The Unadorned Realness of Berlin

The Unadorned Realness of Berlin

As born and raised Neuköllner the 26-years-old photographer Hanko Ye really knows how to capture the unadorned and raw side of life in Berlin.

Any kind of daily urban situation could represent a source of inspiration. He shoots photos of the streets, U-Bahn stations or green spaces. Private or public, intimate or social, forbidden or ordinary, ugly or beautiful: every moment and every detail becomes a puzzle piece of the bigger picture that is this incredible city.

His focus is on the people around him, regardless of their age, origin, appearance or style. With a sharp eye, he finds them in those mundane, authentic moments of everyday life that would normally go unnoticed. Of course, a certain boldness and unapologetic honesty come with the territory. So it comes as no surprise that some of his photos overstep our social comfort zone. But it’s exactly those brutal truths about life in Berlin that make his images so relatable.

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Another Excess: Photos Exploring Queer Life & Hedonism in Berlin

Another Excess: Photos Exploring Queer Life & Hedonism in Berlin

Spyros Rennt’s intimate and voyeuristic images archive an excessive queer reality. He flashes his very personal light on brief moments in between Berlin dance floors and bedrooms, on silly fucks, hard dicks, and cold fries.

Hailing from Athens, Greece the self-taught image creator made his way to the German capital in 2011, inspired by the city’s hedonistic lifestyle, brutal architecture and, for a Greek, unusual grey skies. “Of course, Berlin has changed since the first time I visited in 2005 as a young tourist. But it still attracts interesting and open-minded people from all over the world and offers them unique creative opportunities,” Spyros explains in our interview. Coming from a background in engineering, the now 34-year-old seized these opportunities and turned his own passion for photography into a profession.

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The Lights of the Revolution: Join Berlin’s Biggest Public Performance

The Lights of the Revolution: Join Berlin’s Biggest Public Performance

On Sunday, the 11th of November 2018 you will have the chance to be part of a unique creative performance with TOOLS FOR ACTION. Their latest artistic project “Signals, Resonating Revolutions” is a collaboration with Kulturprojekt Berlin and the choreographers of Tänzer ohne Grenzen, and you can take part in this creative resistance to fight for unity and the good values in our society!

On the 11th of November,  Berlin celebrates the 100th anniversary of the German Revolution, namely when the first German democracy was proclaimed in Berlin and basic rights, like the right to assemble, freedom of opinion and votes for women were established.

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RIPMARK: An Intervention Against Fast Fashion by Rocco & His Brothers

RIPMARK: An Intervention Against Fast Fashion by Rocco & His Brothers

Rows of shopping paper bags put up upside down in the middle of a busy street in a way that they resemble gravestones. Unfortunately, that’s not any silly Halloween action. On the contrary – the ”RIPMARK” bags, each with a cross printed on them in a familiar blue font, symbolize actual deaths of innocent people. The happening, organized by intervention artists Rocco and his Brothers in a collaboration with the street artist Hera from Herakut, is a bold gesture of protest against fast fashion.

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Get Drawn into the Berlin Life by Xuehka

Get Drawn into the Berlin Life by Xuehka

This female artist makes Berlin come to life in thick black lines and vibrant colors.

From Bogota to the Big B, after stops in Firenze Italy as a child, studies of fine arts and illustrations in Bogota and Madrid, Xuehka, or Xueh Magrini Troll, moved to Berlin to study visual communication at the Weißensee School of Art. Artistry runs in Xueh’s blood, she follows into the creative footsteps of her mother and grandmother as a female artist. Xueh, who calls legendary painter Frida Kahlo one of her biggest influences, has made the German capital the main source of inspiration for her lively cartoons, drawings, and sketches.

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Because We Love You: Naked Interventions in the Subway

Because We Love You: Naked Interventions in the Subway

photos: Abdulsalam Ajaj

Meet the Berlin-based artist creating his own, undressed version of the BVG’s ‘Because We Love You’ campaign.

Deliberately provocative, Mischa Badasyan is known for unusual art projects in photography, film or performance art. The Russian-born multidisciplinary artist is stepping over graphic, ethical and legal lines to move his viewer to reflect the society and the politics we live in. After moving to Berlin in 2013, his project “Save The Date” (2014) put him on the critics’ map, raising the age-old question: What is art, and is this art?

