Black Mountain – Sven Marquardt and Peaches in Artistic Short Film

Black Mountain Gruppenbild Cast

How can an artist be totally underground (whatever this means) and internationally famous at the same time? What might seem like a contradiction in Los Angeles, London, New York and Paris, is totally possible in Berlin. It is not unusual to meet pop star Peaches eating a snack at Kotti or stumble upon the world’s most famous doorman Sven Marquardt in a small gallery at an opening of an exhibition. So far, all these underground stars have been working in different fields. Of course, some of them have collaborated already, but the project I am about to present to you is more than that.

Initiated by the Audi Zeitgeist Project, dedicated to support experimental art and creative disciplines of all genres, an alliance of exceptional artists from Berlin has come together for a creative masterpiece called Black Mountain. In this experimental short film the artist collective „Like a wild beast fur“, composer Moritz von Oswald and Artistic Director Jan Engel reinterpreted Richard Wagners Opera Parsifal. On the 3rd of July you can watch the whole short film will be released online on Audi-City starring famous Volskbühne actors like Alexander Scheer, Volker Spengler and Jasna Fritzi Bauer and famous performers like VER.u.s.c.h.k.a., Peaches, Sven Marquardt and many more.

This contemporary take on the opera is revitalizing the traditional piece, setting it inside a dark Berlin techno club. Apart from the movie, which you can watch online on the web page of Audi-City, there will be an immersive exhibition open to the public at Gallery Ebensperger from the 6.7. to 24.7. There you can walk through the installation of Hauke Odendahl, which offers a deep immersive experience into the concept of the art piece. During the shooting of the film, one of our favourite Berlin photographers, Florian Kolmer, took individual portraits of the actors and performers. The installation and the portraits can be visited Wednesday to Saturday from 14-20h.

Check out the trailer and some preview pictures of the exhibition after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 1st, 2016
in Art, Movies

Street Portraits: The Style of Berliners

Glamcanyon Berlin 6 q

photos: Katja Hentschel

There was a time when street style was totally a thing. Every major city had a street style blog (or many) and of course also Berlin. But the trend had faded over the years a bit and many blogs stopped posting or changed their editorial concepts. Thanks to Instagram and success projects such as Humans of New York (and other cities that followed) street portraits totally had a comeback!

Glamcanyon used to be one of the major street style blogs (and to me personally the most beautiful one) in the early days of fashion blogs in Germany, but the flow of new styles dried up a bit a few years ago. Back then the blogger behind it, photographer Katja Hentschel, shifted her focus to other projects such as her follow-up blogs Travelettes and Glowbus. But a few months ago her passion for street portraits came back to life and she decided to revitalize Glamcanyon. Now you can again regularly find her beautiful photos of beautiful people from Berlin and other cities that she comes to. But with the new photos you can see how the eye of the photographer has developed over the years. Now it’s not anymore purely about the looks, it’s also about the personality of the portrayed person and the moment they had with the photographer. Absolutely charming! We selected some of our favorites from Berlin for you today.

Frank by Frank
on June 30th, 2016
in Fashion, People, Photos

Fashion Special: Berlin loves Nordic Fashion

Liisa Riski

Liisa Riski, Finland

When it comes to fashion the Germans are a bit unusual. The Italians, they proudly love their Italian fashion. The French love to wear the designs from the runways of Paris. And the British, they admire their traditional British brands. But the Germans, they prefer something other than their own labels: The Germans turn their heads to the Nordic countries for style. And it’s basically been like that since I can remember. Germans, and also in particular the Berliners, are just obsessed with fashion from Sweden, Denmark & co. While that is on the one hand quite sad for the German brands that nowadays avoid the local Fashion Week and rather show their collections on foreign runways, it’s a total win for the Scandinavians who – for us – seem to be the essence of style.

