photos: Million Motions Medienproduktion
“If walls could talk…” This was the topic of the call for submissions for a giant new mural in Berlin that initiated the creation of 396 designs from almost 60 countries around the world. Talenthouse Kreativplattform chose out of the innovative and highly diverse submitted material the work of Marcus Haas and turned it into a mural with the help of the art group Xi-Design and the artists Size Two and Mario Mankey. The mural depicts a chunk of meat being cut in two by a knife engraved with the phrase “Berlin 1961-1989¨. It, thus, tells Berlin’s most defining story. Marcus Haas clarifies that the division of the meat into two parts refers to the division of the city into East and West Berlin from the emergence of the wall in 1961 through its fall in 1989. Taking a closer look one will be able to notice the different districts of the city vaguely drafted on the meat. You will find the mural opposite the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Straße for a limited duration of 3 months.
photo: Hara Katsiki
As mundane as it may sound, Berlin is the very definition of a melting pot. It has always reminded me of an immense theater stage, where all countries take their position and as soon as the lights start to dim, they begin interacting with each other; they fight, they love, they live, but most of all they constantly try to make their stories get heard as loud as possible. There is one thing they have always in common: they are fully in sync with their multicultural environment and in the case of Greece miles away from the picture drawn by Nia Vardalos’ Big Fat – filled with stereotypes, yet utterly entertaining – Greek Wedding.
Several Greek places around the world – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, concerts etc. – have always made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, but to a more twisted and disturbing extent than Lewis Carroll’s bizarre universe. It is mostly the image of people being lost in their Greek microcosm, fully ignorant of the overwhelming benefits life abroad has to offer, that brings discontent to me. And it is then, when you realize that for some coming from the same place has developed into the one and only criterion of socializing with people.
However, this story is about those who have become citizens of the world and their Greek identity represents a part of it and not vice versa. Here a few examples of Greek businesses and artists active in Berlin who choose to work and live through the aforementioned identity.
Berlin has always been a kaleidoscope of cultures. People from all over the world come here to spend some time or start a new life. Each and every one of them brings a little piece of their home country with them, may it be a recipe, a local tradition, an idea, or a project they started there and continue here. All of these things enrich Berlin is creativity and diversity. It gives its inhabitants the feeling they are not just living in one city, but they are living in the entire world in one place.
In our series about foreign lifestyles in Berlin we have already introduced you to the contributions to our city that came from Turkish and from Polish people. For our third edition we are looking at a country that is much further away than that: It’s also known as Down Under!
For our Australian edition we are also introducing a novelty to our series: We teamed up with the beloved international hair care brand Aussie to give you the chance to not only experience the Australian lifestyle here in Berlin, but also to win a travel budget of 2500 EUR to fly all the way down under yourself and get a taste of the Aussie life! More about that after the jump.
Berlin Biennale 2016, photo: Timo Ohler *
This summer seems to be the perfect time to discover new art and cultural exhibitions in Berlin. It’s not Gallery Weekend, it’s not Art Week either, yet there are still so many interesting exhibitions going on worth checking out. Of course the biggest one of all of them is the current edition of the Berlin Biennale that takes place at multiple venues all over central Berlin. This year’s concept of the acclaimed exhibition is quite controversial, the more reason for us to go and check it out! But we also have a brand new private art collection in town that follows in the footsteps of the me Collectors Room and the Collection Boros at the former Bunker. This one found a new home in the former Konzulat, a place that will be dearly missed but is now filled with new life. For a less high-concept, more down-to-earth kind of exhibition we recommend the #LiveThere Haus, an exhibition by visual artist collective 44flavours from Berlin who took over the Hallesches Haus for a few days next week. This and much more in our new Berlin exhibition highlights guide for the summer of 2016. Enjoy!
How can an artist be totally underground (whatever this means) and internationally famous at the same time? What might seem like a contradiction in Los Angeles, London, New York and Paris, is totally possible in Berlin. It is not unusual to meet pop star Peaches eating a snack at Kotti or stumble upon the world’s most famous doorman Sven Marquardt in a small gallery at an opening of an exhibition. So far, all these underground stars have been working in different fields. Of course, some of them have collaborated already, but the project I am about to present to you is more than that.
