Berlin-based artist Vermibus uses fashion advertisements as his canvas, transforming misinterpreted glamour and beauty into deformed, ghoulish entities. You may have already noticed his works in the streets and subway stations of Berlin – his intriguing advertisements are hard to miss. Not only that, these so-called “ads” are not what they seem. Using collected advertising posters from the streets as his base; Vermibus opposes the act of painting by erasing the images with solvent; a similar process that creates pieces by removing parts of the image to reveal a new character. In doing so, Vermibus initiates discourse on contemporary ads, criticizing the representation of humans through the media’s lens. The streets of Berlin play an essential role, as people stop and stare at his dehumanized figures that were already depersonalized, no longer seen as trivial photographs, which stripped the models of their identities, replacing them with the identities of the brands. Catch a glimpse of some of his works, and find out about his upcoming exhibition in Berlin after the jump. Read on…
photo: Mobile Kino
In the summer of 2009, brothers Joel and Joshua Alas decided to invest some money in a digital projector with plans to start their own open-air film night. What resulted from the little open-air screening in the Lessinghöhe Park in Neukölln was what we now know as Mobile Kino. The digital age has hit cinemas, and as 35mm projections began to fade away, we lost some of the magic of the movies. So, the Mobile Kino crew (comprised of a team of Berlin projectionists, cinema managers and programmers) decided to step in and create an HD digital cinema-on-wheels in the form of a beautiful Christiania transport bike. Over the years, the project has evolved working with a variety of partners, filmmakers and guest programmers; working with filmmakers directly or German distributors to ensure their proceeds go to the right people. Also iHeartBerlin has teamed up with the guys from Mobile Kino for basically all of their film events including the Berlin Film Nights and the Cinéma de Mode. Click on to find out more about this project that has become a household name among movie-lovers, and see which screenings you can catch this month.
Wings of Desire
The Rainer Werner Fassbinder exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau got us thinking of all the important and inspiring films set in Berlin. In a subversive metropolis that has seen more changes than anywhere in Western Europe over the last 150 years, many filmmakers have made movies as unmistakable love letters to Berlin. With no lack of deranged tentacle sex, drug abuse and political struggle, we’ve rounded up our favorite films with Berlin playing a major role. Spanning close to 9 decades, our list takes you on a tour of Berlin at different historical points, through all the luxury and glamour, the horror and disillusion. From German Expressionism to German New Wave, click on to see which films made the cut.
G. directed by Esther Löwe
Showing over 100 of the latest curated fashion films, a full day of talks by industry leaders and an evening of awards and bare skin, the Berlin Fashion Film Festival is finally here. Highlighting the rise of fashion using film as its main platform, fashion branding has evolved into something artistic, evocative, and best of all, fun. The growing importance of the interdisciplinary approach to branding brings forth the growing global fashion film phenomenon. Gone are the days of the term “fashion” being used to describe what we wear–now, everything from music to cinematography comes into play. The Berlin Fashion Film Festival focuses on recognizing visual talent and connects filmmakers, producers, creative agencies and clients such as brands, labels, designers and fashion enthusiasts of all backgrounds. The BFFF Fashion Film Summit is coming to Astra Kulturhaus June 5th 2015, and will be followed by an awards show and after party. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the festival, which will feature screenings, panel discussions and parties with influential established and up-and-coming talent. Click on to get a sneak peak at some of this year’s entries and enter to win a pair of tickets to the event. Read on…
photo: Georg Schober
A tattoo is an irreversible act bound to a body and a life, and who better to remind us of this than Berlin-based tattoo artist Valentin Hirsch? It’s not easy to establish yourself as a tattoo artist these days, especially with the new wave of styles, technique and talent the past few years have brought us. Hirsch found his niche in the form of haunting animal motifs, geometry and avant-garde collages, all brought to life with beautifully refined dot work and clean lines. 2010 marked the transition from illustrations on paper to skin, and this change in medium acted as the distinctive turning point in the artistic development of Hirsch’s work, which resulted in tattoos drawn with disturbing symmetry and abstraction. His first monographic book SYMMETRIES highlights the transition from drawing to tattooing as an inevitable next step in his evolution as an artist, which is defined by consistency and reinvention in equal measure, with an essay by Gunter Damisch and an interview with the artist by Uta Grosenick. Click on to see more of his designs and find out how you can get a copy. On Saturday, June 27, 2015 Valentin is celebrating the release of the book together with iGnant.
