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Berlin Art: An Interview with Pola Sieverding

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Some might call her art grotesque, others will call it majestic. In any case the artworks of the Berlin-based artist Pola Sieverding is one of a kind. Reflecting multiple aspects of masculinity her videos and photographs called our attention and made us curious for more. Therefore we connected with her to learn more about her vision and her artistic approach. Read the full interview and enjoy her sexual and sometimes revolting artwork.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 19th, 2014
in Art, People
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Dancing over Berlin – Fashion Shoot with the Staatballett Berlin

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Ballet dancing is one of the finest expressions of European culture. It created the creative base for today’s contemporary dance all over the world, and it’s also an art form with the perfect balance between lightness and power. Watching a ballet dancer perform is one of the most visually compelling experiences, and I am so glad that we have one of the most talented ballet companies here in Berlin: Staatsballett Berlin.

Combining their unique beauty with the rough urbanity of Berlin’s architectural landscape, we had a unique vision: shooting a fashion story showcasing a dance rehearsal on the rooftops of Berlin. Bringing new attention to the city’s rich cultural heritage, fashion photographer Olga Khristolyubova portrayed two of the most skilled dancers from Staatsballet: Sarah Mestrovic and Kevin Pouzou. Sarah is a native Berliner who has been enrolled in the company for ten years. She combines her artistic experience with a creative spark, making her move with lightness and passion over the roof of our shoot. Kevin is a french dancer who has been living and dancing in Berlin for 8 years now. His majestic beauty is nothing compared to his bravery and strength. Neither were afraid to move and bend over the abyss of the streets surrounding them; creating incredible images for us.

Since we shot on the last weekend of November, the air was already cold as ice, though the sun was fortunately shining. On top of their rehearsal gear, they wore Goose Feel down jackets and knits from We are Knitters: the perfect combination of warmth to help the dancers extend over the top of Berlin’s skyline, while also staying super-light and incredibly flexible so as to allow them to bend, leap and soar unimpeded while performing their magic. Enjoy the whole shoot after the jump, and stay tuned for the animated pictures soon to come.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 16th, 2014
in Fashion, People, Photos, Theater
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PANSY Presents Disney Darlings – Photo Retrospective

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Foto: Dima Povernov

We love to publish party pictures because it’s a way of showing the diversity of Berlins nightlife. Sometimes hip, rarely posh, trashy, glamorous and often underground, we tried to show you the multitude of the club and party scene.  Just before the weekend starts, we have some special eye candy for you showcasing the creativity of the drag scene of Berlin. Dima Povernov is a freelance photographer who took some pictures at Pansy Presents: Disney Darlings at Südblock a couple of weeks ago. If you want to see how the drag version of the Little Mermaid, the Queen of Hearts, Shir Kahn and all the other lovely disney characters looked, you should definitely check out the pictures after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 12th, 2014
in Fashion, Party, Photos
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A Street Art Giant saying fuck off to Berlin?

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Photo: Marc Honninger

Last night the giant street art mural near Schlesisches Tor got painted over in pitch black. There are various speculations behind who did it and for which reasons. What I found most plausible was a statement found in a Polysingularity article, claiming that it was the italian artist Blu who commissioned the cancelation of his own artwork.

“(…)the artists decided to paint them all black, so that nobody can take advantage of the original work… A “fuck you” gesture towards the city, towards the real estate company, but most of all – to all the people who love this artwork and everything that it’s come to represent. The argument of the people who are doing that is that Berlin is not the same anymore, that the real estate company will just use the artwork to sell apartments more expensive, that a new statement needs to be made at this new moment of time… In a way, they are doing exactly what the artwork says: “reclaim your city”.”

The rest of the article goes on about how pessimistic the destruction of the artwork is. That it is not the right message the city needs right now in this turbulent time of turbo-capitalism & neoliberalism, remodelling Berlin into a Lego-Gotham.  Even if I can relate to the arguments, in regards to the artwork, I don’t agree 100%. I share my thoughts on the repainting, along with some videos showing the artist at work, after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 12th, 2014
in Art, Kreuzberg
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We Heart Party Shoes

We Heart Party Shoes

No real Berliner rushes into the busy nightlife without checking his outfit from top to the bottom . However one detail goes mostly unnoticed in the dark caves of the Berlin techno clubs: The Party Shoes.

Too bad, because nothing can enhance an outfit more than the right choice of shoes. We wanted to give the party shoe the right center stage and spared no effort to bring it into the spotlight.  Some of you guys have such amazing shoes that it’s time now for a real photographic tribute to them. And I also want to apologize to all of you who I have flashed right into the face when pointing the camera to the shoes… so sorry you were blind for the rest of the party!

But recently we noticed that unusual shoes appear rarely on our radar. If you look on the floor of the Berlin Night Clubs you realize why: Broken glass, dirt, beer bottles and especially the tramping shoes of the other party guests turn any Cinderella Highheel into a pitch black witch boot.

