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5 tips for Berlin Art Week

Kicking off Sep 11 through Sep 15, here’s our top five picks from the annual showcase of international contemporary art worth queuing for.

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Photo by Clara Wenzel. Art fair Positions Berlin opens Sep 12, 16:00, in the former Tempelhof Airport.

Two art fairs, 18 museums and exhibition houses, 22 project spaces, 15 private collections and almost every gallery in town opening new shows: Berlin’s Art Week may overwhelm. Here are our top picks:

The art fairs: Positions Berlin and Art Berlin (opens Sep 12, 16:00)

The sixth edition of Positions Berlin will for the second time take place in the former Tempelhof Airport. It’s an ideal fair for collectors new to the game with nearly 70, mainly German, galleries showing emerging artists alongside some more established names for €12. Also returning to Tempelhof is Art Berlin, who this year has a new tagline – “fair for modern and contemporary art” – suggesting some bigger prices for older names. The 110 galleries are again mainly German, but it’s notable that Berlin’s big hitters will be pitching their tents here. Among them are K.nig, Sprüth Magers, Esther Schipper, Capitain Petzel and Tanja Wagner, so you may get your money’s worth for the eyewatering €22 for entry.   

Walking Through Walls at Gropius Bau (opens Sep 11, 19:00)

It is fitting that the Gropius Bau, whose front steps were for so long blocked off by the Berlin Wall, is in the 30th anniversary of its fall mounting an exhibition (through Jan 19) reflecting on the emotional, psychological and physical impact of living with such concrete and symbolical divisions. Including work by 28 artists, among them Marina Abramović, Willie Doherty, Mona Hatoum, Gustav Metzger and Anri Sala, this show promises to be a blockbuster. 

Power Night at E-WERK Luckenwalde (Sep 14, 16:00)

On September 14 there’s also the opening night for E-WERK Luckenwalde. This free evening of performance art curated by British festival Block Universe will include movement-based performances, installations, artist band gigs and spoken word from Nina Beier, Charismatic Megafauna, Marikiscrycrycry, Cecilia Bengolea, Rowdy SS, Fernanda Mu.oz-Newsome and Nora Turato. 

Statista on Alexanderplatz (opens Sep 11, 19:00)

In the GDR’s former Bureau of Statistics since 2015, this artistic experiment in community ownership and management will for the first time be open to visitors. On view is an exhibition representing everything from neighbourhood initiatives to a cryptocurrency linked to the wellbeing of bees. Accompanied by a conference in English and German, this is a chance to see artistic prototypes for a civil society built on collective principles. Through Sep 16.

Berlin Art Week | Various venues, Sep 11-15