Initiated by the Audi Zeitgeist Project, dedicated to support experimental art and creative disciplines of all genres, an alliance of exceptional artists from Berlin has come together for a creative masterpiece called Black Mountain. In this experimental short film the artist collective „Like a wild beast fur“, composer Moritz von Oswald and Artistic Director Jan Engel reinterpreted Richard Wagners Opera Parsifal. On the 3rd of July you can watch the whole short film will be released online on Audi-City starring famous Volskbühne actors like Alexander Scheer, Volker Spengler and Jasna Fritzi Bauer and famous performers like VER.u.s.c.h.k.a., Peaches, Sven Marquardt and many more.
This contemporary take on the opera is revitalizing the traditional piece, setting it inside a dark Berlin techno club. Apart from the movie, which you can watch online on the web page of Audi-City, there will be an immersive exhibition open to the public at Gallery Ebensperger from the 6.7. to 24.7. There you can walk through the installation of Hauke Odendahl, which offers a deep immersive experience into the concept of the art piece. During the shooting of the film, one of our favourite Berlin photographers, Florian Kolmer, took individual portraits of the actors and performers. The installation and the portraits can be visited Wednesday to Saturday from 14-20h.
Check out the trailer and some preview pictures of the exhibition after the jump.
Today we would like to introduce you to the work of visual artist duo Schall & Schnabel. They moved in with us at Blogfabrik last year and ever since we always enjoyed watching them work over their shoulders. Just like us they have a thing for animated GIFs. With their photo work they always like to play around with distortion, lights and non-digital effects. Their new “concrete series” actually combines both real-life and digital effects that look absolutely stunning. With the series they found a very contemporary version of classic nudes, twisting the bodies, overlaying the skin with harsh concrete structures, playing around with lights that are broken through prisms. It’s really a wonderful aesthetic that invents its very own sensuality.
This Friday on June 24th 2016 at 19h they are opening their new exhibition of the same name at Galerie Irrgang in the Kreuzberg-part of Friedrichstraße. Come by to see all of their magnificent works from the series. After the jump you’ll get an exclusive preview with a couple of animated GIFs. Enjoy!
photo: Feel Festival
It’s officially here! Festival season has begun and with the upcoming Fusion Festival (29 of June to 3rd of July), we felt the need to tell you about other great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.
I have to start this article with saying that I was super excited today. A friend wrote me on Facebook saying that my favorite street art poet Barbara. created a little exhibition of over 100 of her street art pieces exactly at my doorstep, at Boxhagener Platz. Since I have been living in Friedrichshain for 12 years it never happened that something that I am passionate about happens so close to my home. Just for this I am deeply grateful to Barbara.
For all of you who do not know Barbara., her exhibition “Das Kleben is schön” is the perfect occasion to get to know her funny, sad, poetic art that interferes with public places on a different level that you might know from traditional street art. The impact of Barbara.‘s work is not limited to the urban spaces where her little notes and jokes might disappear after a short while. Her fame began when her art went viral on the internet. Last year the refugees crisis and the neo-right-wing movement in Europe created a lot of controversy which made me really sad on a personal level. But seeing the little art pieces of Barbara. shared by thousands everyday on Facebook and on Instagram always made me believe in a world where there will always be people opposing a narrow minded and racist society.
If any one should get a price for keeping the morals high in the last year of political change it should be Barbara. Her smart criticism and wit always embrace humor and lightness, but at the same time they point the finger directly where the shit is stinking. Don’t miss the exhibition that is hanging around Boxhagener Platz since yesterday. So far I everybody I saw was very respectful with the notes hanging around the square, not taking down anything. But let’s not be too optimistic. It’s Berlin in the end right? If you can’t come by you can check out my best of in the pictures after the jump.
We love creative maps of Berlin which we have featured multiple times already here and here. What we like so much about it, is how it portraits the city as much more as its streets, rivers and canals. It paints the city with its iconic buildings and places in a playful way and with this you get much more of a feeling for it than with a plain map.
Today we received yet another amazing map of the city by one of our readers. The B Map by graphic designer VOJD might be more abstract and decorative than accurate, but with the colorful illustrations of iconic buildings and little details it beautifully incorporates the lively spirit and versatility of Berlin. Due to the strong colors and patterns you might have to take another look to recognize some of the buildings, but they are positioned roughly where they belong on a real map which helps you identify them. But now have a closer look at the map and its glorious details and find out how to order a delightfully beautiful print!
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.