Currywurst and champagne. Not only is this a surprisingly compelling combination, especially in the particularly sensitive hours between midnight and sunrise. This is in fact the only culinary achievement in Berlin that has so far been able to make an impact internationally, not least on the international art scene. Even the most lyrical Biennale custodians from Italy were seen here in disbelief, but with growing enthusiasm, as sausages from a deep fryer are washed in sparkling wine twenty times the price. It is all a matter of time. Hence the most famous of these stalls also called ‘Bier’s’, they are located right on Ku’damm and have small sausages with wings as their emblem. Can you believe it?
John Armleder, the now 73-year-old Swiss conceptual artist, has always found this so interesting when he visited Berlin that he just elevated his winged curry platter into a work of art for the Weekend Gallery. As a neon statue as well as a fresco, it now floats in the newest gallery spaces of Mehdi Chaouakry, who, in all his French elegance, personally represents the champagne that goes with it, so to speak. Armleder may not be aware of how deeply he touches the psychological geography of the city. Old West Berliners say that since the shock of the Berlin blockade, that is, the Soviet attempt to starve people in 1948, they felt it was psychologically necessary to have sausages in sight at all times and everywhere – the quality was not important, the main thing was that calories were in the store. This is the crux of the existential issue, so to speak, the rest froze from the Remmidemmi years with Harald Juhnke and David Bowie. In any case, it is no wonder that the entire Berlin legend plays a much smaller role in the eastern part of the city.
The tour becomes a round trip, even the crematorium is now on the track
In the economic geography of the city, the eastern part has always played the role of a supplier of open air pleasant spaces close to the city center, in which artists and galleries like to settle, but often turn out to be very expensive. Years ago, Schwachry preferred to return to bourgeois Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf because Mitte’s historic slums are now the most expensive in the entire city. Its newest room is now in Wilhelm Halls in Reinickendorf. Weekend gallery audiences never have to travel far to the suburbs to see art. On the other hand, you also see the Wilhelminian industrial complex in the Upper North, where the artists’ studios are located today, since there is hardly anything inside the S-Bahn ring.
Thus, a tour of this weekend’s gallery is definitely a tour, and those who want art can also get a lesson in urbanism for the occasion. Even the wedding crematorium is now on the track. The Ebensperger Gallery exhibits Otto Muehl, for whom one could hardly imagine a more suitable destination.
In addition to the new rooms, the old masters are the real theme of the weekend in Berlin. Of course, there are also the young masters and maybe big names tomorrow, for example the 27-year-old Sir Serpas of Barbara Weiss. But if you like, you can also look at many of the big names from yesteryear or even earlier in the galleries of Berlin: from Horst Antis (Gallerie Friese) to John Zurier (Nordenhäcke). Konrad Fischer Galerie once again features its co-star Bruce Nauman, this time with Dittrich & Schlechtriem even having Albrecht Dürer and Francesco de Goya on the list. But the oldest surviving artist is presented by the youngest gallery in Berlin. This American Joanne Jonas, is now 85 years old.
Decades ago, when Jonas lived in Berlin-Tiergarten for a while and might have eaten a curry with champagne, she was always a bit surprised by the many aimless women standing on Kurfürstenstrasse near Potsdamer. At least that’s what gallery owner Pauline Seguin recently opened on the same Kurfürstenstraße under the pretty name “Heidi” – with views straight through the panoramic glass panels of the months (see “Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof) Zoo”), she says at least Most frustrating drug spree in the country. Today, there are only remnants of it, but even that is a cruel dose of social realism consisting of the smell of urine, underage pimps with no front teeth, and filthy, crumbling prostitutes. Where just about everything pulls you in, Pauline Seguin now has Joan Jonas’ cheerful kites soaring to the ceiling of a former furniture store to make up.
A symbol of general movement in the area here? Regarding rental prices on Potsdamer Strasse, unfortunately yes. One can already hear that many of the exhibition groups that have recently formed in Berlin will not be able to afford them soon. And then you have to go further, as Potsdamer turns into Main Street and where the luxury fashion store “Deko-Behrendt” has been for as long as anyone can remember. In the crowded labyrinth, carnival and Halloween coincided year round, even rubber masks with Kim Jong Un’s face were found there. Then the operators used the pestilence to flee to their well-deserved retirement, and now the Chertlüdde gallery at least displays the memories of the former tenants in the rooms that have been swept up: Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano present the decor pieces made from existing decor materials, and Annette Frick shows pictures from the Schönberger Schmel scene, which I also love getting dressed up in Deko-Behrendt in the ’90s.
Upper-class apartments and drug streets, is there a stark contrast imaginable? Always in Berlin
Jump into the apartment in the old building in Charlottesburger Kaiserdam, which the gallery has moved to now after all these years in Mitte: it’s definitely an upper-class apartment you can visit at the moment, a former milk bottle maker’s apartment, you know, one of those apartments endless Berlin for which you basically need a bike, and before the war it’s said to have been twice as big. The strict conceptualist of the 1970s Klaus Rink is now being honored there again. Can you think of a stark contrast to the Seguin shop on Drug Street? Always in Berlin. For example, the military garage scene of the former GDR state car complex outside in Lichtenberg, where the Haubrok Collection also displays the work of Klaus Reinke.
So you can dig into the big city to the end of this text and look at a total of 52 galleries. But this is not possible, because this urgently needs to be reported: in general, the Berlin galleries passed the epidemic well, thanks to state assistance, and also thanks to the trade fair costs saved, even new galleries opened like “Heidi” by Pauline Seguin , who was previously with Gavin Brown in New York, Much Unforgiving Place. (Brown Gallery, for example, no longer exists.) The reputation that Berlin had many artists but few collectors did not deter them. This wasn’t true for a long time either. Here is the next recommendation. Collector Manuela Alekseev, with the help of journalist Thomas Koch, has written a book called It’s Not About Money. It has just been published by Steidl and tells the story of Pan Am hostess and a meat-commodity logistics specialist who, through sheer passion and desire to learn and a mastery of timing and trade-offs, have put together a charming collection of Felixmüller Sketching for 175 German Marks Contemporary Art, which has matured in her living room over the years. Years to be worth millions: a bit like Hans im Glück’s story, only backwards until there’s a large pile of gold in the room (in this case gold painted briquettes from Alicja Kwade.) Anyone planning to collect art on their own can learn something here. . Anyone who wants to know why Odo Lindenberg once chased a Nina poodle through the green, too. Because it’s also a very interesting history book from Currywurst + Champagne West Berlin.