No wonder no one has the desire to wear new white sneakers or beautiful leather shoes at a party. But recently, there seems to be a happy ending to this story in sight. The online shop Zalando has started a blog about small fashion life hacks that makes life a little easier. Among other things, it also teaches you how to clean white sneaker after partying hard.  How this works is explained in a short tutorial video after the jump. In addition, there is the opportunity to win a Zalando voucher worth 1500 Euro. More party shoe photos and all the infos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 29th, 2014
in Fashion, Party, Photos
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The Past – A Dance Piece by Constanza Macras/Dorkypark and Oscar Bianchi

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photo: Anna Agliardi

The year 2014 seems to be the year of remembering the past. On the one hand we have 100 years of industrial war, on the other hand we commemorate  positive events like the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The last century of European history is very complex. Everything seems connected. Remembering things the right way, is more difficult than we ever imagined. No wonder so many theater makers want to bring real live memories on stage to show the different perspectives.

Our beloved Argentinian choreographer Constanza Macras went to the city of Dresden and talked to eyewitnesses who can remember a city that no longer exists in the same form today. The actions in the piece “The Past”  which premiered at Schaubühne this week, refer to the ancient techniques of ars memoriae, whereby in order to recall the thing to be remembered, we first have to find and organise our impressions. The piece explores architectonic places as narrative instruments of our history – in the rewriting of history, for overcoming the wounds of the past, and for understanding contemporary events (personal and global) as part of a constant cycle that we experience as the passing of time. This piece will have a second part that will premiere in Spring 2016. Talented Italian theater photographer Anna Agliardi went for us to the general rehearsal to get some exclusive impressions. Photos and dates after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 29th, 2014
in Theater
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Moritz & Ivahn – A Gay Summer Story in Berlin

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What could be a better distraction from the cold weather and gloomy light than a multimedia storytelling book about a special summer love. The Berliner by choice Christian Ludwig created a unique book storytelling project with a bunch of friends and artists. His novel Moritz & Ivahn is a love story set on wobbly legs. Two guys and a mysterious girl have an encounter that will have emotional consequences for all of them. We do not want to spoil more of this love triangle story. But you can be assured that its intimacy and strong narration will make you wish this books never ends.

What makes this creative project so special is the attempt to bring many art forms together. Two songs where created by the musician Earthkeptwarm to give the whole story a soundtrack. Photos by Chris Phillips, a music video and illustrations by Jacobo Labella create a visual background for the story. I can identify very strongly with the idea of a project where multiple artists from several disciplines contribute to one amazing result. On November 28 2014 the book will be released. Also you should not miss the reading with a live music session this weekend. Find out more after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 27th, 2014
in Art, Videos
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Let’s Call it a Day! A Bedtime Story for a Sleepless Society

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Berlin is a restless city. Spätis open 24/7, clubnights going on from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning and the high energy of the club kids on speed makes it sometimes hard to find a place to calm down, outside your own four walls. Israeli theater maker Hila Golan, Niva Dloomy and Ariel Nil Levy just released a new magical piece that’s calling attention to the sleep disorders of an entire society. The tale of the Princess and the Pea forms the framework of this theater performance about a world-known phenomenon that affects all parts of society. In this new version the pile of mattresses grows and grows, craving for dreams and relaxation, but a general restlessness keeps us awake.

In continuous self-optimization on the outer and the inner shell, private concerns, constant availability, and last but not least the feeling of helplessness and passive complicity in the face of current world events, the question arises: How can we get sleep? While the actors have to deal with the causes and consequences of ongoing insomnia, their environment becomes more and more unpredictable due to the sophisticated interplay of Christian Maith’s light design and stage design by media artist Mayan Printz. The bright and dark waking hours are captured by Eli Fabrikant’s composed “low-tech music”. You should not miss this performances in English going on now and in December. More pphotos and the dates after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 20th, 2014
in Theater
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Nasty Peace – An Audio Walk about Gentrification in Kreuzberg

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photo: Silke Bauer

The monster of gentrification is eating Berlin’s free spirits and creative culture. Maybe this way of thinking is rather extreme, but what will happen to the so-called “cool neighbourhoods” when all people who are currently living there will not be able to afford it anymore. And much more important: what will happen to our city when the income will strictly determine where you can live. Not so much of a multi-cultural free society in the end. A horrible faith that happened already in so many cities before and that must be stopped in Berlin.

People have been protesting the rapidly rising rents for years at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. The theater collective copy &waste created an audio walk that guides right into a conflict zone for living space, money and love. Through the headphones you’ll hear just what it sounds like – the dividing of the loot. The audio walk is called “Nasty Peace” and it is in German, English and Turkish and is created with the participation of the Turkish community living in the neighborhood.

For Nasty Peace, copy&waste returned packing a great deal of research material: conversations with residents, observations of everyday life, sociological, scientific and philosophical texts about property and privatization play as significant a role as Berlin Circle, a piece by Charles Mee inspired by the same source as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and fantasy material such as Game of Thrones and Masters of the Universe. All the dates and the trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 20th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theater
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Architectural Hypnosis – Berlin Photography from Markus Studtmann

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Photo: Markus Studtmann

Berlins rough and urban architecture is not always appreciated as it should be. Sometimes you need a photographer and photoshop artist to refocus your perspective on the visual highlights Berlins facades have to offer. Markus Studtmann creates magical hypnotic photographies that reminds artwork from M.C.Escher. Watching the spiraling staircases, waving windows and infinite houses too long can cause a bit of a headache. Still you should enjoy this little photoshop masterpieces rethinking the boundaries of space and creating new architectural dimensions. More pictures after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 18th, 2014
in Art, City Guide, Photos
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