Procrastinating on Gallery Weekend

April 30, 2018


I wasn't feeling it - this Gallery Weekend. On Wednesday night I was at the preview of Ngora Ngora II. I did see some good art - my favourites were Uros Djurovic, Polly Morgan, and Hannah Hallermann. But it was a chilly evening and after eating two cold salads, a potato and a chickpea salad, I just wanted to go home. Thursday night I was teaching and on Friday night I preferred my kung fu class. 

On Saturday I was still procrastinating on Gallery Weekend. Instead I went to a cyber feminism conference at Südblock, where my friend, the curator Isabel de Sena was giving a talk about nature / culture. I have no knowledge whatsoever about the Anthropocene but at one point I thought my friend was saying something about a woman writer having oral sex with a dog. I probably misunderstood - maybe it was something else oral, like talking with a dog - that's also oral. 

Afterwards, I finally made it to the Potsdamer Str. I usually start with Exile Gallery since it's close to the subway. Christian Siekmeier was there - as always giving a relaxed impression and available for a talk. He had started a controversy about Gallery Weekend - saying that the 7.500 Euros fee for participation could be better spend - but I only heard about this later. 

At Exile I bought the new art newspaper initiated by Exile artist Paul Sochacki and Exile director María Inés Plaza Lazo. It's titled Arts of the Working Class, which sounds radical and revolutionary as everyone wants to sound nowadays (it sells well). The idea is that the magazine, similar to Motz and Straßenfeger, can be sold by homeless people. Unfortunately, they didn't ask Urszula Usakowska-Wolff to write, as she did for the former Straßenfeger. Instead they asked Tobias Zielony and Kolja Reichert... Talking money, it would have been cool if the magazine had made public the fees it paid to its writers. It seems rather basic for such a magazine that art can be written about by working-class people (as in people who need to work for a living) and not the leisure elite (FYI: Sleek Online pays 50 Euro for a review, Contemporary And pays 170 Euro for a 6000 characters interview). 

After Exile, the second stop is always Tanja Wagner. (I did see Tanja Leighton but I have no memory of it.) The Tanja Wagner Gallery is dynamic, so a friend of mine told me, and I agree. It's an achievement to not get static and stale in the art market. Tanja Wagner was showing the work of a new artist Laura Nakadate. "Too emotional!" a visitor had yelled to the gallerist the day before. In our Alicia Kwade and Jorinde Voigt times, emotion is not en vogue in the arts. In the photographs, however, Nakadate had established an awkward distance to the emotional and the personal. I liked that awkwardness.




In what followed, we can go fast. Esther Schipper showed AA Bronson, and I, ugh, just don't, ugh, like it. Blain Southern was too awful to write about, but my friend A. noticed that the postcards for the show of Frank Thiel are made of the most thick paper, which must have been done so to establish the impression of quality because it lacked everywhere else. At Barbara Wien, Mariana Castilla Deball was showing some art to sell - empty, devoid, decorative. In between, though, I came upon Becky Beasley's show at PLAN B. It was most beautiful with strange furniture pieces and photographs. I wondered about them.




I never made it beyond Potsdamer Straße. But on Instagram I saw that I wouldn't like Claudia Comte with her wooden columns in König Galerie. And that at Sprüth Magers Kara Walker does what she always does. KOW seemed to have an interesting video. Peres Projects' exhibition of Rebecca Ackroyd looks crazy. That's so Javier Peres - he knows how to bring some fun in the seriousness.   

On Sunday evening, I listened at home to the live stream talk of Judith Butler at HAU. She said she liked courage but not fearlessness. Fear and courage can go together, she said. But fearlessness brings about an uninhibited destructiveness, an annihilating rage against the other. It made me think of the Just Do It! motto that is so popular, also in the arts. Maybe the art I like most, is the one that brings in some doubt. 




