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Berlin Art Week : A response to increasing competition among the world's art centres
Paul McCarthy, The Box, 1999. Mischtechnik, Holz, 594 x 1666 x 404 cm. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof. © Paul McCarthy, Foto: Wolfgang Siesing.

BERLIN.- Berlin Art Week will be the new fall Art Highlight in 2012. Planned for the second week in September, from 11–16 September 2012, the event will provide a week that for many years was shaped by Art Forum with a new face, featuring privately organized fairs such as abc – art berlin contemporary, Preview Berlin Art Fair, Berlin's major institutions of contemporary art (Nationalgalerie, Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlinische Galerie, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein [n.b.k.], Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst [NGBK] e.V., c/o Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt,and Akademie der Künste), and shows at hundreds of galleries, all with the support of the Senate Chancellery for Economics and the Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs.

Berlin Art Week seeks to underscore the importance of the city as a centre for contemporary art with a platform that presents Berlin’s artists, galleries, and institutions in a unique way. Placing a focus on the city as a place that attracts visitors from all over Germany and around the world, this combined series of events can put a spotlight on the city as a place for making art, featuring group and solo shows and spectacular exhibitions.

“Berlin Art Week is our response to increasing competition among the world’s art centres. The event will insure that Berlin retains a fixed place of importance in the calendar of art lovers from Germany and around the world,” says Sybille von Obernitz, Senator for Economics, Technology, and Research. The event relies on the strength of an open, decentralized concept that includes many participants, a format that is well suited to Berlin and has become successfully established for other events such as Berlin Music Week, Berlin Fashion Week, and DMY. Additional participants will be invited to join in Berlin Art Week in the years to come. “A Berlin Art Week can give a new push to the Berlin’s art market and strengthen the city as a place for doing business generally,” the senator continues. “We need to use the optimism that results from the new format to strengthen the international appeal of the city as a centre of the art market.”

New art fairs around the world and new alliances among competing art fairs have made it urgently necessary to rethink the way art is presented in the city. “We have agreed to focus on a single, concerted event for Berlin as an art city to make a strong statement,” says Permanent Secretary for Cultural Affairs André Schmitz. “September’s Berlin Art Week can accentuate that we have all united our efforts in the interest of art to promote the attractiveness of Berlin as a centre for art and doing business. Berlin Art Week will bring all the major September art events under one roof: the two fairs abc and Preview and the city’s art institutions can thus offer high quality events that are attractive both for Berlin residents and the international audience alike.”

From 11–16 September 2012, hundreds of galleries will present new artistic positions in the framework of Berlin Art Week. Major events such as the opening reception, the short list party, and the closing party will offer the opportunity for collectors, gallerists, artists, media representatives, and an international public to meet.

For Berlin Art Week, abc has invited New York's Artists Space to organize two "interventions" and a lecture series. Now being held for the eighth year, Preview Berlin will be expanding its dynamic profile: alongside international newcomers, established galleries have been invited to present their programmes at Hangar2 in Berlin's former airport Tempelhof; the venue includes both generously dimensioned white cube fair booths and open spaces for expansive installations and performance.

In collaboration with Berlinische Galerie, Alte Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme / DAAD, NGBK will be showing the exhibition Alfredo Jaar: The Way It Is, An Aesthetic of Resistance. The programme at Berlinische Galerie will also include the group exhibition Manifesto Collage with eight prominent artists (Ceal Floyer, Ellen Gallagher, Jörg Herold, Thomas Hirschhorn, Tal R, Tobias Rehberger, Haris Epaminonda, Martha Rosler) in dialogue with collages by Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters. This will be complemented by a talk with the initiators of the global platform Momentum Berlin, Cassandra Bird, and Rachel Rits-Volloch. Haus der Kulturen der Welt will be showing the exhibition Between Walls and Windows. Architectur und Ideologie. n.b.k. will present the first institutional exhibition of Berlin architect and urban theorist Arno
Brandlhuber as well as the Berlin-based French artist Agathe Fleury. During Berlin Art Week, an urban policy panel discussion is planned with artists and urban theorists from around the world. C/O Berlin will be showing the exhibition of the Berlin-based photographer Jörg Sasse Fabrics, patterns, architectural detail. Akademie der Künste has invited several artists for lecture series and artist talks, and will present the exhibition The alchemist. Heinz Hajek-Halke. Late Photo-Graphics.

With enormous creativity and verve, the initiative partners are now in the process of planning an exciting week for the contemporary art world, an event that soon establish itself as a fixture on Berlin’s art calendar.

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