A Knockout: ABC Art Fair

Filling up each corner of Station-Berlin, this year’s Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC) Art Fair is a must-see! A more open setting (there are no booths/stalls), it has a fluid art landscape that invites viewers to delve right in. We sent our Berlin Art Week reporter Elizabeth Johnson to ABC to explore the art terrain, and she found quite a feast for the eyes and mind. Showcasing a selected 27 artists and organizations from around the world, the displays are bold and flamboyant whilst offering a thought provoking exploration of identity, culture and communication. She reports on three must-see highlights.

One of the main highlights to see is the artwork of Los Angeles based artist, Thaddeus Strode (neugerriemschneider, Berlin), brings together influences of California surf, skate culture, Zen philosophy, rock music, literature and comics in artworks that are messy, non-hierarchical and fun. He aims to underline the limits of interpretation through words combining writing and painting, exploring visually the sentiments of German philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein who observed that “clearly man has the desire to run against language.” And don’t miss the walrus!

Thadeus StrodePop culture? Thaddeus Strode artwork at ABC. I am the Walrus. 

Next up is: Christoph Keller’s (Esther Schipper, Berlin) creation critically inquires after the relationship between ethnologists and Shamans in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Keller questions the assumed absolute difference between the ethnologists who sought to document an oriental ‘other’ in their observations of the Shamans, urging that the two were part of the same journey and have interlinked experiences.

Punk Rock Art!

The third highlight centers on the playful paintings from Rinus Van de Velde (Galerie Zink, Berlin) depict a policeman’s office turned into his band rehearsal space. The chaotic scene with wine bottles, cigarettes and guitars offers a juxtaposing image to the one of a uniformed policeman working seriously at his desk.

Rinus Van de Velde

Rinus Van de Velde. Rock’n’roll and beer! Lucky no Sternburg here. 

Also don’t forget to check out the Miss Read exhibition. It brings together critical authors and artists who have collaborated to go beyond the linearity of the book. They display unique research through visual stories.

Stay tuned to berlin-artparasites.com for more photos and hints from ABC!

 Station-Berlin Art Berlin Contemporary, September 13th-16th