My Gallery Weekend started with an artistic installation that actually has nothing to do with the official Gallery Weekend (but has some good chances to become my favorite installation anyways). In celebration of its 20th anniversary, German record label raster-noton presents a ‘white circle’, an acoustic-architectural space designed as an audiovisual installation inside the hall of Berghain. On this occasion four of the label’s musician were invited to develop and contribute an exclusive composition: Alva Noto, Byetone, Frank Bretschneider, and Kangding Ray.
The four pieces are all very different but play with the full spectrum of light and darkness in visuals and sound. I was really impressed by the intense atmosphere this installation created. Suddenly I felt transported to a foreign galaxy where an Egyptian god of techno is ruling the world. Don’t miss to visit this place over the weekend. After the jump I created a couple of animated GIFs to give you an impression of the art piece, but of course without the sound it’s only half the experience.
“Many recent articles have attempted to tackle the subject of dating in Berlin, explaining why and how the dating scene here is seen as a difficult one. People are said to ‘fall in love with the city and only with the city’.” This is the summery of the documentary film Berlin Way of Love.
Does this sound familiar to you? To be honest it sounds familiar to me. And to be even more honest it’s probably about me. Through a combination of funny circumstances I was asked to participate in a short documentary about love in Berlin called Berlin Way of Love. Together with Jule Müller from im gegenteil we had a short interview session where we had to share our “expertise” ( hilarious!) about dating in Berlin and why it is so difficult. The cherry on top of this absurd situation was that I had to talk in English which I did with my strongest, most charming German accent. As you might imagine watching the final documentary is not as fun for myself as it might be for you. But still I have to admit that it is a very charming short movie with some funny insights about dating in Berlin. If you want to see Berlin Way of Love you have to find out the upcoming screening date after the jump.
One of the most iconic things about Berlin is surely its subway lines. Like a yellow snake it makes its way through the city, it’s so recognizable and its shade of yellow so particular. Berliners and visitors alike seem to love it so much, also the tiles underground stations that often have beautiful patterns that have been cherished and capture many times for Instagram.
But there was a time when the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations had quite a different aesthetic. At the turn of the 19th to 20th century they were glorious big buildings with stunning architecture. Thanks to the fact that Berlin’s streets weren’t so dense with buildings at the time these stations really stood out in their places, having so much room to breath. Some of the stations actually remained like that for over 100 years until now, while others have been reconstructed or rebuild in more modern ways. Many subway stations have indeed been replaced with simple staircases into the underground without a building on top.
Today we want to take a look back at the history of Berlin’s most beautiful and stunning U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. Enjoy!
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
Exploring new cities has always been a pleasure for us. We come back with a bag full of new inspiration, ideas and urban concepts that we might want to see also in our beloved hometown. Last week Alicia Kassebohm and I had the great pleasure to travel to Milan to visit the prominent Milan Design Week invited by the Belgium Design initiative: Belgium is Design. Like last year we visited The Salone del Mobile which is the biggest fair for contemporary design products and the Fuorisalone (outside Salone) the uncountable mass of side-events happening all around the city. In over 5 districts of Milan the complete neighborhood is transformed into a walkable showroom where young and upcoming designers and small manufactures present their products. This brings not only a lot of creativity to the neighborhoods but also involves the inhabitants in what is usually a very elitist topic: design. This kind of urban participation is something I really miss in all the fairs and big events happening in Berlin. So this would be something I could really imagine in a Berlin of the future. After the jump you find our favorite impressions sorted out by districts, a little art museum adventure we had and the best pieces from the exhibition of our partners from the Belgium Design Initiative.
“I always wore at least a colored sock”
Günther Anton Krabbenhöft, the senior that got famous through a street-style photograph, is special in every way. With his elegant and colorful clothing, the 70 year old refuses to sink into the beige-grey of many elder people. He prefers to dress elegantly, yet with a touch of extravaganza. This preference is also to be found in his home.
Krabbenhöft invited Frank Bertram from wunderwerk.berlin to his home in Kreuzberg and told a little bit about his motivations and inspirations to dress well and be different.
Everything in his apartment seems to be well-chosen, from the coat hook to the table he sits on. Even the tea-pot he pours his tea out of is a designer-piece, seemingly. But make no mistake, Krabbenhöft is no hipster, as he states at the end of the video: “Hipsters”, he says, “Hipsters are different”.
See the charming video right after the jump.
The blog Abandoned Berlin is the #1 source for urban explorers as it’s the most comprehensive archive of abandoned places in and around Berlin, with detailed descriptions of how to get inside and what the dangers might be; it also has a lot of information about the history of the places. For me the most interesting part of the blog are the comments where recent visitors of each place leave their updates on the current situations regarding safety and accessibility.
