Gallery Weekend can be a little snobbish and too crowded from time to time. Fortunately there is one event I am looking so much forward to it that it makes up for all other little annoyances: Pictoplasma, the unique festival for contemporary character design is back in Berlin. Presenting a dense program of inspiring artist presentations, conference lectures, animation screenings, workshops, installations, exhibitions, performances and a big party it has something for everybody who is in love with cute art! Also there will be a pop-up shop at the Uniqlo store where you can buy things and get a little workshop with the Japanese artist Akinori Oishi.
The main exhibition under the title Form Follows Empathy with international artists awaits you in the recently re-discovered abandoned crematorium of Wedding, while a group show by last year’s Pictoplasma Academy Alumni will take place at our beloved Urban Spree. For the cinema lovers the big screen of Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz will show a unique animations program, while lively art happenings and performances at Platoon Kunsthalle ensure that you truly get into character. And the best of it: all of it is for free or with a quite small entrance fee!
And since we are friends with the festival for a couple of years we are giving away 3×2 tickets for the screenings. Just let us know the time and which screening you would love to attend in the comments section (including a valid email-adress). A little preview in pictures and the trailer after the jump.
This coming weekend the Bikini Berlin concept mall is celebrating the start of their big two week long Spring Festival with a colorful program of exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops and food events inside the mall and its stores. At the occasion we want to take a closer look at the Bikini Berlin and the areas around it with all its little gems and treasures. Since the opening of the mall last year a lot has happened in the good old West and all of a sudden everyone was speaking of a renaissance of West Berlin. A couple of high profile hotels opened in the area, new restaurants popped up, a new luxury cinema, the C/O Gallery finally re-opened after its move away from Mitte. And these are just a few of the new developments of the City West. It was about time that we explored this area and compile a little guide for you of the new West Berlin with the Bikini Berlin at its core. Enjoy our selection after the jump!
You might have noticed that lately we found several talented Berlin illustrators who have shown us their perspective on the city. Today I am glad to present you one particular artist who I have been following for quite a while. Sholem Krishtalka, is a Canadian illustrator and author and in my opinion one of the most talented storytellers of this city. He moved to Berlin nearly one and a half years ago and already created 30 short comic strips telling about his life in Berlin and his travels to other places in Europe. The short comics are little emotional journeys of a gay expat man here in Berlin, but I think that nearly everybody, no matter if gay or straight can relate to the tales of strange encounters happening in there. Some of the stories deal with general troubles, like finding a flat, others are more specific to the gay community. But all in all you realize that the comics are as unique as Berlin and no other place could have provided a better background for them. On Saturday, March 21, there will be an exhibition of Sholems dairies at the at SCHMIDT & HANDRUP gallery. Read a statement of the artist and all the details of the exhibition after the jump.
No other abandoned building became such an iconic representative for the mysterious past of Berlin like the former NSA station at Teufelsberg. On top an 80 meter artificial hill (made out of war detruits) in the Grunewald forest on the west edge of the city, this very impressive building is a strong recall of strategic importance of Berlin in the cold war. Several photo excursion, short clips and art projects are proof who much the collective imaginative is empowered by the fading architecture of this place. One really nice artistic dedication to this monument is the Teufelsberg series currently on display at Urban Spree Gallery. It is a set of 19 hand painted originals created by several Berlin street artist on a black-and-white screen print of the iconic Berlin-Teufelsberg landscape designed by Chrisse Kunst. The entire set comes after the jump.
photo: Uwe Walter
For the longest time, Potsdamer Straße in Tiergarten has been a forgotten place famous only for its theatre and a couple of national museums. But in recent years, the street has developed into a melting pot for contemporary art with countless new galleries, and a few additions to the world of avant-garde fashion as well. In this guide we will discover all the new and exciting places, along with a few classics. Click on to tour the hotspots of this bustling street.
If there is one thing certain about the Urban Spree gallery in Friedrichshain it’s that they will always deliver about their exhibition. Few galleries manage to be so consistant about their style while still being always full of fun and surprises.
