The Queer Tattoo Scene of Berlin

The Queer Tattoo Scene of Berlin

Berlin is known as the LGBTQIA+ capital of the world, with its reputation dating 100 years back. The city welcomes all types of people, making it the perfect place for otherwise marginalized groups to feel not only at home but also celebrated and – why not? – normal. Its nightlife is famous for being open to all sorts of experimentation. 

In the 24h+ parties, people from all walks of life express themselves freely and expansively. Everybody can exist, take up space, and move however they feel comfortable.

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No Culture. No Future. – A Film About the Importance of Arts & Culture

No Culture. No Future. – A Film About the Importance of Arts & Culture

A few months ago I published a story about how the lockdown has seemed to have created a new dogma of system relevance that discriminates against arts and culture workers. This was a story very close to my heart and close to what matters to all of us at iHeartBerlin.

While some cultural institutions were able to re-open since then, although under challenging circumstances, the overall situation has not improved for the majority of the scene. Especially in the alternative and underground scenes, it’s still quite dramatic. While publicly funded institutions don’t really have to worry about going under, it’s those independent arts and culture makers that really have to fear for their livelihoods. Rents and bills still need to be paid, but to produce shows and events is still often not possible, and support programs by the government have so many blind spots and leave a lot of people behind or are simply not enough. For many, the situation is really serious. And considering we are only at the beginning of the second (most likely bigger) wave that will bring new challenges and restrictions you don’t even want to begin to imagine how much worse it could get.

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ENTER THE CLUB: A Playful Virtual Reality Experience of Berghain

ENTER THE CLUB: A Playful Virtual Reality Experience of Berghain

illustration: Virginie Kypriotis

Berlin’s nightlife has served as inspiration for many art forms. Multiple illustrators have managed to convey the atmosphere of the wild parties that go on for days, among them Virginie Kypriotis with her fantastic visions of Berghain. The new project ENTER THE CLUB has made her work even more enthralling by turning it into a virtual reality experience.

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5 Highlights of the Berlin Art Week 2020 Not To Miss

5 Highlights of the Berlin Art Week 2020 Not To Miss

SUCCESSION, photo: Samuel Smelty. 

To be perfectly honest, the fact that Berlin Art Week is even happening this year feels like a highlight in itself. Since Berlin Art Week’s first edition in 2012, we’ve already got used to a few early autumn days packed with unique contemporary art events – and we’re so glad this year is no exception, with the Berlin Art Week taking place between 9th and 13th September. Of course, some elements of the festival are very characteristic of 2020, like the entire digital program along with the hygiene precautions and time-slot tickets. But what remains are the inspiring exhibitions – in this article, you’ll find our 6 recommendations.

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A Hidden Place of Unheard Sounds: Experiencing Sound Art at Monom

A Hidden Place of Unheard Sounds: Experiencing Sound Art at Monom

When the entire nightlife pressed the pause button a few months ago, we really had to completely rethink how we experience Berlin. This was especially noticeable to us when we were putting together our event listings. All of a sudden the calendar was empty, then slowly it filled up again with streaming events, and eventually, IRL events returned, but not in the same way as before.

The sound installation “Eleven Songs” that happened at Halle am Berghain a few weeks ago was one of these events that stood out: Through its iconic venue it bridged the longing for a return of the club culture and our craving for a cultural and artistic experience. It was, as to be expected, a huge success.

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Studio Berlin: Entire Berghain to Transform into Giant Gallery for Remainder of Lockdown

Studio Berlin: Entire Berghain to Transform into Giant Gallery for Remainder of Lockdown

The club lockdown has put the entire nightlife scene into the most difficult situation it has ever been. While other countries are already back to partying the Germans haven’t released their clubs yet from their enforced hibernation. In our previous two stories, we already took a look at what the Berlin clubs are up to during their closing and what Berlin’s party people are doing without their clubs.

As if by magic the big news broke yesterday, that Berlin’s most famous club – Berghain – will transform into something else for the remainder of the club lockdown starting on September 9th: Berlin’s biggest gallery. In collaboration with the private art collectors Boros who are showcasing their pieces in yet another big grey cement building that used to be a nightclub – the bunker – the new exhibition will, most likely, include Berghain’s resident artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans who has his abstract artworks at Panorma Bar, Joseph Marr who made the sugar men sculptures inside the Klobar, and Norbert Bisky who has his large painting downstairs opposite the cloakroom, as well as Sven Marquardt, Marc Brandenburg, and Piotr Nathan.

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Dreaming in Quarantine: Wilden Renate’s Overmorrow Installation

Dreaming in Quarantine: Wilden Renate’s Overmorrow Installation

Wilden Renate’s Overmorrow is an immersive walkthrough art experience created by over 40 artists, from well-known collectives like Bad Bruises and TrashEra to newcomers. The installations, performances, and exhibitions occupy most of the indoor spaces of Wilde Renate, and offer about 1 hour of exploration in dark, morphing spaces.

The audience enters in groups of two, with 5-minute intervals, which is about the time allocated to each room, and makes their way through the 17 interwoven “Positions.” The Positions range from exhibitions of oil paintings through interactive installations to performances, and are loosely tied together by the themes of isolation and future. They often overlap, reflect on each other, and can be seen or heard in advance, which adds to the dreamlike nature of the journey.

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11 Awesome Queer Local Businesses That You Should Support

11 Awesome Queer Local Businesses That You Should Support

Supporting local businesses has always been a priority at iHeartBerlin, even more so when they are owned by queer folks. Naturally, this has become even more important in times of an ongoing global pandemic. That’s why we’re looking forward to joining the upcoming QUEER Market! There, you will be able to check out creative products from queer designers in a friendly environment implementing all the current safety and health precautions.

For this new guide, we’ve put together some of our favorite local queer businesses and labels. All of them will be part of the Queer Market on Sunday, July 26th, but there will be even more stands for you to explore on the day! iHeartBerlin will also be present with a booth and you’ll be able to get your hands on our books and other products.
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Walls Breathing Sound – A new Sound Exhibition at Halle am Berghain

Walls Breathing Sound – A new Sound Exhibition at Halle am Berghain

photo: Roman März. 

How can you manifest sound in space? The two Austrian born and Berlin-based sound artists Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl found an answer in their new soundscape inside the Halle am Berghain that just opened this week for visitors. 

Halle am Berghain is a majestic piece of industrial architecture right next to the club-space that has been shut down now for over 4 months. Fortunately, exhibitions are allowed to open since a couple of weeks – and so I warmly recommend to go visit the work called “eleven songs – halle am berghain”.

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Martin-Gropius-Bau: An Interactive Exhibition About Rituals of Giving

Martin-Gropius-Bau: An Interactive Exhibition About Rituals of Giving

Installation view Lee Mingwei: 禮 Li, Gifts and Rituals, Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2020, photo: Laura Fiorio. 

The lockdown hit the cultural scene very hard. I am working in the art scene, so it made me particularly sad about not being able to visit exhibitions and museums. On the one hand, I’m amazed at how diverse the program is online: how close you can suddenly get to artists, museums, and galleries. Everything has become very personal and we can take a look behind the scenes. On the other hand, experiencing art on-site – the closeness to the work of art, the dimensions clearly in front of me – cannot be replaced.

All the happier I was finally being able to visit an exhibition: The first thing I chose was Martin-Gropius-Bau and Lee Mingwei’s exhibition: 禮 Li, gifts, and rituals (until July 12, 2020). Lee Mingwei is a Taiwanese-American, contemporary artist who dedicates himself to the rituals of giving and receiving gifts.

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