Berlin Art Fair 2019

September 18, 2019

Simon Fujiwara's golden trash can


Sorry, I have to leave out the art in this review of the Berlin Art Fair. It was all made out of air. I didn’t see a thing. Did you? 

I was accompanied by my friend F and he did see things. He noticed an empty wall at Meyer. “Interesting,” he pondered, “My gallery would never do that, leave a wall empty at an art fair.” 

F normally only goes to art fairs to work. He was now on vacation and felt lost about “looking at art randomly”.

The labels at Esther Schipper were interesting. The gallery attendant could take them of and show them to us from close-by. It was the work of Simon Fujiwara, who took a trash bin and coated it in gold. It was so bad. I don’t want to talk about it.



The food was very bizarre at the Berlin Art Fair. There was a Korean taco and a fish burger truck. Some food displays were even empty and not because it was sold out. We spotted something that looked like baby food in a glass. Even the cakes were looking suspicious.  





I wasn’t invited to any gallery dinner this time. But F told me that gallery dinners are horrible. The worst are the curators, according to F. When you sit next to one, you have to nod ‘Oh, interesting!’ the whole evening while they talk about their projects. 

The only good thing at the Berlin Art Fair was happening outside. Daniel Chluba biked by with his CAPITALISM FEELS LIKE MINIMAL ART. "Finally something that cheers me up at this shitty job," said the guy who was giving out postcards for a HKW event at the entrance of the Berlin Art Fair. Check out its kick-off at The House of The Deadly Doris with a reading of Daniel Chluba's manifesto by Alice Escher. 



Sorry, I have to leave out the art in this review of the Berlin Art Fair. It was all made out of air. I didn’t see a thing. Did you?  I was accompanied by my friend F and he did see things. He noticed an empty wall at Meyer. “Interesting,” he pondered, “My gallery would never do that, leave a wall empty at an art fair.”  F normally only goes to art fairs to work. He was now on vacation and felt lost about “looking at art randomly”. The labels at Es…
Simon Fujiwara's golden trash can


Sorry, I have to leave out the art in this review of the Berlin Art Fair. It was all made out of air. I didn’t see a thing. Did you? 

I was accompanied by my friend F and he did see things. He noticed an empty wall at Meyer. “Interesting,” he pondered, “My gallery would never do that, leave a wall empty at an art fair.” 

F normally only goes to art fairs to work. He was now on vacation and felt lost about “looking at art randomly”.

The labels at Esther Schipper were interesting. The gallery attendant could take them of and show them to us from close-by. It was the work of Simon Fujiwara, who took a trash bin and coated it in gold. It was so bad. I don’t want to talk about it.



The food was very bizarre at the Berlin Art Fair. There was a Korean taco and a fish burger truck. Some food displays were even empty and not because it was sold out. We spotted something that looked like baby food in a glass. Even the cakes were looking suspicious.  





I wasn’t invited to any gallery dinner this time. But F told me that gallery dinners are horrible. The worst are the curators, according to F. When you sit next to one, you have to nod ‘Oh, interesting!’ the whole evening while they talk about their projects. 

The only good thing at the Berlin Art Fair was happening outside. Daniel Chluba biked by with his CAPITALISM FEELS LIKE MINIMAL ART. "Finally something that cheers me up at this shitty job," said the guy who was giving out postcards for a HKW event at the entrance of the Berlin Art Fair. Check out its kick-off at The House of The Deadly Doris with a reading of Daniel Chluba's manifesto by Alice Escher. 



Tip of the Week: TV Art Bar

September 9, 2019




How to start your Berlin Art Week the fun way? On Wednesday night, after you attend at 8pm sharp the take-off of Daniel Chluba's CAPITALISM FEELS LIKE MINIMAL ART at The House of the Deadly Doris, you move down the Potsdamer Strasse to Nr.151. There, the former Barbiche of Lena Braun has been transformed into the TV art bar of Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. The bar has tiles, mirrors, an Olympic flame, and Barbiche's smoke room in the back is left intact. Like a TV-series, the bar will have a recurring  program that will be turned on in October. For now, you can just go and enjoy the newest bar in town.  
How to start your Berlin Art Week the fun way? On Wednesday night, after you attend at 8pm sharp the take-off of Daniel Chluba's CAPITALISM FEELS LIKE MINIMAL ART at The House of the Deadly Doris , you move down the Potsdamer Strasse to Nr.151. There, the former Barbiche of Lena Braun has been transformed into the TV art bar of Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. The bar has tiles, mirrors, an Olympic flame, and Barbiche's smoke  room  in the ba…