The new group exhibition opening tonight curated by the artist duo behind the collective Peachbeach is one more example for Urban Spree’s genious choices of arists. They got all their favorite fellow artists together to create a spectacular show and of course yet another huge mural that is going to cover the outside of the gallery. Apart from Vidam and Look from Peachbeach there will also be the work of DXTR,BASE23, Mike Friedrich, Martin Krusche, Deedee Kid, John Reaktor and Zipper die Rakete. After the jump you will see a preview of the show, but make sure to come by the vernissage tonight as there is going to be quite the party going on.
photos by Yuto Yamada
Dubl Trubl is the funny title of the current group exhibition of one of our favorite galleries for urban art, the Urban Spree gallery at the RAW area in Friedrichshain. Curated by Discreet over 90 street and graffiti artists, mostly from London, had paired up and sprayed over every inch of the outside and inside walls of the gallery. This is a continuation of the fascinating concept to use the entir building as a canvas for art and this exhibition has made use of it in the most extensive capacity that I have seen so far. Even the trash cans were used for the art! What I like about the exhibition that it somehow seems like it’s still from one artist as most of the work kept in the colorspace that includes black, white and yellow. It looks pretty iconic this way and will be very memorable, though it will soon be painted over by the next exhibition I assume.
This Thursday the exhibition will celebrate its closing night so it’s your last chance to see it up-close. To make the finissage even more exciting it will also be the release of the Dubl Trubl documentary video and zine that was produced in parallel to the exhibition with lots of behind the scenes and making of material. Urban Spree is also celebrating the launch of Chrisse Kunst’s print collaboration with the artists Dave The Chimp, Billy & Alex, Thierry Noir, Aeon, Christiaan Nagel, Reka and more. So come by and check out all the shiny new things and discover all the Dubl Trubl street art and graffiti around the place. Some previews after the jump.
photo: Amtsgericht by Herz&Blut
Since the beginning of our blogging experience we realized that Berlin has so much more to discover if you just open your eyes a bit wider. We always wanted to find the hidden gems, the undiscovered artist, the small off-theater production and give them the attention they deserved. Now after 7 years we managed to have quite a good knowledge of the city, but still every once in a while we make exciting new experiences here that take our breath away.
Last week we shared a similar experience with a group of fellow Berlin bloggers (FindingBerlin, Herz&Blut, Ghetogether to name a few). The guys from the Kulturfestival Wedding & Moabit wanted to show us the highlights of Wedding with a little tour and they did a marvelous job in presenting us not only spectacular architectonical highlights such as the Amtsgericht Tiergarten but also shared personal moments and anecdotes of their Kiezes with us while enjoying a slice of pizza.
From today on until September 14 the Kulturfestival Wedding & Moabit will transform these two neighborhoods into a lively creative oasis of ideas and festivities. Theater plays, dance performances, exhibitions, picnics, guided tours and of course an endless number of parties are just a few things you can experience during these days. Our recommended hotspots are the famous club Anita Berber, the monumental Amtsgericht and of course the Stattbad Wedding. Maybe after this weekend you will have a different view on Wedding and Moabit. You should also heck out our Fashion Week Guide to Wedding by the way. After the jump some more impressions from the different locations. Find out about the whole program of the festival here.
Ai Weiwei at Boros Collection
When I went through my city guide archive on iHeartBerlin I noticed that I neglected one of my favorite districts of the city a little bit in recent months. I lived in the North of Mitte for about 4,5 years and I quickly grew very fond of my neighborhood there around Rosenthaler Platz. Even though I live in Prenzlauer Berg now I still go there all the time and I really miss some of the places that I used to frequent on a daily basis. Mitte might have the reputation of being overly commercial, but I think still it is the best place for food, fashion and art as it has the best fashion shops, most important art galleries and the most popular restaurants in town.
As part of the brand new Heat Map by Heineken I was asked to create a list of my favorite places in Mitte. This Heat Map features the most interesting places not only in all the districts of Berlin, but also in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart. For my list I decided to create a little art tour through Mitte with some of the most important galleries for contemporary art as well as some of my favorite places that you will come across on the way. This walking tour is my ultimate suggestions on how to spend a day in Berlin-Mitte dedicated to art. Keep your eyes open on the way, as you will come across some nice shops, cafes and restaurants as well. Enjoy and be inspired!
Contemporary art from China is almost only known under the prominent name of Ai Weiwei. Obviously such a huge country has far more creative talent than only one single individual, even though being an artist in China is probably not the easiest job to pursue due to the dictatorial regime.
One interesting opportunity to discover new talents from China is the current exhibition The 8 of Paths which showcases a generation of artists who have gained new possibilities and new freedoms to express themselves. Presenting 23 positions by young artists living in Beijing the goal of the exhibition is to promote China as a vibrant and artistic country. Even though this goal leaves some question marks inside my head, I really enjoyed visiting the exhibition at the Uferhallen in Wedding. The artworks are very diverse and showed me really interesting cultural insights into Chinese society and their art world. The exhibition runs until July 13th 2014 and every Wednesday they are also showing cinema screenings at 19h. My photographic impressions and the address and times after the jump.