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.
“Are they masturbating?” I asked the artist Luisa Pohlmann when I first saw her new magnificent photorealistic portrait series of paintings showing women washing themselves and enjoying apparently whatever they were doing. But the answer to my unsolicited and quiet indiscrete question was neither a yes or no but rather a smile of the artist. Maybe my phantasies to her works that will be presented in a solo exhibition opening next Monday are way to concrete for the subtle art of Pohlmann.
The exhibition WASCHTAG leads us into a world of images that illustrate both processes of outer cleaning, as well as inner purification (maybe of a very dirty fantasy). The beautiful portraits of young women, oil on canvas or on paper, who act in various poses, sometimes with inward attention, sometimes in direct contact with the viewer, but always with great intensity. We encounter female characters, who, by being focused entirely on themselves – on their innermost being, reveal themselves to the viewer. Their authenticity gives them beauty inside as well as outside but also strength that arises from their personal confrontation with their inner self. See an exclusive preview of her unique work after the jump and find out more infos about the exhibition.
Berlin has always been a place with a strong disruptive attitude. Every decade this city sees new things going to waste and getting thrown apart. But between all that waste and messiness there is always growing an intense subculture of creative minds wanting to invent things out of the ordinary. Taking place at a former GDR-Plattenbau, now art center and nightclub called Neu West Berlin the Trashera Festival brings a whole spectrum of different art forms in one place. All the artist presented are far from being part of the establishment but a good mix of newcomers, amateurs and wild party kids in an experimental phase of their life. But by joining force and with the help of an interesting location this event might have an absorbing energy worth experiencing. You have time until monday to check out the whole festival weekend of performance, installation, and music. Also worth trying is the Agora-Pop Up Restaurant serving delicious vegan food on top of the building. A little photographic preview after the jump.
Artworks Zahra Shafie
Art openings are usually not the kind of events I feel very excited about. While at the theater I have a certain expertise, with contemporary art I have quite a lot of curiosity but feel that I lack in knowledge to appreciate most of the artworks. Since any good rule needs an exception, I have to say that I am really thrilled about tonight’s opening of the Young Persian Artist at Stattbad and I hope I can get you a little bit interested as well. The curator Mahsa Mergenthaler-Shamsaei choose four exceptional talents. From March 5-15, 2015, Young Persian Artists will host its first pop-up show featuring the rising stars from Tehran, under the title Hope Dreams Desire.
The group show features the artists Adel Younesi, Romisa Sakaki, Zahra Shafie and Ali Esmaeillou. These four represent a new generation of artists that have emerged in Iran with a loud, strong voice and urgency in their work which is hard to ignore. Even if they have not seen the war or revolution they still have inherited the society marked by these epochal events. The show features also new works around the theme of hope-dreams-desire, universal feelings, experienced and expressed by the artists in different and unique ways. If you are still not convinced that this is the place to be, you should check out the little preview selection after the jump.
You probably know Backyard in Kreuzberg from various parties and events such as the Last Days parties, but Backyard’s origins are that of an art gallery. Tonight they open a new exhibition called Lichtrotor // Hautskizzen with an installation by upcoming industrial designer Danai. The project she did with three other artist shows a hypnotizing kinetic installation that rotates and creates an interaction between humans and the object. In addition, artist Suzan Rinow who you might happened to see at Berghain bar during the weekends, is going to present her beautiful tattoo sketches, right now available in a tattoo studio in Torstr. So tonight, at the opening, you might stumble about your next tattoo motive ( which you can chose exclusively from Suzan ) and get hypnotized by the Lichtrotor installation at the same time. Of course there will be music and we have seen these exhibition openings eventually turning into an after party. You can join the Facebook event here and get an impression of the tattoo sketches after the jump.
with 100 years you might be a granny (still pretty young in comparison to other theaters in Berlin) but you are still sexy and edgy as hell. We had so much fun, you and I. You were one of my first friends here in Berlin and I spend so many hours in the third floor that I can’t even count them. Not only did you make me enjoy so many great pieces, concerts and parties and fashion shows. With your banners you always get my attention and around you I feel somehow safe. You were my favourite place in Berlin when I came here and you still are ranked pretty high. I hope I will spend so much more time with you and I promise to come visit more often.