For a couple of years now photographer Diane Vincent has been climbing up to the rooftops of Berlin and taking photos up there. She finds a lot of peace and tranquility on these urban and empty deserts, capturing a view of Berlin that is for many of us invisible otherwise. I have been fascinated with rooftops too, but more because I think it’s completely wasted urban living space. I think all of the rooftops would be amazing living space to enjoy the sun and to drown out the noise of the streets while still being outdoors. But sadly most rooftops are forbidden to enter because the roofs are not built in a way that they are safe to walk on. Shame really.
With her collection of rooftop photos piling up Diane has now compiled a selection of them into a cute self-published book titled “Oben” (up) which you can order now on her website. After the jump you can see some of our favorite rooftop photos.
The long weekend (for everybody who could take a “Brückentag) was a blast! You want to know how we made it even better? We went to the Wormland & House of Calvin Klein event and enjoyed some nice drinks, luxurious fashion, beautiful models and a charming concert by Jesper Munk. And the cherry on the cake was meeting good friends like the boys from Dandy Diary, as well as model and entrepreneur Markus. We took some photos for everybody who could not make it. Take a look at our impressions after the jump.
photos: Matt Lambert
We’ve had talented photographer and filmmaker Matt Lambert on our radar since his short film project with Dazed&Confused and his involvement in the amazing participative theater production MEAT. Since then we’ve seen his sexually provocative work also in several amazing editorials and films including a recent music video for iconic German singer Marius Müller Westernhagen.
Matt is giving us a pretty good reflection of the current youth culture with its rebellious and overly sexualized forms of expression. In his photos and videos we see young people exploring themselves and their sexuality with a strong impulse to be as progressive and aggressive as possible, bending the rules and the social norms of what is appropriate. They glorify non-conformance, sexualize violence, and experiment with different sexual orientations and polygamy. From a superficial point of view it looks a bit like they have an inflated sense of self-importance. But my interpretation is, that they are simply confused, scared and lost in the strange times we live in. It’s a world that’s caught in a limbo between luxury, gluttony and safety on the one side and complete and utter chaos on the other. They are looking into a future that is uncertain in many ways because our past generations are leaving them a world that’s a complete mess.
Matt’s first photo book titled Keim is being released by Pogo Books today and features a good chunk of his mostly homoerotic work. Tonight (May 13) the release is being celebrated with an exhibition opening at Iconoclast and an afterparty at Ballhaus Mitte. Enjoy some of Matt Lambert’s photographs after the jump.
photos: Skylar Kang
Experimental theater nowadays can hardly shock anybody. I have seen everything happening on stage: Blowjobs, Kiss-Orgys, dancers penetrated by giant dildos and even a whole audience who started to take of their clothes. Sometimes these pieces get scandalized in the press, but similarly to the art world the theater world mostly applauds when a tabu gets broken.
The theater piece Monster Truck: Welcome to Germany is premiering tonight in Sophiensaele and has already a scandal going on. The piece was supposed to premiere in Leipzig a couple of weeks ago but didn’t because the managing director of the theater cancelled the show. The reason: a dead pig gets dissected on stage and turned into sausages. After seeing the show, I really wonder, why something which is actually happening all around Germany every day (pigs turned into sausages) should not be shown on a theater stage. Nowadays, nearly everybody has seen so many disgusting things in the food documentaries, that hardly anybody gets shocked by that.
Apart from the pig the piece is a quite original perfomance. Its inspired by a Bavarian enclave called “Villa Baviera” in Chile. If you would go there you would think that it was a beautiful fake Germany with girls in dirndls and boys in leather shorts. The truth behind the folklore-kitsch is that it was the residence of a horrible sect and a torture camp for children for over 40 years. After it was closed in 2005 and the sect leader who molested several children got finally convicted the place was turned into a vacation resort. This absurd story is the starting point for an evening with shocking pictures and impressive stage design. Check out the photos and the dates after the jump.
Yasmin May Jaafar
Wow, what a load of fun this year’s Pictoplasma festival was! We loved the new venue at the former Crematorium in Wedding now titled “silent green” and the main show (that was good, but maybe a bit small?) and even more so did we love the Academy All-Stars show at Urban Spree! Character design has always been something that deeply fascinates me and so all the creatures, monsters and critters doing funny things just make my heart jump like a candy bar does for a little kid. Enjoy my impressions of the group exhibition at Urban Spree after the jump.
