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2014.05.09 Fri, by Translated by: 梁舒涵
Berlin Gallery Weekend 2014

It’s not really a weekend. Because of May Day, it’s already 4 days anyway but people keep stretching it out and frankly now the “weekend” is at least 10 days. And there was such a lot to see. And there was such a lot I wish I hadn’t seen too. The major galleries all made a major effort, with Pae White at neugerriemschneider, Liam Gillick at Esther Schipper, Lynn Chadwick’s “Beast” series at Blain Southern, David Claerbout at Johnen Galerie, Wolfgang Laib at Buchmann Galerie, Fischli & Weiss at Sprüth Magers, Gordon Matta-Clark at Thomas Schulte and Yang Jiechang at ARNDT, among others. But there was also a lot of boring art at second tier galleries – not because they are second tier but because they played it safe. Maybe the pressure of rising rental in Berlin is beginning to affect Berlin’s free spirit. I wont mention names (no, really) but the worst…maybe one of the worst…was a huge van Gogh sunflower mess at…and this horrible pasty, naked, sour, gangrenous nude at….

Anyway, this article is just an introduction. Expect an end of month postcard from Berlin, with reports on many exhibitions, including some of those mentioned above.

And China was very present. There is the huge Ai Weiwei retrospective at Martin Gropius Bau (over 70,000 visitors so far – my review will be out shortly). There is “The 8 of Paths: Art in Beijing” exhibition curated by Thomas Eller, Andreas Schmid, Guo Xiaoyan and organised by Yu Zhang (expect our report on that show soon too).

Nicolas Provost mesmerizing “Moving Stories”, video projection with sound, 7′, 2010, composed entirely of stock-footage, at “KIK-Two: To the friends”, at Klub Kino International, curated by Anna Erickson.

For the Nicolas Provost film, here is the youtube link.

Lu Yang “The Beast: Tribute to Neon Genesis Evengelion” on the facade of Collegium Hungaricum

Then there is Momentum Worldwide’s multi-location “Pandamonium” (sic) exhibition and program of video art from Shanghai, with Double Fly, Feng Bingyi, Hu Jieming, Hu Weiyi, Lu Yang, Qiu Anxiong, Ming Wong, Xu Wenkai, Xu Zhen, MadeIn, Yang Fudong, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Ding, Zhang Peili and Zhou Xiaohu, curated by Li Zhenhua and David Elliott (report coming soon). And of course the Yang Jiechang show at ARNDT and I even curated a small show of Yan Pijie at independent space, orangelab.

My favorite show from Gallery Weekend Berlin was Liam Gillick at Esther Schipper, the exhibition an amazingly compact distillation of so many themes Gillick has worked with over the years.

Liam Gillick “Revenons à Nos Moutons” is the best show currently in Berlin, including “Hamilton: A Film by Liam Gillick”, a paean to the recently deceased pioneer British pop and conceptual artist, Richard Hamilton. See it at Esther Schipper.

Pae White “Special No. 127″ at neugerriemschneider, Gallery Weekend Berlin.

Yang Jiechang, “Oh, Diu”, video, 2003 at ARNDT Berlin – in Chinese it’s a bit more direct than the English version, “Oh, My God”, but then it is describing what one might say at the moment of orgasm. So, polit-religious comment.

Lynn Chadwick “Howling Beast” 1990 at Blaine Southern

Georges Adéagbo (b.1942, Benin) “Les artists et l’écriture”…! at Wien Lukatsch is an extraordinary collation of found objects, translations, paintings, French, English, German, parodies, jokes, thoughts…

“Untitled” by Jia, a performance in which she recites thousands of titles of works, creating an absurd narrative that the mind tricks itself into thinking makes sense. Part of Momentum Worldwide’s “Pandamonium” program at Collegium Hungaricum.

Li Binyuan “Deathless Love” performance at the opening of “Die 8 der Wege—Art in Beijing”

Fiona Banner at Galerie Barbara Thumm – novels on pieces of old jets.