I wasn't feeling it - this Gallery Weekend. On Wednesday night I was at the preview of Ngora Ngora II. I did see some good art - my favourites were Uros Djurovic, Polly Morgan, and Hannah Hallermann. But it was a chilly evening and after eating two cold salads, a potato and a chickpea salad, I just wanted to go home. Thursday night I was teaching and on Friday night I preferred my kung fu class.  On Saturday I was still procrastinating on Gal…

I wasn't feeling it - this Gallery Weekend. On Wednesday night I was at the preview of Ngora Ngora II. I did see some good art - my favourites were Uros Djurovic, Polly Morgan, and Hannah Hallermann. But it was a chilly evening and after eating two cold salads, a potato and a chickpea salad, I just wanted to go home. Thursday night I was teaching and on Friday night I preferred my kung fu class. 

On Saturday I was still procrastinating on Gallery Weekend. Instead I went to a cyber feminism conference at Südblock, where my friend, the curator Isabel de Sena was giving a talk about nature / culture. I have no knowledge whatsoever about the Anthropocene but at one point I thought my friend was saying something about a woman writer having oral sex with a dog. I probably misunderstood - maybe it was something else oral, like talking with a dog - that's also oral. 

Afterwards, I finally made it to the Potsdamer Str. I usually start with Exile Gallery since it's close to the subway. Christian Siekmeier was there - as always giving a relaxed impression and available for a talk. He had started a controversy about Gallery Weekend - saying that the 7.500 Euros fee for participation could be better spend - but I only heard about this later. 

At Exile I bought the new art newspaper initiated by Exile artist Paul Sochacki and Exile director María Inés Plaza Lazo. It's titled Arts of the Working Class, which sounds radical and revolutionary as everyone wants to sound nowadays (it sells well). The idea is that the magazine, similar to Motz and Straßenfeger, can be sold by homeless people. Unfortunately, they didn't ask Urszula Usakowska-Wolff to write, as she did for the former Straßenfeger. Instead they asked Tobias Zielony and Kolja Reichert... Talking money, it would have been cool if the magazine had made public the fees it paid to its writers. It seems rather basic for such a magazine that art can be written about by working-class people (as in people who need to work for a living) and not the leisure elite (FYI: Sleek Online pays 50 Euro for a review, Contemporary And pays 170 Euro for a 6000 characters interview). 

After Exile, the second stop is always Tanja Wagner. (I did see Tanja Leighton but I have no memory of it.) The Tanja Wagner Gallery is dynamic, so a friend of mine told me, and I agree. It's an achievement to not get static and stale in the art market. Tanja Wagner was showing the work of a new artist Laura Nakadate. "Too emotional!" a visitor had yelled to the gallerist the day before. In our Alicia Kwade and Jorinde Voigt times, emotion is not en vogue in the arts. In the photographs, however, Nakadate had established an awkward distance to the emotional and the personal. I liked that awkwardness.




In what followed, we can go fast. Esther Schipper showed AA Bronson, and I, ugh, just don't, ugh, like it. Blain Southern was too awful to write about, but my friend A. noticed that the postcards for the show of Frank Thiel are made of the most thick paper, which must have been done so to establish the impression of quality because it lacked everywhere else. At Barbara Wien, Mariana Castilla Deball was showing some art to sell - empty, devoid, decorative. In between, though, I came upon Becky Beasley's show at PLAN B. It was most beautiful with strange furniture pieces and photographs. I wondered about them.




I never made it beyond Potsdamer Straße. But on Instagram I saw that I wouldn't like Claudia Comte with her wooden columns in König Galerie. And that at Sprüth Magers Kara Walker does what she always does. KOW seemed to have an interesting video. Peres Projects' exhibition of Rebecca Ackroyd looks crazy. That's so Javier Peres - he knows how to bring some fun in the seriousness.   

On Sunday evening, I listened at home to the live stream talk of Judith Butler at HAU. She said she liked courage but not fearlessness. Fear and courage can go together, she said. But fearlessness brings about an uninhibited destructiveness, an annihilating rage against the other. It made me think of the Just Do It! motto that is so popular, also in the arts. Maybe the art I like most, is the one that brings in some doubt. 




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