illustrations: Berk Karaoglu
Prior to moving to Berlin I never thought about how important language was when attempting to get to know someone better, particularly while dating. I always dated guys whose native language was English, American English at that. As if dating wasn’t confusing enough, try dating someone who doesn’t dream in the same damn language as you. It wasn’t until I started dating guys from around the world did I begin to understand how uncomfortable it felt not to be able to fully express myself. But, was this necessarily a bad thing?
Sure, when you speak the same language, you understand one another on a molecular level. You share the same phrases to describe mundane situations. You can even talk about your feelings (yuck!) until the cows come home…UM, WHAT? That was all fine and good, but I still wasn’t convinced that the benefits of speaking the same mother tongue outweighed the surmounting disadvantages.
The pair of the upcoming two weekends is one of those you should be looking forward to with extra intensity. The Gallery Weekend is an annual initiative during which you have the chance to discover galleries and exhibition spaces through numerous art openings and exhibition. Because one weekend is certainly enough there are a few independent shows already opening or already open on this weekend before it gets official on the final weekend in April next week. You’ll definitely find something special in our list including numerous painting exhibitions, a paper-mache project with the Marx and Engels sculptures, and even a virtual reality techno show.
To You, brave adventurer who is in Berlin for the first time and who has left his comfort zone for a fresh new start and brand new experiences.
Let’s assume you have managed to pass the test of finding a permanent home, one of the worst nightmares of all the new Berliners, have one or two acquaintances in the city (even if it is the son of your grandfather Julius’s cousin that you have never heard of before but know he has three Siamese cats) and have already planned on how to get a job or to go further in your education. You have everything outlined and you are all excited – “This will the BEST time of my life”, you think, “Berghain, I will destroy you with my dance moves” – however, when you arrive (with a big smile on your face and high expectations), you see that things are not quite what you have imagine they would be. The son of your grandfather Julius’s cousin is not that interested in showing you around, maybe because he is too busy or simply because he is a jerk, getting a job is harder than you have imagined and you feel lonely at times.
photo: Paulio Sovari
Every form of artistic expression is capable of doing good in the world. Even ballet dance that was once created to entertain the kings and queens of this world with the movements that seemed almost superhuman at the time can become a tool of change. A change of society that needs to start through the arts from the stages of theaters, operas, and ballet houses. Because there it starts a conversation that is not motivated by politics but by an emotional perspective on our human life and society.
I’m quite excited that Nacho Duato, the current artistic director of Staatsballett Berlin, is creating another piece that is dedicated to a social topic. In his upcoming premiere called Erde he is creating a vision of our world under the current ecological circumstances of climate change. For this unique premiere he collaborated with locals from the Berlin electronic music scene like Pedro Alcalde, Sergio Caballero and Richie Hawtin just to name a few.
On the same night, there will be another premiere of this double bill evening. The British-Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter has now given one of his works to the repertoire of the Staatsballett Berlin called “The Art of Not Looking Back”. Shechter is internationally acclaimed and well known for his controversial pieces.
One of my few Facebook statuses that actually got a decent amount of likes read that the hardest kind of threesome to be arranged in Berlin is when you’re struggling to get both the person who’s selling whatever heavyweight furniture you want and the guy that has a van to transport it to meet you at a time that you happen to be free. And I’ve been standing by this belief for quite a time, when Berlin decided to once again mercilessly prove to me that I really don’t know life at all.
I still don’t regard organizing a threeway as a particular challenge in a city where your trusted dress code for some clubs is either kinky or naked. What kind of feels like one, though, is scheduling your week with five different part time jobs.
photos: BREATH ing HEART
I won’t surprise anyone when I say that Berlin’s creative scene acknowledges and promotes multiple ways of interacting with art. Just as diverse as the subject chosen, the form can affect all of the senses – but no exhibtion or project that I’ve had the chance to see her so far went as far with this concept as the recent art installation of Johanna Keimeyer, a Berlin artist who’s designed an astonishing walk-in heart – an inflatable constriction in which up to 40 people can lay and sit at the same time.
There is this one time in the year when even Berlin seems innocent. Although we all know what it’s been up to during the cold fall and winter nights, when its untamed inhabitants, unable to express their joys and sorrows under the clear blue sky had to confine themselves in the limiting areas sheltering them from the cold. We all know the overwhelming contrast of a freezing Berlin night and the literally breathtaking heat of the dance floor.
Well then, a blissful spring afternoon makes one forget about all winter sins. We tend to fall into the good old trap of starting anew again. Even if you’re wised up enough to realize that this kind of thinking has usually more of the fooling yourself factor than that of an actual resolution, spring makes it easier to come to terms with your inner mess and hopefully think of some measures to organize it a little bit.
illustrations: Bryan the girl
Due to popular demand, I’m back with the continuation of my U-Bahn-themed musings. I’ve got a ticket to ride for all the lines I’ve initially left out, so that I can complete the emotional profile of a Berlin commuter.
The lines I’m featuring in this article really hint at some deeper affection to the city. They’re neither U1-like joy rides leading up to Warschauer Straße like some urban rollercoaster, nor are they mainly focused on touristy sights like the U2 which could almost be the BVG’s cheaper alternative to all the tour buses. This one is for all you Berlin locals who’ve wandered off the beaten track all the way down to such underrated indie boroughs like Wedding, Tempelhof-Schöneberg or Steglitz. You guys know there’s more to Berlin than techno sanctuaries and souvenir shops.
Love, by Gaspard Noe
A recently-published study revealed Millennials as the least-straight generation in the history of LGBTI*+ research. They’re nearly twice as likely to identify as non-straight than other adults. And as more boys, girls and folks that are neither (or both) come out of the closet, one would hope that a certain normality would have settled in around those sexual orientations beyond straight. I know it would make my (dating-)life a lot easier.
I’ve never been shy about my orientation, which is best defined as: if you’re hot and smart and enthusiastic about me putting my hand down your pants, I’m really going to be cool with whatever I find there. But I’ll classify as bisexual for easiness sake most of the time.
It feels like there is a grand old billboard somewhere in Berlin that says “Bisexuality: the sexuality everyone is entitled to have an opinion on!” Which is weird, because last time I checked, the only people that get to have an opinion on my sexuality are people that are afflicted by it. And by “afflicted” I mean “get to have sex with me”.
photo: Monika Rittershaus
If the devil came to Berlin he would not be able to scare a single soul. Because Berliners have real problems like rising rents, shitty jobs or not getting into Berghain (depending on priorities) and have no time for religious superstitions. It’s quite a different story in the small village of Sorochinsky in the middle of nowhere in the Ukraine where the devil is the cause for a lot of fear and trauma.
At least what I learned from the opera “The Fair of Sorochinsky” by Russian composer Mussorgsky which I had the chance to enjoy last weekend at Komische Oper Berlin. In between Russian folklore, impossible relationships and a devil’s feast with pigs on fire I had a musical enlightenment I would like to share with you.