September 19, 2016

ABC Art fair: Good Crazy Won

Roman Signer, Hose, 2015, Photo: Häusler Contemporary

I wasn’t feeling it, the Berlin Art Week. The gallery visits, I thought, would be nicer to do on some quiet fall days. I also didn’t make it to the opening of ABC art fair on Thursday night. A friend did and he told me he saw “ein paar gute Sachen, ein paar langweilige Sachen”. That probably nailed it down just fine, but I went to see for myself anyway. What I dislike about art fairs are booths fitting the art works according to colors. But the ABC art fair doesn’t do booths, it does walls. Don’t ask: the difference between both escapes me too. This year the ABC art fair was also very small, which made me circle it twice and I don’t know about that either.

Kirsten Justusen, Aviskarl Gallery

Yet I saw a few art works that are good crazy, if you know what I mean. Sometimes one artist can set the tone of a whole space, and this time it was definitely Roman Signer. He put up a big sand hour in a closet, titled Hose (interpretable in both English and German). He himself didn’t show up to do the performance at the opening night, so the Häusler Contemporary gallery director told me. It was she who poured the bucket of sand. At the Aviskarl Gallery booth I also liked the photos of Kristen Justusen vacuuming the sand (or is the water) at the beach. I didn’t try to think things through here, sometimes looks say it all. 

Laure Prouvost, Carlier Gebauer

Best gallery mise-en-scene went to Carlier Gebauer, displaying two video pieces by Laure Prouvost behind a tapestry-like decor. One video shows Prouvost moisturizing an art book. I just had gone to the hairdresser for an intensive hydration treatment with Moroccan Oil, so I could totally relate. If it makes me happy, it probably makes art history happy too. At the Capitain Petzel booth I liked the green sculptures by Monika Sosnowska and I could appreciate them even more after the salesperson showed me the crazy staircase the artist had made at their gallery. My friend kept saying “Capitain Pretzel” to the salesperson, who didn’t blink an eye and told me later they’re totally used to this at the gallery. Petzel or Pretzel, the art might look crazy but don’t make the customer look the same. 

Monika Sosnowska, Capitain Petzel

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