The Nordic Fashion Hub that takes place at Bikini Berlin Concept Shopping Mall from June 28th til July 2nd 2016 is now bringing us some more of this coveted design from our European neighbors. In a temporary fashion exhibition in the ground floor of the mall you will be able to see the new collections of 15 labels from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The selection really shows the bandwidth of Nordic design that ranges from their signature minimalism over classic feminine looks to bold and eccentric designs. After the jump we want to show you a preview of the participating labels and of the exhibition at Bikini Berlin. Come by tonight at 19h for the opening reception or visit the Nordic Fashion Hub on the following days.

Frank by Frank
on June 29th, 2016
in Fashion

Berlin is… European

Bearpit karaoke by Neil H CC-BY-2.0

photo: Neil H / CC

When I travel to foreign continents and get asked where I am from, my answer is often: “I am from Europe”. I never really thought about what this means until last week. It’s not that I don’t want to say that I am from Germany (because whoever asks is probably going to demand a more precise answer anyway and I will give it). It’s not a lack of national pride; it’s more a sense of international unity within my own continent. I am happy to be German, but I am proud to be from Europe. Being born and raised in an isolated country like the GDR, the sense of freedom after the reunification was amazing.

I grew into an adult benefiting from the bond that the European countries had formed with one another after being in conflict for centuries. For me this became the status quo. I could travel, study, live and work in all of the other countries without problems, which many of my class mates actually did, going to France or the UK after school. When many of the countries even started to share one currency it became even more united. Going to Madrid or to Rome over the weekend to visit friends or just have a good time, this no longer felt like taking a vacation in a foreign country. It felt like something else…

Frank by Frank
on June 27th, 2016
in Stories, Travel

A Guide to Priceless Restaurant Experiences in Berlin

Shan Bistro Berlin

photo: Shan Rahimkhan

Our restaurant guides are among the most popular features here on the blog and we love to come up with new themes and topics to curate the gastronomic gems of the city for your enjoyment. Among all our culinary guides, the most successful turned out to be the one with the most unusual restaurants – this seems to have been a particularly fun one, both for our readers and for us.

To give you something new in a similar spirit we have teamed up with MasterCard who have a really exciting program going on that is a perfect match for us. I’m sure you’re heard of the term “Priceless” in connection with MasterCard, which they use to cherish all those unique moments in our life that you just can’t put a price tag on. In continuation of this idea they initiated MasterCard® Priceless® Cities – a program that grants MasterCard® cardholders access to exclusive and “priceless” experiences in selected metropolises in the world – including Berlin, of course – and let’s them discover their cities in exciting new ways.

For our new guide we have chosen some of the most extraordinary restaurants that are part of the Priceless® Berlin program and that offer you an experience that goes way beyond a great meal in a nice ambience. Enjoy our selection of 8 priceless restaurant experiences in Berlin.

Frank by Frank
on June 24th, 2016
in Mitte, Neukölln, Restaurants, Schöneberg, Wedding

Berlin – A City of Contrasts

Berlin - A City of Contrasts 2

It must have been a billion eyes by now that have seen Berlin. Every day, millions of people experience the city in a completely different way. The uniqueness in commonality is distinguished, a city like Berlin holds up millions of different heads and hearts that pretty much want the same thing from life in a different form. They all come together in the capital, and flow like a stream up into the night, down in the morning.

For the many visitors coming to Berlin, the city must paint a completely different picture than for the locals. And also the visitor, each and every one them, is taking to the city what he previously experienced, merging it with the city and everyone in it.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on June 24th, 2016
in Videos

Exclusive Studio Visit with Michael Michalsky

Michalsky Studio Visit-1

For the collaboration between Spanish sparkling wine brand Freixenet and Michael Michalsky, we were invited to visit the studio and working space of the famous Berlin-based designer.

Sitting around in comfortable couches (also designed by him) we were introduced to his newest collaboration with the Cava brand. Freixenet is a family-run business rooted near Barcelona. One of its best selling products, the Carta Nevada, that is now celebrating its 75th anniversary. For the occasion Michael Michalsky was commissioned to redesign the bottle of their anniversary edition: A slick and modern look for a classic brand. If you want to know more about this collaboration, read on after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 24th, 2016
in Fashion, Party

Design in Berlin: Samsung AddWash Store brings the Future to our Homes

K-MB_Samsung_AddWashStore_Interior1-1

The future is not as complicated and overly technological and dehumanized as predicted in all the sci-fi movies we used to watch as kids in the 90s. On the contrary: the technological innovations of our daily lives are user-centered, human-friendly and resourceful. You can observe how the future becomes a glimpse more simple every day. At least if you follow the vision of high-tech design brand Samsung.

