“Vertreibung” by Michi Schneider
Art universities are a places of deep mystery for me. I often hear stories and anecdotes from several friends who studied in such places but I never got a clue on how these places really work. I guess it is somehow also intended to be like this. Imagine if the process of creating and teaching art would become transparent to everybody, it would loose definitely a lot of its magic.
Anyway, I try every year to visit the art universities graduation shows, not only because I love to scout for fresh new talents but also because I love to challenge my brain with the following problem: How can you give an artwork a grade and even a degree? Especially with very abstract artworks it is a challenge to imagine that somebody (I always imagine an art professor looking like Dumbledore with a white shirt full of color sprinkles) has given this a grade.
If you want to challenge yourself with the same question I invite you to visit the exhibition cool runnings by the graduates of Weißensee until the 30th of July. Some of the presented sculptures and paintings are really impressive. My favorites in the sculpture department was a flying boat called Syrenale made out of wood and neon lights by Anselm Schenkluhn. The illustration by Markus Scheunemann was also very intriguing – it was called Alice, tell me your wonderland and portrayed a very sexual interpretation of the story with a lot of pornographic Berlin scenery.
Call me shallow but my favorite painting was the one by Michi Schneider called Vertreibung showing Beyoncé as the Holy Mary next to a black kid being on the run. It hits the nerve on the recent refugee situation where our so-called Christian country is totally out of line in all political decisions right now. Enjoy some impressions of the exhibition after the jump and try to go there if you can.
We’ve followed Italian illustrator and artist Nicola Napoli now already for quite a while, starting with his famous piece of the line in front of Berghain, over to the amazing garden of lust that was commissioned for the flyer of the monthly Berghain program, to his witty and fascinating portrayal of the iconic Kotti and of course his most recent interpretations of famous fashion designers.
Now for the first time we’ve collaborated with him for a brand new artwork and it’s going to be a quite ambitions one. He will present his new piece BERLINFERNO at the Absolut Art Bar that will take place on Saturday, August 1st 2015 at the brand new Blogfabrik (the crazy new blogger space that we share with many other content creators). Sign up now for the guestlist here and find out more after the jump!
photos: Anna Agliardi
The summer party of the UdK – University of the Arts is one of the cultural highlights of the summer. Crazy performances, nice jazz music, outlandish musical singers and of course beautiful art works of the graduating students are just a few of the highlights of this spectacular night. Sadly this year was a bit different than the other years. Most of the ateliers and working studios were closed for public. The students are protesting against the new faculty politic which is having less permanent professors and is working with more guest professors instead. These guest professors are often famous artists with a big name bringing a lot of attention to the university. But of course for the students this PR strategy means also less assistance also during the semester holidays and generally speaking famous artists are not automatically good teachers.
Even if I think the protest has its valuable reasons, I was wondering all night if not showing the work of the students is the best strategy to accomplish anything. The Rundgang is always a perfect platform for the upcoming artists to present their work to the public and to the press. Rejecting this opportunity for a bigger cause is a understandable decision. But as a lot of befriended artists of mine also said: It would have been much more effective to show art and cancel the party instead. Or at least don’t serve alcohol. But this would be crazy, right?
Anyway, we had a good night and enjoyed discovering some artworks and listening to the music and dancing in the magical courtyards of the university. You can still go and discover the artworks of the graduating students and the architects during the whole weekend. All the information and addresses are listed here. Enjoy the photographic impressions of last night shot by Anna Agliardi after the jump.
Last night we had the pleasure to spend a wonderful summer evening and night at the Jackie O bar at the Spree a bit outside of the city center. Considering the destruction of the club culture and the monopolization of some clubs it comes to no surprise that the number of locations far from the center are growing and becoming more popular. Beyond the S-Bahn ring you are a bit more save from neighbors complaining about noise, impossibly high location rents and also the mainstream party tourism that has sadly dissolved the coolness of a lot of clubs and parties in the past couple of years.
Jackie O is one of these locations that has remained a well kept secret for a few summer seasons now. It’s a short bike ride from Ostkreuz down Köpenicker Chaussee across from Sisyphos and next to Hafenküche. It’s charming outdoor area is right at the river bank of the Spree and in case of bad weather they also have a nice indoor bar and dancefloor. The audience here is not as young, more like 30 plus and definitely more local than it’s neighboring Sisyphos.
