Avid followers of iHeartBerlin know that fashion label UY is one of our favorites in Berlin and very close to our hearts. No other label has elevated club wear like they did and turned it into a lifestyle. UY is one of the longest-running clubwear labels in Berlin with a history of presenting their work in a very creative and multi-disciplinary way. Three years ago they celebrated their 5th anniversary with a stunning performance at Halle am Berghain choreographed by our friends from The Progressive Wave with the soundtrack created by Dasha Rush. It was a true spectacle and one of the most impressive presentations of a fashion label we had seen. Check out my photos and animations of that show here.
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.
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.
Completely unrelated to the ongoing pandemic, the beloved Neukölln club Griessmuehle had to close down a year ago for reasons you can read up about here. It was a blow to the nightlife scene of Berlin as it stood for the worrying recent city developments of Berlin and the ongoing club closings we’ve witnessed now for a decade and more. The city is full of night clubs but oddly the popular district of Neukölln doesn’t really have that many, so it was a major loss for the party kids of the neighborhood.
Luckily, the club makers of Griessmuehle could move their outstanding programming to Alte Münze last year and also found a new location in Schöneweide at the Revier Südost. But with the permission for outdoor raves coming relatively late last summer, there was not much raving to happening.
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.
photo: Keith Telfeyan.
Just around two weeks ago, iHeartBerlin guest author Daniel was wondering where Berlin ravers party without the clubs and vice versa, what Berlin’s clubs are doing without raves. While these questions have been quite relevant for the past few months, we’ve just witnessed an almost unbelievable change.
The newest development in the volatile narrative of Berlin’s gradual reopening is the re-emergence of some clubs, specifically those with outdoor areas. Not just as a more funky alternative to beer gardens, but as an actual party destination. Of course, Covid-19 regulations apply: so be prepared to leave your contact info at the door and include a face mask as an obligatory addition to your attire.
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.
UPDATE: After a closed period during the second lockdown the exhibition will now be open again from June 18th, 2021. Book your tickets here.
Halle, photo: Roman März.
There are many other reasons to come to Berlin apart from the clubs but they are definitely among the most popular ones. Techno has its roots in Detroit and the Afrofuturism movement but both the name and the current widespread popularity have to do with what it evolved into in Berlin.
While these parties are still relatively underground in many cities, Berlin has embraced rave culture and built a special relationship with its clubs and their audience. Berghain has already secured legal status as a cultural institution, and other clubs are fighting for the same. Club tourists are also valued by the city’s government as a major contribution to the economy.
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”.