It’s eerie: the children’s orthoses by Mexican artist Berenice Olmedo, which are normally used for learning to walk, straighten up as if by magic. The visibly shimmering body shells with straps and splints toddle a few paces before collapsing as though fatigued on long threads on the concrete floor. The bunker in which the weird play takes place adds to the dread, as the meter-thick walls seem to absorb all light and natural life.
The Boros Collection’s fourth exhibition in the high bunker on Reinhardtstraße is likewise a perfectly honed spectacle: pieces that startle, hurt, or make you joyful when you find yourself standing in front of a Wilhelm Sasnal painting you haven’t seen in a long time. This bunker display, like its predecessors, reaches the heart since it is the result of the devotion of a pair of collectors who created their own themes with an amazing hanging.
In the 80 rooms, 20 artists are on display.
This time, the focus is on the body, what we expect from it, and the evidence Corona has left behind. Olmedo’s orthotic marionette theater fits in nicely with the children’s already violent optimizing of body and soul. At the same time, her acolytes claim that the Ukraine conflict will push the subject of injuries even farther into the spotlight. Bunny Rogers’ frigid, dead sad self-portraits, in which she transforms into an artificial figure, appear to be a foreshadowing of the mental ramifications of present events.
Christian Boros, who leads up and down the bunker’s stairwells, is unconcerned. He is well familiar with the works in his collection. In the 80 rooms, a selection of 20 artists can be seen. One of his favorite artists is Bunny Rogers from the United States. He also makes a beeline for Anne Imhof’s work, pointing with delight at a massive scratch that the artist has put in two high-gloss lacquered panels that are hung next to each other.
Karen and Christian Boros are a collector couple.
Max von Gumpenberg (photo)
Ouch! It must send shivers down the spine of every car enthusiast, like a welt on a gleaming driver’s door. The collector then becomes sophisticated again, pointing out that the diptych’s merging black and red is evocative of Rothko’s abstract paintings.
The twisted women’s bodies stretch their arms back so far that they can photograph their gorgeous behinds with a selfie stick, like in Anna Uddenberg’s mannequins. Boros confesses that Uddenberg’s sculptures bothered him at first, but his wife Karen was convinced. The bunker now has four trolley and selfie girls created by the Swedish artist. You shiver more than the walls surrounding you because of your embellishments.
The fire department set certain restrictions when it first debuted 14 years ago.
Anyone in Berlin who wants to know what’s hot right now, such as New York painter Louis Fratino’s elegiac portraits of pals, should reserve a ticket and be taken through the rooms with eleven other art fans. This edition of the fire department has evolved into a brand since the bunker opened 14 years ago, and the branding specialist and agency owner is even more happy.
“One is a tourist in museums, a guest in private collections,” he explains later over a glass of wine in his private residence, which is put up like a loft on top of the bunker. He was the second collector to move from Wuppertal to Berlin at the time, after the Cologne pair Erika and Rolf Hoffmann, and boosted the prestige of the art city with the dramatic remodeling of the bunker.
Private dedication, according to Boros, should be valued more.
Since then, Boros has been there to see the highs and lows, departures and new arrivals. Erika Hoffmann’s decision to relocate her collection to Dresden, he claims, represents a failure of Berlin’s institutions. He believes that the collection of Berlin’s most famous collector is departing the city due to a lack of recognition. Boros underlines that “appreciation is a money.” “It’s time to take private engagement more seriously.”
Despite this, the wind is turning, according to his observations. The strongest indication of this was the Senator for Culture and Economics’ combined announcement of an invitation to all art performers to a “big table.” The senator for economy turned out to be surprisingly culturally oriented, promising backing to the gallerists provided they showcased Berlin artists at fairs outside of the city.
Boros is now in raptures, gushing over Berlin’s “beautiful blend,” the city’s excellent museums and galleries. In contrast to Munich, there is a “friendly mix” here. Everyone would simply have to encourage one another and let them work, much like a diamond whose splendour is only revealed via its many facets. You can see it’s having an effect on him because he enjoys the photo. Who knows, maybe the next campaign will be there already.