How to start your Berlin Art Week the fun way? On Wednesday night, after you attend at 8pm sharp the take-off of Daniel Chluba's CAPITALISM FEELS LIKE MINIMAL ART at The House of the Deadly Doris, you move down the Potsdamer Strasse to Nr.151. There, the former Barbiche of Lena Braun has been transformed into the TV art bar of Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. The bar has tiles, mirrors, an Olympic flame, and Barbiche's smoke room in the back is left intact. Like a TV-series, the bar will have a recurring  program that will be turned on in October. For now, you can just go and enjoy the newest bar in town.  

Charlotte Dualé: The Art of Living

September 8, 2019


Artist Charlotte Dualé did an open house on Saturday. Two of her latest works are home-based: kitchen and book shelves made out of hand-made tiles with sculptural elements. Charlotte Dualé's artistic work with ceramics has a focus on those spots where the material gets stuck on irregularities and allows for failure of some sort. Her new shelves make space for life to bend with fortuitous footnotes and "trouvailles." 

Don't shelves usually express a certain immobile stability that can carry loads? But those of Charlotte Dualé rather induce a lightness of being. First thing I did when arriving back at my place, was to look around for a free spot that would fit a shelve of Charlotte Dualé - a shelve for the art of living.








Artist Charlotte Dualé did an open house on Saturday. Two of her latest works are home-based: kitchen and book shelves made out of hand-made tiles with sculptural elements. Charlotte Dualé's artistic work with  ceramics has a focus on those spots where the material gets stuck on irregularities and allows for failure of some sort.  Her new shelves make space for life to bend with fortuitous footnotes and "trouvailles."  Don't shelv…

Artist Charlotte Dualé did an open house on Saturday. Two of her latest works are home-based: kitchen and book shelves made out of hand-made tiles with sculptural elements. Charlotte Dualé's artistic work with ceramics has a focus on those spots where the material gets stuck on irregularities and allows for failure of some sort. Her new shelves make space for life to bend with fortuitous footnotes and "trouvailles." 

Don't shelves usually express a certain immobile stability that can carry loads? But those of Charlotte Dualé rather induce a lightness of being. First thing I did when arriving back at my place, was to look around for a free spot that would fit a shelve of Charlotte Dualé - a shelve for the art of living.








What I Did This Summer

September 3, 2019



This summer I was busy with school - art school. In art school things go differently than in a "normal" school:

- A student of mine is deciding on her topic for her paper. She writes me an email saying that she hopes the chosen topic doesn't stay stuck in the fingers ("in den Finger stecken bleibt").

- Another student sends me her paper and warns me that with the topic she might have "leaned too far outside the window ("sich zu weit aus dem Fenster lehnen").

- I receive a letter with a piece of torn and smudged drawing paper that tells me to send my evaluation to the student's address. There is no "Dear Prof." or "Dear..." anything. But the student does manage to say "Danke!" at the very end, still without mentioning my name. I'm wondering if I have to take it as a lack of respect or if it's just a creative neglect of the rules of letter writing. I'm also wondering if I should point it out to the student for the sake of his artistic career. I decide not to and get on my way to the post office to send the evaluation to the requested address.

- I seem to be sending out emails in the void. My students never answer and when I ask a student, he looks flabbergasted and tells me that he hasn't opened his email account for a week. I feel like I can hardly reprimand someone for living offline. I might even have to encourage it. 

- I'm advising an artist in her PhD and I'm learning that there are certain words that artists are allergic for. Artists for instance don't like "numbers" or "numbering" but they love making lists. They also don't like "schedules" and I'm still looking for a replacement word for "send me your 'schedule'."

This summer I also became the director at the House of the Deadly Doris. Of course, directors are busy. It doesn't mean that I'm now constantly bossing people around (the team is quite small) but I'm mainly working on the House's archive of the 80s. I'm an historian so I love working with archives. Since the archive is about the 80s, I end up talking a lot with people who lived during that time. It made me realise why I usually prefer to work on earlier decades like the 1920s. I like those times of which I no longer can talk with the people who lived in it. I tell so to Wolfgang Müller, founder of The House, who says that this fits perfectly with the mind-set of The Deadly Doris.