On the occasion of the launch of their newest home product, the Samsung AddWash, the brand just opened a pop-up shop with a unique concept in Berlin. From outside the Samsung AddWash store looks like the fanciest laundromat in town. But on display is not just any washing machine. The Samsung AddWash is redefining the design and functions of your usual laundry with innovative features, like an extra door where you can add on products during the cleaning process. With a Smart Home-App you can also always check the status of your laundry.

The exclusive pop-up concept store was curated in cooperation with iGNANT, and will feature products from acclaimed design brands like Lyon Beton, a French studio that specializes in the design and production of concrete furniture, the interior design studio 10119DESIGN, who create a crazy mix between 20th century furniture icons and young design from Berlin, and Italian bath design studio Boffi. We are super curious to see what the teams of Samsung and put together and look forward to get in touch with this special home design revolution. More impressions of the shop and the opening times after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 24th, 2016
in Prenzlauer Berg, Shops

The Sensual Touch of Light and Concrete

The Sensual Touch of Light and Concrete

Today we would like to introduce you to the work of visual artist duo Schall & Schnabel. They moved in with us at Blogfabrik last year and ever since we always enjoyed watching them work over their shoulders. Just like us they have a thing for animated GIFs. With their photo work they always like to play around with distortion, lights and non-digital effects. Their new “concrete series” actually combines both real-life and digital effects that look absolutely stunning. With the series they found a very contemporary version of classic nudes, twisting the bodies, overlaying the skin with harsh concrete structures, playing around with lights that are broken through prisms. It’s really a wonderful aesthetic that invents its very own sensuality.

This Friday on June 24th 2016 at 19h they are opening their new exhibition of the same name at Galerie Irrgang in the Kreuzberg-part of Friedrichstraße. Come by to see all of their magnificent works from the series. After the jump you’ll get an exclusive preview with a couple of animated GIFs. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 23rd, 2016
in Art

10 Things a Perfect Bar in Berlin Needs

bar_tender_competition

photo: Natalia Kepesz

At a certain point, you know the difference between sitting at a Späti, at a Kneipe next door and at a nice bar. All three of these places demand a certain willingness to let go of your everyday routine but in a slightly different way. The Späti-night will first seduce you with being totally unpretentious and only a short term affair, a temporary solution. But after spending all night there, you know how your head will hurt like it was hit by a „Bierbank“  the morning after. The adventure to a Kneipe is a more serious challenge. The funny Kneipenlady you’ve heard rumors about will get all of your attention with all her dirty secrets, but while you are there, sitting at the counter, you realize that you are trapped like in the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland. You can’t escape as long as her shift or your finances end.

Last but not least, entering a fine bar is a nightlife pleasure of a special kind. A bar and its bartenders are a place of illusions and fantasies. And where fantasies and nightlife meet for a drink, I want to be there too (just to write down my experiences for this blog of course… ;-) )

Therefore I was more than happy to represent the digital media world as a judge at the World Class Competition 2016 in Berlin. Hosted by the Diageo Group the event took place in several locations in Berlin. 17 Bartenders from all over Germany competed with each other for one spot to go to Miami to the World Class Global Final competition. I had the pleasure to not only observe their skills from up close but also to taste some of the most fantastic drinks in my entire life. Being the judge of the hospitality challenge, I had to pretend to be a guest at a bar for a whole day and try out drinks from all 17 different bartenders. What sounds like a funny theater play was quite the intense job where a lot of accuracy of observation was required. But as each of the bartenders made their appearances in front of my judging seat, I had to wonder:

What are the special ingredients that make a bar a place of such magic and enchantment? My deep insights from this dive into the bartender world in a not-so-serious listical after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 23rd, 2016
in Stories