Friday, May 6, 2011

Based in Berlin

Based in Berlin
originally published in SOMA's travel issue

With hundreds of exhibition spaces and over 6,000 professional artists, Berlin has grown into one of the most attractive destinations for artists and art lovers in the world. It is no surprise, then, that the city is funding a large-scale temporary exhibition to demonstrate the “treasures the city has to offer.” What’s debatable is whether this show is actually a move towards the kunsthalle locals have been demanding or merely an attempt to sweeten Berlin’s public image at the expense of its cultural producers. At this point, it remains to be seen. But the debate is fierce.

Opening on June 8th, based in Berlin will feature works by 80 artists living and working in the German capital, and is organized by a team of five up-and-coming curators overseen by curatorial hotshots Klaus Biesenbach (MoMA), Christine Macel (Centre Pompidou) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery). Six weeks of talks, performances and workshops will accompany the controversial exhibition, which is set to take place in an empty studio building on the brink of demolition. Site specific architecture will be created for based in Berlin by the renowned local firm Raumlabor, including a modular structure consisting of containers, trucks, prefab houses and other elements.

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