This week we got Berlin based Vancouver transplants artist Jessie Holmes and photographer Kurtis Wilson to collaborate on covering ‘abc- art berlin contemporary’ for 01. Kurtis visually captured the moments while Jessie talked about her experience at the event and the artists that stood out to her.
“Summer’s almost gone
Summer’s almost gone
Yeah, it’s almost gone
Where will we be
When the summer’s gone?”
Jim Morrison laid it out in the only fashion he was capable of; as straight as it goes, when he wrote this song. No frills, no gimmicks here. Although not the most popular man – in a way, similar to the art fair – he raises the question we often find ourselves asking at the end of this special season, ‘What will happen now?’ Summer comes to an end; our lackadaisical, debaucherous August escapades finally tapered from our blood streams and we start to reassume a humanly shape again. Obviously, we hope that the art fair will not be the only thing in which we find ourselves looking forward to après our dear summer. However, since 2008, at this time of year, many of us in Berlin are caffeinated by, ‘abc art berlin contemporary’ , as an aperitif for the rest of the feast to come in the on-going year.
Having opened on the 18th of September until the 21st , this year’s was said to be the most successful abc to date, approximating 28,000 people, visiting over a four day time span. abc brings together a number of individual positions in contemporary art, presented by national and international galleries. Although by definition it is in fact, just another “art fair”, there is a certain celebratory, metabolic energy which surrounds abc. Held in a beautifully massive old train station this expansive messe truly compliments and successfully hosts an introduction to contemporary artists both up and coming as well as the old relics whom we’ve all grown to love…or …not care for so much. Either way, it is indeed a celebration of innovation, creativity, production (money and power) . And regardless of all the politics involved, there were a lot of artists which stood out with great impact this year.
Donna Huanca: Side view, performance #4 / Brand New Gallery, Milan.
To start with, Donna Huanca, represented by Brand New Gallery in Milan. Huanca works with discarded clothing, objects and forms installed in a sculptural and performative format. She often uses live models to stand in as a certain statuesque representative to her conceptual geography. A lot of her work is based around traveling in search for new materials and experiences. She is quickly up-and-coming on an international level and definitely an artist to look out for.
JPW3, (J. Patrick Walsh), represented by Night Gallery, is another artist working with found, fabricated and raw elements in his art. Working in two and three dimensions Walsh casts sculptures out of second hand finds, engaging in his own archeological preservation. More recently Walsh has began performing as a live rendition to his material fascinations as interaction with object.
Mike Bouchet, represented by Peres Projects, as well as Marlborough Gallery Chelsea, started his week with a solo exhibition at Peres Projects, titled “Power Lunch“. This was followed by a looming sculptural work titled ” Peres Stack” made up of stainless steel, lacquered sheet metal, veneer covered particle board, 11 books, 2 laptop computers and two cell phones.
Camille Henrot represented by Johann Koenig Gallery, “Desktop Series” refers to the current use of the computer desktop as a universal space of creation while reflecting on the loss of materiality through small bronze sculptures.
Miklos Onucsan / Plan B, Berlin
…and what better way to wrap up a sunday with no one other then Douglas Gordon and Hans Ulrich Obrist, for a ‘wee’ chat titled, “Talk Over Gin” indeed, the perfect digestif.
For those who are not able to attend such a circus, it’s a thoughtful initiative to take a look online and see who is being exhibited and decide for yourself who is striking an interest. This year, many works had a strong archeological presence, which I felt more connected to than previous years. Are we once again yearning for the physical object and the act of navigation? and/or is this an optimistic remark that indeed we, as humans, have a desire to be physical; to work with material, to physically make things and to get in there and get a bit dirty…perhaps there is room after all for both the internet and a certain Renaissance revival.