Gallery Weekend Berlin
From April 27 to 30, Berlin hosted the 13th in a row Gallery Weekend. Visitors claim that the Berlin art stage has improved significantly over the past two years. However, it didn’t help galleries sell everything on an opening day: the city was not crowded with collectors and the project was slightly affected by the density of events in the spring art calendar.
The economics in Berlin is at its peak and gallerists can’t help feeling it. They prefer to work with young artists, though, given to their not-so-high prices. Cheaper works are usually easier to sell, as some clients can purchase such items quite spontaneously.
Several galleries, Mehdi Chouakri and Gerhardsen Gerner, for example, moved to new, more central locations this year for the sake of advantageous logistics. They are pretty close at hand now, which didn’t use to be a convenience in Berlin before.
Even though many galleries presented their projects, only 47 got into the art weekend programme list. The gallerists explained this fact by not accepting an organisation fee of almost $ 10,000, which included opening tickets, the official programme, BMW transfer to each “gallery stop” and several invitations to the Saturday dinner with all the prominent representatives of the art environment.
The economic development of Berlin should eliminate such excuses, as it’s high time to think strategically and unite the most influential galleries to avoid so characteristic to the artistic community split. It should also help to develop programmes that would ensure the spread of the works of art. Some galleries already do this, but not publicly.
As for the Gallery Weekend project, it may be necessary to search for new ways to attract galleries: by reducing fees for studios that are “younger” than five years old, for instance. Another variant is to offer galleries join the project to present their artists, as the picture of Berlin’s art market will not be complete without the “new blood” both for collectors and ordinary visitors.