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.
Can a city have imaginary secret friends? Maybe not every city, but Berlin is different in my opinion. Our dear Berlin gets run over by so many kooky inhabitants – why shouldn’t it have some nice imaginary friends to cope with all the mess going on? At least that was the idea of multimedia artist and photographer AnaHell when she came to our beloved city. In her childhood she invented weird but lovely friends to spend her time with and play. Imaginary creatures with little secret stories to live all kind of adventures with. Fortunately for us, AnaHell did not forget about her childhood fantasy and recreated it with the photo series Secret Friends, a playful narration of this story. Documenting a parallel reality of bent-over humans, which form a new creature that share our world but cannot be seen by us ordinary humans. With the Berlin series of Secret Friends she wants to show different aspects of life in a our city, from the clichés to real people in their homes doing what they normally do.
I am totally in love with the concept and the realization of this playful idea. I guess we should all search once in a while after our imaginary secret friends from our childhood. Maybe they are just sitting next to you in the U-Bahn or waiting in line with you at Berghain. What I want to say is that we should be open for the wonder and for the surprise that can come by reactivating our childhood fantasy. Berlin especially is a place that rewards this kind of openness with a charming magic, you won’t find anywhere else. More Secret Friends by AnaHell after the jump.
photos: Anna Agliardi
Going out to a museum filled with old paintings does not sound like the typical Friday night activity we use to have here in Berlin. Not so last weekend though, where a massive amount of young (more or less) hip people went to the Gemäldegalerie to a very unusual event. At Meeting Botticelli, the event for the Botticelli exhibition featuring the grand artist of Italian renaissance, the normal rules of going to an old museum were upside-down. Instead of tiptoeing quietly through the magnificent halls the event wanted to explore a different side of creative interaction with art.
Guides who brought you through the exhibition with eyepatches, speakers who asked you and others about your emotion to the artwork and performances which which would rather fit to Sisyphos where only a few of many interesting ideas of this unique event. To finish in glory there was a small party in the foyer of the museum after the exhibition closed. Visitors and performers had quite some fun dancing together to “I am your Venus – I am your Fire” . I hope that those kind of art presentations will happen more often in Berlin. The city has an enormous cultural richness that young people need to discover through new methods. The next event of that series will take place at Hamburger Bahnhof in Summer. Until then you can enjoy the photos that our photographer Anna Agliardi created for us or take your chance to visit the exhibition about Botticelli until the end of this week.
Semra Sevin, Berlin Reflection Glienicker Brücke, 2011
The search for a belonging, a definition of home is a constant topic in a globalized world. Berlin is a melting pot where people from all over the world cross each other, meet each other and – in the best case – love each other. The lifelong question of identity is a matter even amplified when different cultural backgrounds come into the mix of emotions. The distance that emerges over time to one’s ‘original homeland’ (which is maybe just a question of definition) is a space in which sometimes romanticized, sometimes critical perspectives reach the surface.
The beauty of it all is a frequent subject in art.
“From Here To Me” is a project and an exhibition where eight artists from Balkan states exhibit their work in which the aesthetics of Berlin as a bond with their personal homeland are displayed and merged into one. The contributing artists are not only from the Balkan states but also from Greece and from Turkey. They all succeed in creating a strong insight to their inner feelings through the outer arts.
When at your office, do you ever wonder why there is just no stylish stationery? Do you wish there would be some nice art in your home, that is eco-friendly and beautiful to look at at the same time? Are you a friend of unusual accessories? Well, we’ve got just the right spot for you!
Papier Tigre has come to town and it’s bringing all the paper products you could possibly wish for. Founded in the city of love and now coming to the city of… well, everything, their newly opened up store right in the Mitte of Berlin has paper art that is très chic.
From amazing wrapping paper and beautiful notebooks to a stylish set of playing cards – the paper tigers leave no wish unfulfilled, that involves the easily disposable material in some kind of way. Even jewellry is to be found. The adorable, hand-embroidered brooches by Macon & Lesquoy for example are an amazing addition to their overall selection of products. Also to be noted is the lovely cafe that’s part of the store that let’s you have a sip of coffee and French chocolate while shopping for presents. You should definitely stop by their store and get some impressions of their designs right after the jump.
We love to travel with a cultural agenda. Visiting Venice for the Art Biennale or Milan for Design Week was so inspiring and we love to look back at the photos we collected there. Art and design events are a wonderful bridge to get to know a new city and I always try to visit creative spaces, galleries or museums when I travel to a new city to get in contact with the creative local scene.
In the beginning of October I had the chance to discover a new town in my repertoire of creative hotspots: Liege. The third biggest city in Belgium (after Brussels which is known for politics and Antwerp which is known for fashion) is the so called “Latin” city of the country. They had a big wave of South European migration in the 60s that made the city quite connected with Italy. While visiting the Reciprocity Design Triennale I could almost physically feel this connection because I was always surrounded by Italians. This year’s edition had a main focus on design with a social impact. Bringing designers and citizens together in the process of public service innovation was one of the most focused topics in the exhibitions we saw. This was really inspiring for me as somebody who works with Berlin, because I love to learn more about how creative ideas can be a positive factor in the social development of a city.
What impressed me the most about the Reciprocity were the stunning locations they choose for their different exhibitions. From an old school theater with murals from the 20s, a church turned into a museum and a monumental swimming pool which is now a space for public events. Our friend and Blogfabrik colleague Eylül Aslan joined us for this trip. Discover her unique photographic impressions and some more insights and pictures from Liege after the jump.
Presenting art in abandoned Buildings ist not that new of a concept in Berlin. I remember the first art exhibitions I went to were actually happening all over some really cool artist houses and ateliers in Mitte like Tacheles. Last Sunday I visited the exhibition The Vacancy where 33 rooms of an old hotel were creatively filled with art objects of 33 different artists. Now that the district turned into the Upper East Side of Berlin it actually felt a bit wrong to go inside a house that was totally dismantled to experience some art exhibition. At home I thought about the experience and concluded that instead of constantly complaining we should reconsider the idea of art spaces as “Zwischennutzung” (inbetween use) as a valuable concept of urban development. Because if we let artists become the explorer and venturer of new or abandoned places, maybe the commercial use that will follow and which is unfortunately not stoppable might be less horrible. I know that a lot of people would love the city to stay forever at it is. But this kind of hippie-conservatism is not something that will contribute new ideas for Berlin. Still I hope the whole Vacancy exhibition is not something to make the real estate more valuable. But I am curious to hear your thoughts in the comments. After the jump you find the adresss, opening times and most importantly a wonderful selection of pictures from the exhibition taken by our photographer Anna Agliardi.
It’s time for another edition of the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week – some exciting days are awaiting us! A week with lots of cool parties and catwalks which are very special and totally different from the regular Fashion Week. Young designers get the chance to present their fashion and there is no limit to creativity – on the contrary, the more outrageous and crazy the designs are, the more the viewers heart will be delighted. This week music, art and fashion merge into an alternative concept – it’s about freedom, gender roles and a new identity. Many designers offer innovative, sustainable work – and that’s a great opportunity for the young participants to be encouraged in their work and to still be able to remain free in their development and creativity.
The Berlin Alternative Fashion Week takes place for the third time in Berlin – starting on the 23rd and ending on September 27, 2015. The presentations will take place at the Postbahnhof, the opening party is at Maze and together with Apollo.tv there will be a presentation of short films and documentaries on Sunday.
Last time we had a lot of fun and discovered great new designers – we’re sure that the concept this time will be stunning as well. See the teaser by Apollo.tv and a preview of the designers and get your chance to win festival tickets after the jump.
“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.
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.