Opening September 15, Art Berlin Contemporary (abc 2015) will be the third gallery-organized fair under the helm of Maike Cruse. Flash Art caught up with Cruse and asked about her new site plans, projects and expectations regarding Berlin’s gallery showcase.
The upcoming edition of abc 2015 will feature a radically changed floor plan. Does this introduction of quasi-booths mark the end of the gradual evolution of abc into a proper art fair?
We prefer not to employ the term “art fair,” as abc, much like the gallery weekend, is a private initiative of Berlin galleries and not a fair company focused on profit. The architecture on site has nothing to do with our definition. We still won’t have any booths, but singular positions shown in successive rooms. The architects, June 14 Meyer Grohbrügge & Chermayeff, want to introduce a new structure into the existing space, and expand on its capacities for the presentation of art. The overall look may be different, the basic concept certainly won’t.
Does this change the established focus of abc — putting the artist/artwork first?
First of all the focus will still be on individual artist positions, and, I repeat, there won’t be booths. We’ll stay true to our idea of artists/artworks first.
Again this year abc will undoubtedly inspire satellite projects, but does the fair itself include or reflect some of Berlin’s project- or artist-run spaces or other projects?
Yes, this year abc will present an exhibition with expansive works from private collections in Berlin. Under the helm of Berlin Art Week, we also cooperate with Project Space Festival, and with other spaces, such as Schinkel Pavilion.
Is there a personal highlight you are looking forward to?
I am looking forward to the panel discussions organized by Talking Galleries in the mornings, the collectors’ exhibition, the studio visits as part of the exclusive collectors’ program, and our new architecture. Also all of the gallery projects, featuring new work by Ryan Trecartin, for example, and the nine table tennis tables by Rirkrit Tiravanija, which will be fully available for playing. And Jorinde Voigt will present a new series of large-format works.
by Andreas Schlaegel