The founder of the blog, Ciarán Fahey, also released a book with his favorite photographs from the blog that we reviewed a while ago. Now we stumbled across a brand-new wonderful documentary short that filmmaker Jordi Busquets shot with Ciarán. It includes footage of some of the most stunning abandoned places of Berlin such as the Teufelsberg spy station, the Spreepark amusement park, the old Children’s Hospital nicknamed Zombie Hospital, the former Tempelhof Airport (actually the only one that’s not really abandoned as it’s a huge refugee camp and public park now) and the old airport in Johannisthal. In the video Ciarán tells the story of his passion for urban exploring and how he started his blog and also some info on the history of the featured places. A great inspiration for all urban explorers. Enjoy the video after the jump.
The Berlin underground scene is one of the most diverse in the world. Makes sense – where there is a large society, there is also an underground, an anti-pole to the mainstream. If you look around the Hip Hop scene nowadays, a lot of things have changed. The subcultural character of Hip Hop seemingly vanished and slowly but steadily German Rap became mainstream. But still, Hip Hop is the voice of the unheard, an organ for the youth and a space for resistance.
Young filmmaker and and photographer Mirza Odabaşı took it upon himself to go back in time, to the origins of Berlin and German Rap culture and met up with a wide range of artists and personalities from the scene. In his documentary LeidenSchafft, a pun from the words “passion”, “misery” and “creation”, Odabaşı goes into the deep meanings of the local Rap culture, talks about identity and finding and defining yourself in and outside of the music. He met up with many icons of the scene, ranging from well-known artists like Marteria, Chefket, Eko Fresh and many more to rather Oldschool trailblazers such as Killa Hakan, Marcus Staiger or Spaiche.
In 43 minutes Odabaşı manages to get into topics such as experiences of social exclusion, some of the possible reasons to why Hip Hop is so popular amongst the alleged socially disadvantaged adolscents and portrays the people shaping the German Hip Hop scene in beautiful images in Berlin.
In that way, “LeidenSchafft” is a look back and an appraisal at the same time, bringing light to the underground. And human emotions.
See some impressions of the film and a teaser after the jump.
One of the many facets of Berlin that people really love and cherish is the rough, urban and industrial style of the city. It’s something that Berlin has in common with places like Brooklyn or South East London. But combined with Berlin’s history, the devision, the Soviet influence of the East, it developed a quite particular style that sets it apart from the other cities. Raw brick walls and concrete, factory lamps and Edison light bulbs, this is pretty much an aesthetic you will see all over the world. But Berlin adds old GDR relics, remains of the Soviet military, and remnants of old industries that were specific to Germany. The outcome is a unique mix of history, design and patina that feels specific to Berlin.
In our newest guide we want to introduce you to 3 shops that have specialized in industrial vintage design, all of which combine common aesthetics with more particular ones. We love all three of these shops as they capture so much an essential part of the style of Berlin. Enjoy!
We’re not alone on this one. Doesn’t everyone enjoy Spring? The blossoming of their surroundings? Isn’t it beautiful for every pair of eyes to see colors again, to feel warm air on their skin?
Spring is the season of hope. It is to a year what the morning is to a day. A beginning, a new start, a hunch. It is an opening, a promise to what might be. With the colorful flowers, the smiles on people’s faces and the memory of a warmth slowly coming back, spring is also high spirits. Drunken from the first soft drafts of air that don’t cut ice cold when inhaling, we all tend to take a leap of faith.
A leap of faith into the sun, out of our scarves. Away from the heating and into the outdoors. A step towards us all, we see ourselves again: Walking freely on the streets, with a swing in our steps. Spring in Berlin is like a flower thriving, each one of us a petal, with our arms open to the sky and to each other.
“We are feeling good and there’s a Späti in the neighborhood.” There is probably no better USP to Berlin than its Spätis and probably no better way to start a song. Daði Freyr and Jökull Logi from LESULA are originally from Iceland and are currently studying and making music in the capital. And the guys seem to love one aspect of the capital in particular. Their song “Reinickendorf” is a relaxed and funny hymn to the one-and-only, in their eyes underestimated beer Sternburg Export. Better known to Berliners as well-priced Sterni, you have probably drunken this liquid gold at some point. For some people it’s more like liquid Zyankali though. Depends, on your taste. But: “You know that we appreciate it” as they sing smoothly. LESULA show in their music video shot by Árný Fjóla what it means to relax in totally underrated Reinickendorf. And are very funny while doing so. Check out this funny gem and nod your head to this original capital anthem. Right after the jump.