Berlin’s Brutalist Cathedral of Contemporary Art: St. Agnes

Aleksandar-Duravcevic-Another-Winter

”Another Winter” – Aleksandar Duravcevic,  Feb/March 2017

Berlin in recent years has become known for the space and freedom it gives emerging artists to create and find their artistic voice. Meanwhile, more and more art galleries make their way into the art market to represent and exhibit their work; one of our favorite ones we always love to visit is König Gallery in Kreuzberg.

König Gallery was founded by Johann König in 2002. His innovative spirit showed from the very beginning, when, at the age of 21 he invited his artist friend Jeppe Hein to install a wrecking ball in the gallery, destroying chunks of its wall as it moved about the space, and among the viewers. His innovative spirit, years later, and the urge to move away from the ‘white cube’, had him acquire an old unused church and turn it into an art space. St. Agnes is a Postwar massive concrete building of Brutalist style, designed by Werner Düttmann and built in the 1960s. A former catholic church, which however was out of service since 2004, found new life in 2015 when König re-opened it as the second location for his gallery, (now serving as the main space) while he also resides with his wife Lena in the church’s former rectory.

Stella by Stella
on July 19th, 2017
in Art, Galleries, Kreuzberg

The “No Commission: Berlin” Experience

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Last week Berlin saw the second European edition of the No Commission international series of events by music producer Swizz Beatz’ The Dean Collection and BACARDÍ. For three days the mega event took over the Kraftwerk Rummelsburg with a large scale exhibition of over 30 artists from all over the world and big parties with international and local acts such as Major Lazer, Alicia Keys, and Noah Becker’s band Bakery playing live.

I had the chance to go to the opening last Thursday and I have to admit that I was pretty blown away by the size of it. I hadn’t been in the location before, nor could I really picture how the mix of art and music event would really play out. But the set-up looked great. It was so grand, and despite the apocalyptic rain on that day the huge venue was packed.

The exhibition took up the first half of the space with huge black and red walls set up at different angles giving the huge artworks a perfect background to shine. I liked the art that I saw, very expressive and colorful, different genres, different media. A really wild and stimulating mix. In the lower level there was also a smaller exhibition with limited edition prints for art fans with smaller budgets. So far, over 3 Million Dollars have been generated from the sales of the art in all of the other editions that happened since last year, all of which go directly to the artists, without any commission to the organizers or agents. I sure hope the Berlin edition has also added a bit to that proud sum.

Frank by Frank
on July 7th, 2017
in Art, Party

Science Meets Art: The Animal Anatomy Theater

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Our fascination never stops for this city which just keeps on giving when it comes to amazing locations, and here we are, presenting you one more: the Animal Anatomy Theater. Constructed in 1789 by the same architect who designed the Brandenburg Gate (!), the building is actually the oldest (and definitely the loveliest) academic one still existing in Berlin, having hosted decades of animal dissections. Since 2013, however, it has seen a new life as an experimental exhibition space, under the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik.

This neoclassical gem, conceived by Teatro Anatomico in Padua, had served as an anatomy theater for veterinary students. After extensive restoration, and maintaining the character of a laboratory, it is now a cultural institution hosting students’ research findings, art exhibitions and events, while its great acoustics has been the reason for concerts to take place there as well!

Stella by Stella
on July 6th, 2017
in Museums

About Finding Your Identity in Berlin

Chunks of Soul

photos: Dario-Jacopo Laganà.

Despite Berlin’s ever changing face throughout history, the city has always been a destination for people searching for a place where they can truly be themselves and find their own identity. In times when the way we create and perceive our own image is so affected by everyone’s perfectly polished presence on digital platforms, anyone situating him or herself outside the norm might experience this search even more as a burden. This is why open, liberal places like Berlin help us all the more to find out who we really are and how we want the world to see us.

Andy by Andy
on June 30th, 2017
in Art, People, Stories

No Commission at Kraftwerk Rummelsburg Berlin

No Commission Impressions 6

Imagine an art fair or an exhibition where all the proceeds of the sales go directly to the artists themselves without any commission for a gallery or agent. What sounds a bit like a utopia for artists is the reality of the international event series No Commission (linked to website) that will come to Europe for the second time during their world tour to make a stop at the Kraftwerk Rummelsburg in Berlin. And we have reason to be excited about this as the opening event on June 29 is going to be quite spectacular with Major Laser playing live and tickets available for free!