Since I was busy (see above), I didn't manage to see a lot of art this summer. But I did go by Kunstwerke. It had been ages since I visited KW. I think it has lost its momentum ("When did it have momentum?" you might ask). Even the cafe was closed so I was sitting in the courtyard with my friends Fabio and Julia on the uncomfortable green garden furniture that was once created for a Biennial. Julia told me that she used to sell the same furniture when she worked in a design store in the Netherlands. "It gets rusty very quickly," she revealed.

Fabio always gets the worst out of me while visiting exhibitions. This time, he didn't keep himself back either. The speckled floor was more interesting, he said, than the painting. It was true. But I liked the archive exhibition of the Canadian Image Bank. I'm normally not a fan of too much text in an exhibition (like the HKW I'm-doing-a-PhD-style of Anselm Franke), but I was craving for more textual guidance in this one.

I've also visited some exhibitions at art schools. I was at Weissensee Kunsthochschule and when we entered there was this excruciating sound of something metal scratching over a floor. "It sounds like feminism," my friend said.

Asta Gröting invited me over to the final exhibitions at HBK Braunschweig. Her students Gregor Kieseritzky and Johannes Moeller created beautiful conceptual pieces that also worked well together. It's rare that students communicate on an exhibition in art school and it becomes even rarer in the later artist career.

On one of the walls of HBK Braunschweig was written: "Denken schadet dem Fernsehabend." (Thinking damages the TV evening.)



Despite being busy, I did have a vacation this summer. I visited Belgium where my mother showed me her community garden. She's proud to have grown the biggest sun flower. She's considering of asking the board if they award prizes for the biggest sunflower of the year. I ask her how she did it. "Elke dag koesteren," she says. (By cherishing it every day.)



During the weekend I was staying with A at the Hotel Métropole. It's the oldest hotel in Brussels and since it was too hot to walk around, we spent our days sitting on its terrace where cold water was vaporised into the air every five minutes and crunchy pommes frites were served in the traditional paper cone. Hotel Métropole had some famous guests visiting like Isabelle Huppert. "Quel plaisir de revenir ici... C'était trop court." the French actress wrote. Also Albert Einstein visited but he didn't leave a note.

In Brussels I visited the Breugel-exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Fall of Icarus is my favourite painting of Breugel and A. introduced me to a poem of W.H. Auden, titled Musée des Beaux Arts, that talks about the Old Master's understanding of suffering: 
"how everything turns away
quite leisurely from the disaster

I've also been reminiscing about my vacation in Marseille in June. When I talk to French people in Berlin about my Marseille love, they react sceptically. Pierre tells me that in the Marseille art world everyone is sleeping with everyone. "Sounds like fun!" I say. "First round, yes," Pierre admits, "The second round is not so funny." 

Still, I've been listening to French radio every morning. And while writing this, I got sidetracked by Facebook where Humans of New York (I know...  a bit like watching TED-talks) has posted a story of  a young man reflecting about the meaning of life. Brandon is so nice to let us know that "this should be read in a French accent to get the full experience." People comment: "This makes so much more sense avec un accent français" and "That’s explains it all. I was worried for a second." Good old French... 


This summer I was busy with school - art school. In art school things go differently than in a "normal" school: - A student of mine is deciding on her topic for her paper. She writes me an email saying that she hopes the chosen topic doesn't stay stuck in the fingers ("in den Finger stecken bleibt"). - Another student sends me her paper and warns me that with the topic she might have "leaned too far outside the window …


This summer I was busy with school - art school. In art school things go differently than in a "normal" school:

- A student of mine is deciding on her topic for her paper. She writes me an email saying that she hopes the chosen topic doesn't stay stuck in the fingers ("in den Finger stecken bleibt").

- Another student sends me her paper and warns me that with the topic she might have "leaned too far outside the window ("sich zu weit aus dem Fenster lehnen").

- I receive a letter with a piece of torn and smudged drawing paper that tells me to send my evaluation to the student's address. There is no "Dear Prof." or "Dear..." anything. But the student does manage to say "Danke!" at the very end, still without mentioning my name. I'm wondering if I have to take it as a lack of respect or if it's just a creative neglect of the rules of letter writing. I'm also wondering if I should point it out to the student for the sake of his artistic career. I decide not to and get on my way to the post office to send the evaluation to the requested address.

