The Dark Side: Galleries In Berlin

Today is the day you Berlin art lovers have been waiting for – all around the city various art fairs (one for each of you: Urban Art lovers to Contemporary Art enthusiasts). But can life simply be just one big fair? That would be nice! Though we shouldn’t forget the galleries with their doors wide-open in Berlin, housing some of the best art… We sent our Berlin Art Week reporter Colleen O’Brien to take a look at what is happening at two of the best galleries in Berlin, PSM and Mehdi Chouakri. And what did she find? Lines out the door, people pushing and shoving to get in? Unfortunately not (that would make for too good of a show)! Instead, she found a lone gallerist awaiting any visitor possible…

Art In Unexpected Places

“Do not think of the color blue for thirty seconds,” reads a flourescent lit-up artwork on the wall of Mehdi Chouakri. Well fantastic, now that’s all I can think of. Sylvie Fleury is the most internationally renowned Swiss contemporary artist for a seriously good reason. Gallery Mehdi Chouakri is presenting a hypnotic show featuring a white peacock (who knew such a thing existed?), a lonely car tire, shelves of opulent perfume bottles, a gigantic furry rug suspended from the ceiling and striking light installations. A critique of materialism, this exhibition takes luxurious objects and juxtaposes them with the mundane, highlighting the irony and worthlessness of consumer society.  Deep stuff.  If nothing else, it’s really, really nice to look at… and yet no visitors are here to enjoy this eclectic mix of art!

Car Mechanics Taking Care Of Art?!

Mission two: Now on to PSM to see if anything more exciting is going on. Arriving at the address, all I find is a mechanic fixing a car.  “Hey, I’m looking for some, er, art,” I mutter. They are not impressed.  Eventually finding a low, mysterious door, I step into the apocalypse.  Eduardo Basualdo’s first solo installation, “The End of Ending,” will surpass all your expectations and leave you standing there, looking desperately for words. Filling the entire garage space, visitors must squeeze around the immense sculpture, expecting something to be around every corner, but being confronted only with claustrophobia and being forced to experience the artwork at a close-up perspective. Indescribable. This exhibition physically and psychologically involves the viewer and must be experienced… but again, where are all of the viewers?! Pop on over and give this hardworking gallerist some company!

  • Mehdi Chouakri. Sylvie Fleury, “Do not think of the color blue for thirty seconds.” September 12th – October 6th 2012.  Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.
  • PSM  Eduardo Basualdo, “The End of Ending”.  September 12th – October 20th 2012. Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-6pm.
Report by Colleen O’Brien