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The ninth edition of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art opened over the weekend. In case you’re in town, or plan on visiting in advance of Art Basel next week, we’ve rounded up a list of what to see at the biennial and at Berlin’s galleries and museums.
BERLIN BIENNALE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
June 4-September 18
The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, “The Present in Drag,” opens June 4 and is on view through September 18. Curated by DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro), the exhibition explores the paradoxes of today’s digital condition: virtual vs. real, issues of privacy, cultural capital, national branding, economic moods, and more. “The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art has always engaged in fostering new concepts and been open to experiments. To show recent artistic positions and to engage the new is what keeps the Berlin Biennale interesting,” Berlin Biennale director Gabriele Horn said. The exhibition takes place over multiple venues through the city: Akademie der Künste, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, The Feuerle Collection, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Blue-Star sightseeing boat of Reederei Riedel. Several participatory projects further engage with the public, including a three- week workshop, “DISCREET,” created by Armen Avanessian and Alexander Martos, an app for citizens who are blind or visually impaired by Antoni Abad, and open workouts on the terrace of Akademie der Künste by Nik Kosmas.
AKADEMIE DER KÜNSTE
PARISER PLATZ 4, 10117 BERLIN
ESMT EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
SCHLOSSPLATZ 1, 10178 BERLIN
THE FEUERLE COLLECTION
HALLESCHES UFER 70, 10963 BERLIN
KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
AUGUSTSTRASSE 69, 10117 BERLIN
BLUE-STAR SIGHTSEEING BOAT OF REEDEREI RIEDEL
GALERIE THOMAS SCHULTE: IDRIS KHAN & DANIEL BUREN
APRIL 30-JUNE 25
Galerie Thomas Schulte will present Idris Khan’s “Rhythms,” which includes several paintings on glass, aluminum, and paper, and a large new sculpture, Beginning, too. Superimposed text, through repeated layers of language and numbers, allow for Khan’s latest works to address big issues pertaining to art, time, and memory through the means of abstraction, appropriation, and repetition.
For Daniel Buren’s exhibition “Triptych: A Work in Situ,” viewers can enjoy the gallery’s large window transformed with Buren’s signature use of colorful stripes, drawing the attention away from “art as object,” and highlighting the neutralizing effect of patterned, abstract, anonymous, banal, or non-referential works.
MICHAEL FUCHS GALERIE: CUL DE SAC
29 APRIL–25 JUNE
Michael Fuchs Galerie is showing Tomi Ungerer’s “Cul de Sac”—an exhibition devoted to the artist’s insatiable curiosity that allows for a relatable merge of “playing ability and an independent transformation” for viewers of all ages. The works on view date back to the 1950s, and consist of colorful combinations of photo cutouts and plastic assemblages of everyday objects.
CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS: ANSELM REYLE
APRIL 29-JUNE 25
Anselm Reyle’s solo exhibition “Keramik” includes a series of ceramics in different sizes, and with intense colors, structures, and glazes, derived from the same style of his well-known Fat Lava. Through an appreciation for defectiveness, Reyle presents all vases with cracks or deformities in the body or neck, preserving the imperfections that other artists typically hide.
SAMMLUNG BOROS: BOROS COLLECTION
Christian and Karen Boros are unveiling their second exhibition of works from their private collection of contemporary art. 130 pieces by 23 artists range from the early 1990s up until today, including several new acquisitions, and are presented in a WWII bunker space in Berlin- Mitte. Site-specifics works by Klara Lidén, pictures by Thomas Ruff, and a tree by Ai Weiwei are seen, among others, are on view in the 80-room, five-story bunker.
SPRÜTH MAGERS: THEA DJORDJADZE, ALEXANDRE SINGH, & CRAIG KAUFFMAN
APRIL 30-JUNE 25
Exploring the interior, Thea Djordjadze’s “listening the pressure that surrounds you” at Sprüth Magers. The first part of the installation shows a light filtered through Plexiglas and mounted on a window, which casts a thin haze of blue, yellow, and green hues. Connected by a tunnel of stainless steel plates, the second installation space offers a light casting hues from a window, with three of the windows featuring sculptures made of raw steel plates and piano hinge, and an elaborate construction of untreated wood.
Alexandre Singh’s “The School for Objects Criticized AE” features the artist’s playfully investigative spirit through: conceptual collages seen in Assembly Instructions (2008-12); a gothic novella about the founder of Adidas, which is presented through The Marque of the Third Stripe (2007); and a three-hour play reimagining the creation of the world in The Humans (2013-14).
In “Works from 1962-1964 in dialogue with Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp,” works from the Craig Kauffman Estate were selected to create a show of paper and plastic pieces from the 1960s that examines the abstract female—a precursor to his later three-dimensional wall works. Sensual collages and drawings from 1961-63 are included, as well as a few favorites: The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (1915-23), and Nude Descending A Staircase (1937).
ORANIENBURGER STRASSE 18