Yayoi Kusama at Gropius Bau 2021, photo: Luca Girardini.
Once again Berlin’s museums and cultural venues have had to close their doors due to lockdown restrictions. However, there are still a few hidden gems around for us to continue exploring the artistic side of the city and get inspired in a safe way.
Gallery Weekend took place a couple of weeks ago and many of the participating galleries are still open to the public as long as you contact them in advance and have a negative COVID test. You can check out Gallery Weekend’s website for a full list of participating galleries and artists.
Additionally, we can look forward to some larger exhibitions that have unfortunately had to close for now, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for when tickets will be available for purchase again.
Here is a list of some fantastic exhibitions – some that you can currently check out, including participants of Gallery Weekend, and some to visit in the (hopefully) near future!
Even though clubs have been closed for over a year now, surprisingly, we haven’t really run short on news about Berlin’s famous nightlife places. From photography projects on clubber outfits, empty dancefloors, or outdoor raving, to virtual clubs and nightlife activism – there is always something to write about. And we are glad to keep the spirit alive this way, even though we’re all really craving for a party right now.
Artist and illustrator Nicola Napoli has also dedicated some of his time during the lockdown to work on a new nightlife-related piece. He’s blessed us already with various party-themed artworks in the past, but his most notable work might be the iconic line at Berghain that he first came out with back in 2014. It was one of our most successful articles of the time and it prompted a collaborative event and exhibition that we hosted together with him showcasing a new elaborate 10-meter long artwork.
photos: Aja Jacques.
It takes a lot of effort for an artist to build up a career. Berlin has undoubtedly been a center of avant-garde artists from all around the world, offering a unique platform for innovative and unstigmatized arts. However, during the last year of the Covid lockdowns, they had to sacrifice what they have built-in years. Berlin artists embellished our nightlife and arts scene with their diverse and original touch but now with no jobs, no stages, and no live audiences, they are stripped off of their platforms even though their art still radiates talent and creativity.
The photographer and former performance artist Aja Jacques created Berlin Offstage after spending the last three months interviewing and photographing some of these artists in their homes and leads us through a series of vignettes of their fears and concerns. Jacques aims to create an open space for public discussions about the struggles of the art community in Berlin that has been left in the lurch during the pandemic.
artwork: Jakob Kudsk Steensen.
Berghain as we know it has been closed for over a year now. But the corona-imposed lockdown restrictions have transformed it into an occasional art gallery, much to the chagrin of some local hipsters. This summer, Berghain will yet again open its doors to art lovers and anyone who’s always wanted to see the halls of the famous club but never made it inside.
A glittering river in the sky, luminous shapes with a life of their own, playful distortions of light dancing to electronic music in black rooms – this is the world of Dark Matter, an audiovisual exhibition that aims to transport its visitors away from the outside world and into their senses.
The mastermind behind this multi-dimensional experience is light artist Christopher Bauder and his design studio WHITEvoid who also brought us DEEP WEB and SKALAR at Kraftwerk Berlin. In 2014, Bauder and WHITEvoid also marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with LICHTGRENZE where they presented 8,000 luminescent balloons across the city where the wall once stood.
Bauder describes Dark Matter as a kind of history exhibition of the studio’s creations over the years, featuring seven installations going as far back as 20 years ago and as recently as this year.
photos: Arata Mori.
There are so many wonderful creatives making art in Berlin, and it’s always a joy to see two of our favorites collaborating. This week, two of them, artist Chiharu Shiota and the dance company Sasha Waltz and Guests, are collaborating in an online event that you definitely don’t want to miss. A stunning installation and a dance performance will be fused together at the iconic König Galerie and you can join in online.
As a 27-year-old night owl in Berlin, who once devoted himself so dearly to the nightlife and party scene, sometimes I question myself how I ended up spending my Friday night taking an online quiz to find out which döner sauce I am. Now I’m sure most of you can already relate. Corona forced our boundaries of mundane activities to a whole new level. You won’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one watching an old show on TV and find yourself wondering how the actors are so close to each other without wearing a mask. While we are adapting to the new normal, artists and performers are working hard to bring us the best on digital platforms to keep us connected to the world and we can’t thank them enough. You will be extra happy if you love immersive experiences, dance, theater, opera, digital art, and drag shows! Here is a list of online events you can book right now!
photo: Manuel Rossner.
One of the major challenges of the new world we’re living in right now – still in the middle of a pandemic – is rethinking some of the old ways and concepts that we are so used to and to see how they fit into this new reality. In many cases, it’s out of necessity, but in some, it’s also an opportunity. We can expect many things to go back to normal after the pandemic, but wouldn’t it be a waste if we didn’t use the momentum to push the envelope a bit on developments that were already on their way but that are especially fitting for our current circumstances? I’m thinking here of things like remote working, e-learning, live streaming, and – of course – digital art.
The digital program “Berlin, Berlin” that is initated and presented by our colleagues from High Snobiety starting today in conjuction with the final weekend of Berlin Fashion Week is set to explore exactly those opportunities I’m talking about inviting important initiatives, musicians, artists, and designer of the city such as United We Stream, Ellen Allien, Âme, GmbH, and Olafur Eliasson to create one cross-genre experience that is certainly shaping up to be a highlight of the current lockdown period we’re in.
BBR / photo: Thomas Bruns.
Those of you who have been in Berlin for more than a minute might remember that we actually had an equivalent to New York’s famous MoMA not too long ago but it somehow vanished behind a construction fence in what feels like ages ago. I’m talking about the Neue Nationalgalerie on Potsdamer Straße down the street from the Philharmonic and the Kulturforum.
The famous museum had been Berlin’s main exhibition space for Modern Art for almost 50 years until it had to close back in 2014 because of the growing pains of the building. The building from the late 60s is one of Berlin’s architectural icons, designed by former Bauhaus director Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It’s actually the last building he designed in Europe.
With the new social distancing measures during the extended second lockdown, the idea of meeting a stranger is pretty much a contradiction. But how come the craving for social interactions is so big right now? Is it the season, is it the allure of something forbidden, or a simple case of “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”?
Visual artist Tanya Sharapova has decided to explore this idea as a reaction to the second lockdown which has proven to be such an odd and testing time. The first lockdown already prompted a string of artists to come out with wonderful photo series such as the window photos from Lovis Ostenrik, the daytime/nighttime outfits by Kseniya Apresyan, the nude social distancing portrait by Aja Jacques, and the Together A Part series by AnaHell and Nathalie Dreier. But the second lockdown has been quieter in terms of creative output – even for ourselves. So we are glad to be able to share Tanya’s series “Strangers” here with you.