Such was Eller’s aim in initiating the weekend. After moving to Beijing three years ago, Eller said he began to think about ways to better position the city’s art scene. That started with “Die 8 Der Wege,” a survey show of Chinese contemporary art that he co-curated with Guo Xiaoyan and Andreas Schmid for Berlin’s Uferhallen. He then, however, set his sights on trying to bring together Beijing’s galleries and a growing number of museums. He said that, as in all major art hubs, politics within the art world here meant that he could have an impact that someone coming from the inside might not.
“It maybe needed an outsider to come in and tie these things together,” Eller said.
The entire gallery weekend came together in just three months. “We had to show momentum,” he said, in order to gain support of key players within Beijing’s art community. Even before the weekend’s events had come to a close, Eller had his eyes set on an expanded edition next year.
Gallery Weekend Beijing kicked off with a performance by
in 798, at a still-under-construction location for Galerie Urs Meile
, whose main gallery compound is about one mile to the north. The performance, Neoclassical
, saw a series of Cheng’s earlier films cut together with found, archival footage and displayed on a giant LED screen as experimental musicians Li Jianhong, Wang Ziheng, and Soviet Pop from Beijing’s underground scene played instruments ranging from electric guitar and trumpet to bubble wrap.