The crowds came out in full force for the official openings of Gallery Weekend. On Weydingerstraße, where four galleries share one block art, enthusiasts were bleeding out of the galleries and into the streets drinking beer and chatting it up. Art superstars like AA Bronson, Alexandra Bircken and Isa Genzken were passing through the crowds of eager visitors well through the day and into the night.
"I think it's a bigger turn out this year than we've ever seen before,” said Oliver Croy of Croy Nielsen.
Earlier during the day at Nature Morte, AA Bronson instigated his exhibition with a ritual in the back of the gallery. There they burned incense in a small ceremonial pyramid as the artist watched on. Alexandra Bircken, two doors down at BQ, had installed a much more aggressive (and sexual) exhibition featuring anatomically correct sculptures of the female nude. In between, however, South African born and Berlin-based artist Mandla Reuter was exhibiting a large trench shield placed on its side. Apparently the large sculpture took 10 people to lift and put in place in Croy Nielsen's smaller space.
Down in Kreuzberg, Alicja Kwade had installed work in the Johann König's satellite exhibition space St. Agnes. Although the crowd outside was large, understandably people were not congregating inside. Some complained that they expected a much larger and encompassing installation by Kwade, who had simply showcased a single light bulb swinging in the dark church.
Interestingly Kwade was not the only artist exploring the capabilities of light bulb art last night. At Zak Branicka, artist Valie Export hung several bulbs from the ceiling, all dipping into different colored liquids. While the space was much more condensed and pallid than the Brutalist architecture of St. Agnes, it seemed the people were much more pleased with the amount of activity in Export's exhibition.