- I seem to be sending out emails in the void. My students never answer and when I ask a student, he looks flabbergasted and tells me that he hasn't opened his email account for a week. I feel like I can hardly reprimand someone for living offline. I might even have to encourage it. 

- I'm advising an artist in her PhD and I'm learning that there are certain words that artists are allergic for. Artists for instance don't like "numbers" or "numbering" but they love making lists. They also don't like "schedules" and I'm still looking for a replacement word for "send me your 'schedule'."

This summer I also became the director at the House of the Deadly Doris. Of course, directors are busy. It doesn't mean that I'm now constantly bossing people around (the team is quite small) but I'm mainly working on the House's archive of the 80s. I'm an historian so I love working with archives. Since the archive is about the 80s, I end up talking a lot with people who lived during that time. It made me realise why I usually prefer to work on earlier decades like the 1920s. I like those times of which I no longer can talk with the people who lived in it. I tell so to Wolfgang Müller, founder of The House, who says that this fits perfectly with the mind-set of The Deadly Doris.

Since I was busy (see above), I didn't manage to see a lot of art this summer. But I did go by Kunstwerke. It had been ages since I visited KW. I think it has lost its momentum ("When did it have momentum?" you might ask). Even the cafe was closed so I was sitting in the courtyard with my friends Fabio and Julia on the uncomfortable green garden furniture that was once created for a Biennial. Julia told me that she used to sell the same furniture when she worked in a design store in the Netherlands. "It gets rusty very quickly," she revealed.

Fabio always gets the worst out of me while visiting exhibitions. This time, he didn't keep himself back either. The speckled floor was more interesting, he said, than the painting. It was true. But I liked the archive exhibition of the Canadian Image Bank. I'm normally not a fan of too much text in an exhibition (like the HKW I'm-doing-a-PhD-style of Anselm Franke), but I was craving for more textual guidance in this one.

I've also visited some exhibitions at art schools. I was at Weissensee Kunsthochschule and when we entered there was this excruciating sound of something metal scratching over a floor. "It sounds like feminism," my friend said.

Asta Gröting invited me over to the final exhibitions at HBK Braunschweig. Her students Gregor Kieseritzky and Johannes Moeller created beautiful conceptual pieces that also worked well together. It's rare that students communicate on an exhibition in art school and it becomes even rarer in the later artist career.

On one of the walls of HBK Braunschweig was written: "Denken schadet dem Fernsehabend." (Thinking damages the TV evening.)



Despite being busy, I did have a vacation this summer. I visited Belgium where my mother showed me her community garden. She's proud to have grown the biggest sun flower. She's considering of asking the board if they award prizes for the biggest sunflower of the year. I ask her how she did it. "Elke dag koesteren," she says. (By cherishing it every day.)



During the weekend I was staying with A at the Hotel Métropole. It's the oldest hotel in Brussels and since it was too hot to walk around, we spent our days sitting on its terrace where cold water was vaporised into the air every five minutes and crunchy pommes frites were served in the traditional paper cone. Hotel Métropole had some famous guests visiting like Isabelle Huppert. "Quel plaisir de revenir ici... C'était trop court." the French actress wrote. Also Albert Einstein visited but he didn't leave a note.

In Brussels I visited the Breugel-exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Fall of Icarus is my favourite painting of Breugel and A. introduced me to a poem of W.H. Auden, titled Musée des Beaux Arts, that talks about the Old Master's understanding of suffering: 
"how everything turns away
quite leisurely from the disaster

I've also been reminiscing about my vacation in Marseille in June. When I talk to French people in Berlin about my Marseille love, they react sceptically. Pierre tells me that in the Marseille art world everyone is sleeping with everyone. "Sounds like fun!" I say. "First round, yes," Pierre admits, "The second round is not so funny." 

Still, I've been listening to French radio every morning. And while writing this, I got sidetracked by Facebook where Humans of New York (I know...  a bit like watching TED-talks) has posted a story of  a young man reflecting about the meaning of life. Brandon is so nice to let us know that "this should be read in a French accent to get the full experience." People comment: "This makes so much more sense avec un accent français" and "That’s explains it all. I was worried for a second." Good old French...