Solos by Antonio da Silva
It’s been 10 years since Michael Stütz and Bartholomew Sammut, the directors of the Xposed International Queer Film Festival sat in the basement of SchwuZ wondering if anyone would show up to their film festival. Featuring a selectionof passionate, captivating, crazy and undeniably weird queer short films, Xposed has since evolved to giving audiences an indepth look into queer culture and identity. Queer is a term that has progressed with our society into what I’d describe as a positive, unassuming representation of non-binary identity, and for the past 10 years, Xposed has been teaching us all to stand our ground. From May 21st-24th at Kino Moviemento, you can get a taste of the festival’s glory, shame, distaste, trash and beauty, all made with a love for queer cinema, for Berlin and for the ever-expanding storytelling possibilites of within the world of film. This year, they’re introducing the Queer Short Film Fund, which aims to help get Berlin based queer film projects into production. These films, just like those in the festival program, should aim to challenge and question normative perspectives and silmultaeously broaden their vision to topics beyond traditional LGBTQIA+ representation in the mainstream niche market. Click on to see some program highlights as well as this year’s festival teaser.
Urban parks are more than just stretches of green amidst buildings and traffic. Entering a good park can change your whole sense of place, leaving you feeling like you just went away without leaving the city. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite parks, which run the gamut in size and features. Sprawled across the city, these urban oases all have something unique to offer, whether you’re in the mood for a picnic, a bike ride, a party or simply an afternoon stroll. Click on to start planning your next urban escape.
When it comes to finding unique shops, restaurants and cafes, there’s no better place than Neukölln. The district has become a paradise of off-kilter vintage boutiques, with a focus on buying local and a refined aesthetic that keeps the chain stores and shopping malls at bay. The innovative spaces of Neukölln create the perfect balance between a unique shopping experience and a vibrant nightlife scene. The hip district welcomes you to stroll through the streets, enjoy the start of summer and perhaps stumble upon some new (or used) treasures. To help you navigate your way through all the different kiezes, we’ve put together a guide to lead you into our favorite spots. We’re introducing a selection of newly opened stores along with some old favorites. Check out our list after the jump. For more recommendations of the district please also see our first Neukölln guide with more places in it. Read on…
When is someone truly German? In “Past Present Tense,” filmmaker Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo creates a discourse on racism that provokes us to examine the question of German identity and its relationship to racism of the past and present. Through the years of social and political transitions, Germany’s identity has been shaped into the contemporary society we know. This film encourages the audience to analyze their perception of class, race and privilege on a national scale, though I couldn’t help but notice how prevalent the issue was in Berlin alone. Through the intimate stories told from the perspectives of Germans of minority descent, I found both solace and frustration in hearing about their experiences and opinions, much of which often go unheard and unseen in Berlin, as topics like racial discrimination may be too fragile for conversation when our society has been working to repress the past. So are we still infatuated with past ideals? Click on to examine the question of racism in contemporary Berlin and see some of the film highlights. Read on…
Ayurveda is a term based on thousands of years of holy Indian scripture that translates to “the knowledge of life.” It is a holistic science of health with a focus on the maintenance of a balanced state of being. Our bodies contain three doshas, which are biological energies that express patterns in our physical, emotional and mental characteristics. There’s no doubt about the food and drinks we ingest affecting our doshas, and now a new lunch spot in Schöneberg is serving up delicious Thalis with the right combination of herbs and spices to balance our Ayurvedic constitutions. Check out their fresh new concept and menu after the jump!