All Photos:Eylül Aslan
Berlin is probably most quiet in Winter, most happy in Spring, most sexy in Summer and most beautiful in Autumn.
I feel like a Japanese tourist with an astonished gaze on my face while walking in the parks and streets of Berlin full of colorful trees. My city walks are in no way diminished by the typical meteorological events of Autumn: wind and rain. Quite the contrary, I am particularly in love with the days where the wind swirls the leaves around and I feel the drops landing on my head.
Together with photographer and friend Eylül Aslan and one of her beautiful models we took a rain boot walk testing the new rain boots collection of Brazilian brand Havaianas through cloudy Berlin and created some pictures in our favorite spots for a rainy day. Our Autumn day recommendations and more photos after the jump.
We love to travel with a cultural agenda. Visiting Venice for the Art Biennale or Milan for Design Week was so inspiring and we love to look back at the photos we collected there. Art and design events are a wonderful bridge to get to know a new city and I always try to visit creative spaces, galleries or museums when I travel to a new city to get in contact with the creative local scene.
In the beginning of October I had the chance to discover a new town in my repertoire of creative hotspots: Liege. The third biggest city in Belgium (after Brussels which is known for politics and Antwerp which is known for fashion) is the so called “Latin” city of the country. They had a big wave of South European migration in the 60s that made the city quite connected with Italy. While visiting the Reciprocity Design Triennale I could almost physically feel this connection because I was always surrounded by Italians. This year’s edition had a main focus on design with a social impact. Bringing designers and citizens together in the process of public service innovation was one of the most focused topics in the exhibitions we saw. This was really inspiring for me as somebody who works with Berlin, because I love to learn more about how creative ideas can be a positive factor in the social development of a city.
What impressed me the most about the Reciprocity were the stunning locations they choose for their different exhibitions. From an old school theater with murals from the 20s, a church turned into a museum and a monumental swimming pool which is now a space for public events. Our friend and Blogfabrik colleague Eylül Aslan joined us for this trip. Discover her unique photographic impressions and some more insights and pictures from Liege after the jump.
Dance is a very important cultural element in the creative landscape of Berlin. Even though I have a stronger intellectual response to contemporary dance and more abstract body performances than to classical ballet, I do appreciate the precision, body control and beauty of ballet dancers in a well-done choreography. For myself going to see a piece of Staatsballett Berlin is somehow a guilty pleasure of visual entertainment, I recommend to everybody in need of some artistic and emotional satisfaction.
Fear, vulnerability, passion – the dark extremes of human emotions are the source of inspiration for a new program from Staatsballett Berlin. In Duato | Kylian | Naharin three international choreography stars created a dancing work of incredible power. While “Castrati” by Nacho Duato revolves around the fear of an aspiring singer before castration, Jiří Kylián’s “Petite Mort” deals with the aggressive as well as the vulnerable sides of sexuality. “Secus” is an abstract work by Ohad Naharin, based on power, extremes and raw meat.
Photographer Yan Revazov had the chance to visit the rehearsals of this intense program and took some beautiful pictures. Take a look over these powerful impressions, check out the making of video and find out how to win tickets for the upcoming shows, after the jump.
photo: Katy Otto
Sometimes everything depends on the right timing. Marie Antoinette would have probably bit on her own tongue if she would have known that her cake fantasies would have brought a headless future for herself. On my side, I am wondering if writing about decadent little delicious cakes is the right thing to do in a time in which we should all be concerned about much more serious issues and the hardships of some of the people in this city. But despite all that we still would like to share with you one of the pearls of Berlin cafes.
Princess Cheesecake is a patisserie fantasy that a German lady made come true after an inspiring trip to the US. Inside the Bermuda triangle of Mitte it makes a wonderful appearance and presents the most delicious jewel-like cakes. Just go there and enjoy it with your eyes and your mouth. And than, in the spirit of sharing and caring, donate some of your old belongings to the people in need.
Winter is cumming! No, that is not a porn-spoof of Games of Thrones. It’s actually the hardcore reality we poor tortured souls living in Berlin are facing right now. But there is comfort waiting for us. Every Autumn we are blessed with the so-called “Sex Week” its main event being the biggest sex fair in Germany called Venus which happened over the past weekend. This is not really something that we would seriously send you guys to, but there are a couple of cool events, too, such as the PorYes-Award, a feminist award for porn that took place last Saturday. This week we have another alternative highlight you should check out if you are interested in sexuality as a form of creative expression. The Pornfilmfestival Berlin is going into its 10th edition from October 21-25 with a program more diverse and colorful than ever. From intellectual documentary about historical porn makers, intense feature films and a fun collection of short films there is quite a lot of stuff to discover and to get inspired/aroused by. What I really like about this festival is that it presents a good mix of international filmmakers and also local Berlin talents such as our colleague Chris Phillips from Pornceptual. Just like last year we compiled the trailers of the most promising films. Discover and cum after the jump.
Presenting art in abandoned Buildings ist not that new of a concept in Berlin. I remember the first art exhibitions I went to were actually happening all over some really cool artist houses and ateliers in Mitte like Tacheles. Last Sunday I visited the exhibition The Vacancy where 33 rooms of an old hotel were creatively filled with art objects of 33 different artists. Now that the district turned into the Upper East Side of Berlin it actually felt a bit wrong to go inside a house that was totally dismantled to experience some art exhibition. At home I thought about the experience and concluded that instead of constantly complaining we should reconsider the idea of art spaces as “Zwischennutzung” (inbetween use) as a valuable concept of urban development. Because if we let artists become the explorer and venturer of new or abandoned places, maybe the commercial use that will follow and which is unfortunately not stoppable might be less horrible. I know that a lot of people would love the city to stay forever at it is. But this kind of hippie-conservatism is not something that will contribute new ideas for Berlin. Still I hope the whole Vacancy exhibition is not something to make the real estate more valuable. But I am curious to hear your thoughts in the comments. After the jump you find the adresss, opening times and most importantly a wonderful selection of pictures from the exhibition taken by our photographer Anna Agliardi.
