News from Berlin

Berlin Art Week 2014 Kicks Off

September 17th, 2014
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News from Berlin – This year, for the third time, Berlin is holding the Art Week festival. Between September the 16th and the 21st, art lovers and creators have the chance to gather and to explore the world of contemporary art. Both new and established galleries present their collections, together with numerous exhibitions, events, lectures and screenings which are also part of the festival. As part of Berlin Art Week, organisers will hold a conference – “The Fine Art & Finance Conference” – for the first time, which takes place today, from 10 am to 6 pm, at Askanischer Platz 3. The Art Week is organised in some of Berlin’s most famous artistic locations: Kaufhaus Jandorf; Akademie der Künste; District Kunst-und Kulturförderung; Neue Nationalgalerie; KW Institute for Contemporary Art and many more.

The opening of the event took place yesterday at the Akademie der Künste and was followed by the exhibition, “Vertigo of reality”. The exhibitions gathered large crowds of art lovers who admire contemporary art installations, photographs, compositions and performances. Among the many presentations, visitors can encounter ones which aim to combine art with technology, performance or even video games. The pieces of art that caught the most attention were: Nam June Paik’s “Three camera participation”; Bjorn Melthus’s “Headhunter”; and Magdalena Jetelova’s “Komposition fur John Cage”. Additionally, the exposition was hosting some performances which sought to examine how media manipulates reality. “Zwillinge”, by Richard Kriesche, presents two twins sitting in separate but identical rooms, each in front of a camera, reading the same book. There is screen close to each twin with a live recording of their sibling in the next room. The artist poses the question of reproduction – “reproduction reproduces whom?” Real instances of manipulation are revealed by Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev, Berlin-based artists, with their piece, “Newstweek”. As they say, “the press is often accused of manipulating the news to reflect private interests; now citizens are being given the chance to turn the tables”. The audience is given the chance to propagandize by fixing facts as they translate across a wireless network.

Many pieces of art required personal participation of the audience and, through their involvement, they become a part of performance, also. For example, in the Christian Falsnaes’s performance, visitors are encouraged to wear wireless headphones and listen and fulfill the orders that they are told. Spontaneous performers were dancing, holding hands, encouraging physical contact, and shouting  – which unsurprisingly heightened the curiosity of the crowd in the process. The artist wanted to examine the relationship between the individual and the group, which he did by dealing firstly with the artist and then with the participants. Other artworks engaged the audience indirectly, by their texture and other components – cameras, lights, mirrors, amongst others. The meaning of the art work depends on what the audience does with it.

The Berlin Art Week will last until Sunday and present performances, art exhibitions and events. The full program can be found on the official website: http://www.berlinartweek.de/de/programm/berlin-art-week.html.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global