But who is behind No Commission? The initiative was founded 18 months ago by Bacardi and music producer Kasseem Dean, a.k.a. Swizz Beatz, as a platform to support upcoming and young artists. In this short amount of time they could generate sales for the artists of over 3 Million Dollars during various exhibitions all over the world. That’s quite the amount – and apparently that’s only the beginning. With each edition a new set of artists will be introduced into the No Commission family creating an ever-growing network of creative minds and incredible talents.

The support of upcoming artists has been on Dean’s agenda for a long time now which is why he started The Dean Collection in 2014 which is not just a private collection but a platform to discover and experience amazing art.

Frank by Frank
on June 27th, 2017
in Art, Events

Discover Art inside the Labyrinth of Lies

Discover Art inside the Labyrinth of Lies

Berlin is for the art lovers: its vast art community gives both locals and visitors the opportunity to feed their creative side with new events, going on almost everyday. Trying hard to keep up with all that’s going on in the city, we stumbled upon an exhibition that stood out, and couldn’t wait to tell you all about it: its name (seductive itself), Labyrinth of Lies.

400 (!) umbrellas are installed in an old industrial site, forming an actual labyrinth, through which the visitor is invited to walk through and explore multi dimensional pieces of art that had us go “wow!”. The maze’s creators are the London-based Connor brothers, in collaboration with Berlin artist Sven Sauer, brought together under the “umbrella” of the Plus One exhibition series. It’s truly remarkable how the artists try (and succeed) to have us, even for a second, question conventional rules of space — It’s not to be missed!

Stella by Stella
on May 18th, 2017
in Art

Experience Berghain without Techno

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It is widely known for its progressive Techno nights that go on from Saturday to Monday, but this is not the only thing that Berghain is doing. They have always used their space for much more than just music. They have also released a book about their engagement with art and also the theater and performance world has had its collaborations with this cathedral of Techno.

This Thursday another big art event is happening there opening the doors to an audience that goes beyond the usual party crowd on weekends. A Partial Eclipse of the Heart is the title of the event, borrowed from the lyrics of Bonnie Tylers Total Eclipse of the Heart. Two of the main artists contributing to the night are Autist and Rainbow Arabia who are both performing live. There will be quite a few more video presentations from artists such as Carla Chan, Dorit Bialer, Jem the Misfit, Lisa Wassemann, Mariana Jukica, Natasha Mankowski and Resi Bender. But you will also be able to see performances from Peter Kirn, Gabriela Prochazka, and Simonne Jones. It’s going to be an immersive experience bringing you an eclectic mix of talents from Berlin.

The event is curated by Your Mom who also put up great shows in the past in venues such as the Konzulàt and Kaufhaus Jandorf. Having seen some of these previous events I can guarantee you that you don’t want to miss it, also because it’s one of the rare occasions you can see Berghain during the week and separate from its techno parties.

Andy by Andy
on May 2nd, 2017
in Art, Music, Party

The Highlights of Gallery Weekend 2017

Andrea Wan 2

Andrea Wan

The pair of the upcoming two weekends is one of those you should be looking forward to with extra intensity. The Gallery Weekend is an annual initiative during which you have the chance to discover galleries and exhibition spaces through numerous art openings and exhibition. Because one weekend is certainly enough there are a few independent shows already opening or already open on this weekend before it gets official on the final weekend in April next week. You’ll definitely find something special in our list including numerous painting exhibitions, a paper-mache project with the Marx and Engels sculptures, and even a virtual reality techno show.

Michalina by Michalina
on April 21st, 2017
in Art

Berlin’s Breathing Heart

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photos: BREATH ing HEART

I won’t surprise anyone when I say that Berlin’s creative scene acknowledges and promotes multiple ways of interacting with art. Just as diverse as the subject chosen, the form can affect all of the senses – but no exhibtion or project that I’ve had the chance to see her so far went as far with this concept as the recent art installation of Johanna Keimeyer, a Berlin artist who’s designed an astonishing walk-in heart – an inflatable constriction in which up to 40 people can lay and sit at the same time.

Michalina by Michalina
on April 14th, 2017
in Art

Photography in Berlin: Sven Marquardt & the Ostkreuzschule

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photo: Hannes Gade, Ostkreuzschule

Sven Marquardt is a Berlin living legend. And although this notion may sound a little bit generic at first, virtually all about him corroborates it. It’s as if his story and image were made up by a pretty skillful writer for some character in a novel. But no – it’s just that Berlin fate proving again that sometimes, seemingly the most coincidental occurrences make up for the best storylines.

Find out more about the famous Berghain bouncer who’s also a renowned photographer and a preview of the graduate exhibition “REPEAT” by his photography class students from the Ostkreuzschule for photography below.

Michalina by Michalina
on March 13th, 2017
in Art