Berlin Art Week and Gallery Weekend coinciding in 2020 meant a busy week for art in Berlin, with a rich program of events, exhibitions, talks and performances across the city and via digital platforms.

As one of the few cities around the world holding major art events this year, it’s difficult to talk about Berlin Art Week and Gallery Weekend without bringing up the obvious: the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It underlies every decision: from directing traffic in and out of spaces, to planning opening times, to the type of work that is possible to exhibit and where.

Of course, things were done differently this year. And while the crowded evening openings and social events may have been mostly done away with (overall, the consensus seems to be that it was particularly challenging to interact with others while keeping a 1.5m distance and wearing a mask), there were also some new collaborations and interesting ways of exhibiting and experiencing art that emerged.

Berlin Art Week initiated online booking for special events and a digital platform to facilitate social distancing and make events more accessible — including a journal featuring in-depth articles and a ‘playlist’ offering access to video teasers, online viewing rooms, exhibition walkthroughs and even a live view of POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair. Overall, the divide between physical and digital space was not always clear cut, and at times was even interwoven thematically, into discussions of the current nature of institutions, archives, etc. — as well as looking ahead towards the future.