During his project, in between self-experiment, performance piece, and social study, he slept with a different man every day for a year. The project dealt with the absurd ways we seem to seek a brief feeling of proximity in blind dates and one night stands, that’s only followed by painful emptiness. “Only through pain we are able to learn something truly honest,” Badasyan told MAZ during the project.

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Berlin Illuminated in Moving Colors: The Festival of Lights

Berlin Illuminated in Moving Colors: The Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights always stuns me with how it manages to mobilize such a huge amount of Berliners to come out of the house at night when the temperatures are already getting lower and it would just be so much more comfy to cuddle up at home. If you walk along any of the trails of the festival you will encounter so many other people walking around discovering the many light art projections all over the city it feels like the night becomes day – and a busy one at that.

Until October 14th every night from 19-23h you will be able to discover countless projections – many also animated with elaborate mappings that embrace the architecture and details – at various buildings in the city such as the TV tower, the Humboldt Forum, the Berliner Dom, several buildings around Bebelplatz, the Brandenburger Gate, the high rises at Potsdamer Platz, etc.

This year’s highlight was for sure the show at Brandenburger Gate that illustrates the cultural exchange of Berlin with the rest of the world and the 4th world championship of video mapping that you can see at the middle tower at Potsdamer Platz. For the first time, we also took the lift up to the Panorama Punkt to see everything from above. Really worth it (and open until 21h for the duration of the festival). Now enjoy some impressions of this year’s Festival of Lights.

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Iconic French Street Artist JR takes over Brandenburger Tor

Iconic French Street Artist JR takes over Brandenburger Tor

After having left a mark in 2013 with his eye-catching street art pastings “Wrinkles of the City” all over Berlin, the world-wide famous French artist JR has reappeared in Berlin, with a new inspiring installation.

In order to celebrate Germany’s Reunification Day on the 3rd of October,  JR recreated a representative scene to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the celebration of freedom. The installation is a photo collage set on the west side of the Brandenburg Gate, whose visual impact is remarkable, given its more than 25 meters high. The strength of the work of art is given by its composition: a picture from the Reunification Day representing people standing together on the top of the Wall has been built in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

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Unseen Westeros: A Game of Thrones Exhibition in Berlin

Unseen Westeros: A Game of Thrones Exhibition in Berlin

Would you ever think that Reinickendorf and Game of Thrones could have anything in common? Well, neither would we and yet Berlin managed to surprise us once again! Unseen Westeros is a 5-day exhibition that comes to Berlin in January and that no Game of Thrones fan would ever want to miss. And by the way: the entry’s free!

The exhibition is a huge project that 40 international artists have been working on for 3 years. The astonishing result is 80 pieces that will let you immerse into the fantastic world of Game of Thrones landscapes. Urban explorers will be excited to find out that the exhibition will be hosted in a historical industrial hall in Reinickendorf.

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Meet the Artists from Urban Nation

Meet the Artists from Urban Nation

As one of the newest museums in the city and with a focus on such a young and developing genre the team of Urban Nation, Berlin’s first permanent museum for contemporary urban art and street art, have a lot of explaining and educating to do. While urban and street art is still fighting for recognition in the otherwise quite elitist world of contemporary art the wide audience of the art enthusiasts and art-curious have long embraced it – especially because this particular genre of art is so open and accessible on various levels.

With their artist in residence program, Urban Nation is continuing on that path of making art, the artist and the artistic progress accessible to everyone who is interested – no matter if they are an art collector or curious grandmother. Embracing the fact that the house the museum was constructed in used to be a regular residential building, part of it is still occupied by apartments that function as living studios for the artists participating in the residencies. Right now the first batch of artists has finished their time and open their apartments for the public to see the results of their work. What you step into is not just a regular apartment or artist studio, they are like little art installations almost as if you were to step into the mind of the artist. It’s a great way to understand more about the creation process and the personal aspects of the works. If you are lucky that the artists are there at the moment of your visit you will also get to chat with them about their motivations, techniques and artistic visions.

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