze my face off and see some art and people? What we are reviewing here will be not only about the artwork (because that will probably still be around in the gallery for a few more weeks) but rather the atmosphere, the crowd, the drinks, etc. You know, what really matters. If you know where we got the idea for the points system +2 points for you. And if you are still reading this, another +10 points. You, dear reader, are off to a good start, so let’s see how the rest of Berlin did and where these events stand on our Miss or Diss scale...
One on One @ KW-closing ***CORRECTION*** If you haven't seen the show yet, you are in luck, it will be on view until FEBRUARY 17! Here's what we thought of it anyway..
-5 for the lines…Waiting in line is a pet peeve of mine, especially waiting in line to see artwork. The opening of the exhibition was ridiculous, I only saw two works and left, so I went back on the Tuesday before closing during the afternoon, and there were still lines! Sorry, Jeremy Shaw, I couldn’t wait 20 minutes to see your work.
+20 for the concept and execution of the exhibit…I guess waiting in line isn’t so bad when the experience is worth it. I have never felt so much (physically and metaphorically) while viewing an exhibition. There was a lot of surprise, discomfort, awe, chuckles, and some more discomfort (anytime there was a performer in the room, I couldn’t be in there for long). The candy piece was genius.
Qiu Zhijie @ Haus der Kulturen der Welt-lecture
“Monuments and Memory” as part of HdKdW’s “Hidden Images- On the Situation Facing Art in China” followed by a conversation with Davide Quadrio about the concept of the 9th Shanghai Biennale
-2 for the simultaneous translation from Chinese to English…Only minus two points because I know it is a difficult task, but it was obvious that a lot of content from the lecture escaped the translator.
+5 for the quality of Zhijie’s work and his ability to talk about it…I’d say there is a 50% (or less…) chance that an artist can do a good job presenting their work. He is probably one of the most interesting contemporary Chinese artists; honestly the Biennale would have been a lot better if he included his own work.
+5 for Zhijie’s insight on the “Chinese situation”…Basically they treat history as a religion but now have tunnel vision to the future so it’s a confusing time.
34-35 Lindenstr. Gallerienhaus-openings
multiple openings without having to leave the building
(the artist and his work)
(the artist in the center with the wheelchair)
-15 for the atmosphere…Most of the galleries in the two buildings were having openings so there were plenty of people milling about, but I have seriously never seen so many grumpy faces! This is an art opening, not the Ausländerbehörde or a funeral so please lighten up! I blame it on the stingy alcohol behind the gallery desks, only for VIPs or the especially bold.
+5 for Andreas Plum’s solo show Stop shivering! at Galerie Opdahl Berlin…At the top of the building there is a show with paintings to smile about (bright colors and Spiderman wrapping paper!) and a friendly artist.
+3 for his outfit matching one of his paintings…
+5 for Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s solo show at Nordenhake…You have to see the hologram; it’s magical! Just like the artist’s native Iceland! It was fun to watch people try to touch something that wasn’t there, especially because you tried to do the same.
Daddy, YOU can’t make a cactus…this has been done! @ Grimmuseum-opening
bringing a new meaning to the term “young curator”
-5 for the curator’s schoolmates not showing up…I was kind of hoping it would be like a 10 year old’s birthday party because those were a lot of fun, but the mood was somber.
+20 for his dad (and the rest of us) for taking his vision seriously...Because the children are the future right? Good to get them started early.
The Feverish Library (continued) @ Capitain Petzel-opening
28 artist group show
-10 for managing to make an exhibition about libraries and books that doesn’t make my heart race or make me feel feverish…It happens sometimes. Something about it just felt too cold, too clinical, too neat. Or maybe I am just jealous.
-3 for some of my favorite artists included in the show not being at the opening…I guess this is expected for a massive group show, but really, John Baldessari, you didn’t want to leave LA to have a drink with me?
+3 for being my favorite building on my favorite street in Berlin…
+5 for having plenty of wine to go around…
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