Tribal tattoos are kind of an atrocious relict of the 90s that we can’t really get rid of in Berlin. Even if you spared yourself of those tasteless artifacts you will still encounter them on random bodies of friends, lovers and gym-buddies. But if you think about it the most damage has not been done to us Westerners, who have no real connection to those symbols and signs, but to the indigenous tribes who got their sacred tattoos “stolen” and westernized in the context of a body trend.
But that is actually not really what my article should be about, but rather this: Did you know that Samoa (near New Zealand) was once a German colony? And did you know that Germany used to have “Völkerschauen” where they presented indigenous people like Samoans in zoos just to entertain and “educate” the public about the wild people? A century after they were lucratively exhibited in German Zoos, three of them return to Germany in a folk-colonial spectacle by the Berlin choreographer Jochen Roller and the Samoan performance artist Yuki Kihara at the Sophiensaele. The piece Them and us is a mixture of hybrid choreography and film, in an extremely pleasurable way, the protagonists develop a re-writing of the German anthropological viewpoint of their former colony of German Samoa. Check out the dates and some photographic impressions after the jump.
“We make things that break easy. We people don’t!” – That is the outspoken subtitle of the new documentary/theater/dance piece The Ghosts by Costanza Macras at Schaubühne. Featuring underaged but incredibly talented acrobats from China telling the story of their lives in between acts of artistic braveness this piece has a quite unusual but nevertheless engaging and interesting topic. For Macras the Chinese acrobatic artists, who once were celebrated for their bravery now live in materially precarious, ghostly conditions. This manifests a metaphor for life in contemporary China, with its contradictions, social injustice and power structures. Those who once brought the country glory and honor are discarded as soon as they are no longer top achievers.
Instead of taking the audience by storm with a strong and unstoppable ensemble as in Macras’ previous pieces, The Ghosts comes to life through the three Chinese girls who were the heart of the piece. Also, the dynamic with the audience (and maybe also an unplanned manipulation) was quite special in my opinion. The young girls presented the circus acts they usually show to the visitors of an old amusement park on a little Chinese island. The audience bamboozled and often even clapped between the acts as if they where in a circus instead of a theater. I think most of the (intellectual) audience in this kind of theater would rather disapprove to watch underaged children perform dangerous acts for their amusement. But out of the context and hidden as “documentary theater” I guess that some people actually quite liked the adrenaline pumping acrobatic talent of the performers. This showed to me how easy it is to make people like something, they would normally disapprove of. And this little mind-trick was for me actually the best thing of the whole piece. Tonight you have still the chance to see the amazing piece at Schaubühne. Check out photographic impressions of The Ghosts after the jump.
“Vertreibung” by Michi Schneider
Art universities are a places of deep mystery for me. I often hear stories and anecdotes from several friends who studied in such places but I never got a clue on how these places really work. I guess it is somehow also intended to be like this. Imagine if the process of creating and teaching art would become transparent to everybody, it would loose definitely a lot of its magic.
Anyway, I try every year to visit the art universities graduation shows, not only because I love to scout for fresh new talents but also because I love to challenge my brain with the following problem: How can you give an artwork a grade and even a degree? Especially with very abstract artworks it is a challenge to imagine that somebody (I always imagine an art professor looking like Dumbledore with a white shirt full of color sprinkles) has given this a grade.
If you want to challenge yourself with the same question I invite you to visit the exhibition cool runnings by the graduates of Weißensee until the 30th of July. Some of the presented sculptures and paintings are really impressive. My favorites in the sculpture department was a flying boat called Syrenale made out of wood and neon lights by Anselm Schenkluhn. The illustration by Markus Scheunemann was also very intriguing – it was called Alice, tell me your wonderland and portrayed a very sexual interpretation of the story with a lot of pornographic Berlin scenery.
Call me shallow but my favorite painting was the one by Michi Schneider called Vertreibung showing Beyoncé as the Holy Mary next to a black kid being on the run. It hits the nerve on the recent refugee situation where our so-called Christian country is totally out of line in all political decisions right now. Enjoy some impressions of the exhibition after the jump and try to go there if you can.
photos: Anna Agliardi
The summer party of the UdK – University of the Arts is one of the cultural highlights of the summer. Crazy performances, nice jazz music, outlandish musical singers and of course beautiful art works of the graduating students are just a few of the highlights of this spectacular night. Sadly this year was a bit different than the other years. Most of the ateliers and working studios were closed for public. The students are protesting against the new faculty politic which is having less permanent professors and is working with more guest professors instead. These guest professors are often famous artists with a big name bringing a lot of attention to the university. But of course for the students this PR strategy means also less assistance also during the semester holidays and generally speaking famous artists are not automatically good teachers.
Even if I think the protest has its valuable reasons, I was wondering all night if not showing the work of the students is the best strategy to accomplish anything. The Rundgang is always a perfect platform for the upcoming artists to present their work to the public and to the press. Rejecting this opportunity for a bigger cause is a understandable decision. But as a lot of befriended artists of mine also said: It would have been much more effective to show art and cancel the party instead. Or at least don’t serve alcohol. But this would be crazy, right?
Anyway, we had a good night and enjoyed discovering some artworks and listening to the music and dancing in the magical courtyards of the university. You can still go and discover the artworks of the graduating students and the architects during the whole weekend. All the information and addresses are listed here. Enjoy the photographic impressions of last night shot by Anna Agliardi after the jump.