The third edition of the art berlin fair opened to the public yesterday, September 12, with 110 galleries presenting their artists’ work in two vast hangars of the historic Tempelhof Airport. It is the second edition of the fair at the wartime airport built by the Nazis, a location it now shares—albeit in different hangars—with the smaller, more indie art fair, Positions Berlin. The pairing wasn’t intentional but rather the result of a scheduling clash last year during Berlin Art Week, and the two fairs have been little more than begrudging neighbors since.
Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, is also, famously, an established artist who has shown his work around the world. His Berlin- and Madrid-based gallery, carlier | gebauer is showing a ceramic sculpture resembling slabs of soft matter stacked on top of each other, as well as wallpaper with a pattern of small, brightly colored drawings on which tiny, amorphous ceramic pieces are hung. Sculpting is, according to a gallery representative, something that Rama does on the weekends. But the artist’s doodles are done “on the job,” when he is in politician mode. “I couldn’t find a way to survive these long meetings,” Rama told the Guardian in 2016. “Drawing helped me to listen. Only much later did I read studies that showed doodling improves concentration, or lowers stress. It’s a process that has become completely part of me. And it’s very fruitful.”