Last night they celebrated a summer party with some food stalls, an awesome live concert with Noah Becker’s band Bakery, the first (and golden) edition of the Absolut Art Bar, and the opening reception of the artwork Diagint by Ian Stell. For some impressions have a look after the jump.
photos: Funkhaus Berlin
The Funkhaus Berlin is an old GDR institution where all the recordings for the public radio and TV stations took place. It’s a massive and impressive building directly at the Spree near Rummelsburg. The place is absolutely stunning to look at, both from the inside and outside. Nowadays the Funkhaus is home to many artists and musicians who have their studios and rehearsal spaces in there. You can actually rent spaces in all imaginable sizes for a really moderate price there, and it’s a really inspiring atmosphere there. Sometimes they host open house days, special events and exhibitions so you have the chance to go inside and see the great space turned into a gallery.
This coming weekend “A Happening” will combine music, art and the space. If that’s not a great plan for the weekend I don’t know what is! More about it after the jump.
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.
Peachbeach, Urban Spree, 2014
Berlin is a mecca for street art murals, thanks to its many abandoned places and empty fire walls all over town. Obviously this attracts many artists who come here to find huge canvases for their work and a freedom of expression that they might not have where they come from. In Berlin the people have an openness, even an eagerness for all the different genres of art and they especially enjoy it when it’s out in the public for everyone to see. I think I have never been in another city in the world where street art murals have achieved a similar status as the normal sights of a city that people come to see here.
Wall Dialogue is a group exhibition at Neurotitan Gallery opening this week on June 27, 2015 that showcases the work of 11 graffiti and street artists from Berlin (and one guest artist) who are mainly known for their large-size murals here in Berlin but also work in other cities all over the world. We have checked up on the artists and collected some of their murals here in Berlin, some of which still exists while others have been painted over already. Enjoy our new set of amazing artworks on the walls of Berlin after the jump.
Robert Montgomery, All Palaces, photo: Kai von Rabenau,
courtesy Neue Berliner Räume
You’ve probably heard the news by now: The glorious Stattbad Wedding has recently closed. This weekend the party makers of the club nights Stattnacht are throwing the last two parties in their temporary exile at one of the previously unused halls of Neue Heimat and after that an era has ended. I feel quite sad about this sudden development because the Stattbad was one of those locations that I have recommended through its entire run here on iHeartBerlin, for parties, exhibitions and other crazy stuff happening there. The old public swimming pool found a new purpose in the hands of the makers of Stattbad and the place including all its institutions such as the Open Walls gallery, the Stattbar and the Statt.lab was a wonderful experimental playground for a whole generation of creative Berliners and therefor an important part of the youth culture of Berlin for the past 6 years. It’s a shame that the place has closed so unexpectedly and there is not even a chance to have a final good-bye party there. So as an alternative we went back into our archive and compiled a huge best of from all the coverage and photos we have dedicated to Stattbad over the past 6 years and then some. Enjoy the Stattbad Chronicles after the jump and don’t feel ashamed to shed a tear for this amazing place on the final Stattnacht party on Saturday night and the open air on Sunday. We will miss you, Stattbad Wedding.
With the anticipation building for this year’s Fusion Festival, we’ve been inspired to create a list of new and more intimate summer music and arts festivals. Some are hosting performances and events at unique venues across Berlin, while others invite us take a break from the city life, pack some camping gear and escape to the beaches and forests not far away. This year welcomed a handful of new festivals with a focus on creating a community atmosphere where you can spend a weekend enjoying great music, quality food and drinks, exhibitions, installations, workshops and performances. It’s time to leave the club scene behind for a weekend and make the most of these festivals, many of which only come with the short-lived Berlin heat. Click on to discover what this summer holds in store.
photos: Gerrit Engel, courtesy of Sexauer Gallery
The latest exhibition opening by photographer Gerrit Engel at Sexauer Gallery had me thinking of my early days in Berlin back in the beginning of the 2000s. I call myself lucky that I have been in Berlin long enough to have had the possibility to enter the former Palace of the Republic, the once glamorous Chamber of the People and cultural meeting point of former East Germany. In my early days of Berlin the place stood there grey and silently at the riverside of the Spree like a big headstone to the grave of the GDR. The space was mostly abandoned and shut down for public access. The shiny copper plates of the facade that made the building look quite impressive back in the day were long removed and a concrete block remained obstructing the view to any of the beautiful historic buildings around it, no matter from which angle you looked.
But all of a sudden the place was opened again for temporary use. I don’t remember exactly if this happened at the same time, but there was also the announcement that the building would get taken down soon, so maybe this was the reason for the city to sublet it for cultural events so they could collect some money for the expensive demolition. I remember being in there for a couple of big parties and one really magnificent big exhibitions called Fraktale IV: Tod in 2005. It was awesome to see the space from the inside used by artists for huge elaborate exhibits, but without all the glamorous lamps that I knew from photos and that gave the place the nickname “Erich’s lamp shop” it kind of just looked like any other abandoned industrial building that Berlin has so many of. Well, none of them have had such a magnificent location and such a controversial history…