The Ngoro Ngoro group exhibition curated by Christian Achenbach, Jonas Burgert, Zhivago Duncan, Andreas Golder, John Isaacs and David Nicholson that took place in a huge art space in Weißensee was probably the most impressive event during the Gallery Weekend Berlin. The exhibition was made with so much love, there was so much to discover in several halls and buildings, and the atmosphere in the yard with the bars and the pool was so lovely that it was really inviting to stay there the entire weekend. It felt almost like a little art festival. If you missed the show, don’t be sad, we have lots of impressions for you after the jump. And one of the shows will still be open until May 22, 2015.
The first weekend of May has been notable not only for Labour Day, but for art in Berlin as well. For the 11th time 47 galleries (this year) opened their doors from the first until the third of May.
Among this year’s highlights were definitely the large scale sprayed paintings by Katharina Grosse, who inaugurated the new exposition domicile in the St. Agnes church of Johann König. Her bright colorful art is characterized by her demolished paper bits spray technique, as you would normally know from collages. One could not have filled the great room on the first floor of the church any better. Along with other art pieces on the ground floor of the concrete church Jeppe Hein’s mirrored chrome balloons with colorful strings on the ceiling were much admired too. More impressions after the jump.
photo: Wojtek Mejor
Blogs like ours, as well as those of many of our dear colleagues such as Berlin Loves You, Finding Berlin, Stil in Berlin, Mit Vergnügen, überlin, Pieces of Berlin and the Berlin newsletter Sugarhigh are all about praising Berlin in all of its glory. We think Berlin is a great city worth all the praise and we won’t listen to the haters. But they are out there, those who despise our city and like to criticize every little bit of it and the people inside it. They like to blame us Berlin bloggers for accelerating the gentrification, for bringing in “the wrong people”, for inevitable changes in the city and for the general downfall of the Western civilization. We wondered, how would their blog bookmarks look like. If all the Berlin loving blogs were doing quite the opposite, how would that look like? Check out our imaginary list of despicable Berlin blogs after the jump…
I think it’s pretty obvious that you have to speak German when you want to live in Germany. But Berlin is not Germany. Berlin is a state of mind. And in this state of mind of total freedom people often think that they don’t need to speak German when they start living and working here. I know quite some people who are annoyed by the English speaking expats, but for me as a German I find it actually pretty great that I can practice my English with a lot of native speakers without even leaving my neighborhood. But for the new people who arrive in Berlin and who try learning German it’s really difficult to practice because everybody automatically switches to English as soon they hear a foreign accent.
I know for a fact that without a certain knowledge of German (and an understanding of the culture and mentality of the Germans) some doors (business and private ones) will never open for the new Berliners who plan to make a life here. That sounds a bit dramatic, but I just wish that new Berliners have less fear of the German language and maybe a bit more enthusiasm for learning it.
While I just typed the word “enthusiasm” I had to imagine the shocked faces of several of my non-German speaking friends. And probably quite a lot of my non-German speaking readers think that I have gone insane right now. But honestly: German is a beautiful and precise language with a lot of creative freedom and abundance of neologism that makes the language alive. I don’t want to bother you much more with my love for the German. That’s why I would like to let this photography project convince you to at least try to spark your enthusiasm. The amazing photo tumblr Days of Deutsch that I discovered a couple of days ago, helps you to learn German with photographs of Berlin. More about this beautiful project after the jump.
photos: Philipp J. Bösel & Burkhard Maus
In 1984 the photographers Philipp J. Bösel and Burkhard Maus had a funny idea: Let’s go to West Berlin and photograph the entire 18 km of the Berlin Wall as seen from the West! The result was a stunning series of 1144 black and white photos that would make up a huge panorama if you would line them up next to each other. This is probably the most detailed documentation of the exterior of the Berlin Wall that was taken before it got torn down in 1989. In these photos you see a lot of funny graffitis my favorite one being the one above that reads “What the fuck are you looking at, never seen a damn wall before?” in dry German words.
25 years later this photo series was turned into a beautiful photobook published by Verlag Kettler. It’s an amazing documentation of one of the most significant periods of Berlin’s history and now one of the must-have Berlin books for every Berlin lover. There are only 1144 copies available of this limited edition, so you better hurry up to get yours. Some previews after the jump.