photos: Julieta Segura.
The body of a dancer must be perfect, right? This common prejudice and also restrictive view on dance performers and their bodies was critically questioned by the latest performance piece called Æffective Choreography by Andre Uerba. . The premiere took place last weekend at Radialsystem and it was sold out many weeks before. But for everybody who missed it, we have a couple of impressions from the general rehearsal of the performance.
photos: Aja Jacques.
While the pandemic and the lockdown have been pretty devastating for artists and creative professionals economically, they certainly have not been lacking in being an inspiration. In the last weeks, we received quite wonderful submissions from photographers and artists all dealing with the different aspects of the pandemic and how they influence our life, among them the Stay At Home series, the corona comics, and a curious techno song. The latest project we want to introduce you to today is dealing specifically with one of the measures to contain the spread of the virus: social distancing.
Aja Jacques is one of the artists from our Uncensored Berlin exhibition that we hosted back in 2018 and that dealt with censorship of artists through social media platforms. Aja was not only one of our muses acting as a model for several of our photographers, but she also exhibited her own photos. Her new project “At A Distance” is a series of analog nude self-portraits she took with several fellow Berliners in prominent public places – at a safe distance of two meters. We talked with her about the series and about how the quarantine has been for her so far.
photos: Abdulsalam Ajaj.
Artist Mischa Badasyan was at it again with one of his naked interventions. After the Viktoriapark waterfall and the subway he now took over the beautiful Körnerpark in Neukölln and filled it with naked human bodies during one of his actions. It was basically a nudist picnic in the park celebrating the liberation of the body, the human form and its connection to nature. What better place to choose than the dreamy ambiance of this special park in Neukölln.
But the new photos series captured once again by Abdulsalam Ajaj is just a glimpse of a much bigger project that includes several interventions in public places. For upcoming shoots, Mischa is always looking for more participants. So if you want to become part of the series you can get in touch with him by writing him an eMail. We are already curious about the next location and of course the big reveal of the entire project later this year!
photos: Abdulsalam Ajaj
Meet the Berlin-based artist creating his own, undressed version of the BVG’s ‘Because We Love You’ campaign.
Deliberately provocative, Mischa Badasyan is known for unusual art projects in photography, film or performance art. The Russian-born multidisciplinary artist is stepping over graphic, ethical and legal lines to move his viewer to reflect the society and the politics we live in. After moving to Berlin in 2013, his project “Save The Date” (2014) put him on the critics’ map, raising the age-old question: What is art, and is this art?
During his project, in between self-experiment, performance piece, and social study, he slept with a different man every day for a year. The project dealt with the absurd ways we seem to seek a brief feeling of proximity in blind dates and one night stands, that’s only followed by painful emptiness. “Only through pain we are able to learn something truly honest,” Badasyan told MAZ during the project.
Pornceptual is the unchallenged, sexiest Party in town: 4 years of conceptual porn, sensual photography, experimental videos, wild parties, and daily inspiration to live out our kinky side. Deeply rooted on Berlin’s underground scene, it’s hard to imagine the city without their bi-monthly, naked gathering. The one event that makes you think outside your normal party closet, or finally lets you dress according to your phantasies: In nothing or nothing more than fishnet. Although, Berlin has always been a place for sex-positivity, Pornceptual is a singular phenomenon. Despite hitting party mainstream, it has maintained its reputation as one of Berlin’s most revealing nights. It’s hundreds of naked bodies dancing, sweating, fucking, living. After all, It’s just skin, it’s all human and it’s all beautiful! We collected some sexy, nude, extravagant memories of their fabulous first 4 years.
Pornceptual, House of Red Doors, Gegen, Revolver and basically every Klubnacht at Berghain – Fetish and sex positive parties are taking over the capital. From being more of a niche branch years back, sexy, kinky fashion has become the new normal on the dance floors. So, the question is no longer: “What’re you gonna wear tonight?” but more: “How much are you gonna wear tonight?”. Being fully naked is easy, but choosing just the right amount of fabric to make everyone be like: “Oh wow! DAMN!”. That’s the fashion challenge here! For anyone who wants to join the party, but does not feel quite ready for this less-is-more fashion extravaganza – Here are some go-to-looks that never get old.
There are some art concepts that could only be transformed into reality in Berlin. The people that really make this city are indeed characterized by a certain tolerance to all things wild and free, regardless of how weird or inappropriate they may be at the same time.
On his arrival in Berlin, the Czech artist Martin Gabriel Pavel set out to explore the city and its colorful people. But although this still sounds pretty usual, I’d venture to say he made a little more of an impact in this field than you or me. The photography project he started out could only succeed under some very particular circumstance, the most vital one of them being that people would allow others to take picture of them naked, which will result in hundreds of such portrayals getting back to Pavel.
photos: Aviel Gan
When I first saw the event about the No Pants Subway Ride happening in Berlin I thought this was one of those joke events that are not for real. It wasn’t until yesterday night when photographer Aviel Gan submitted his pictures of the event to us that I realized that this was actually for real! So yesterday a group of people gathered in the subway and took their pants off. Just for the fun of it. It’s true, I read up on it on their Facebook page, there is no deeper meaning to it, simply an improvisation with open participation. Well, why not. Anything is possible I guess, especially here. The whole thing was initiated by a group called Improv Everywhere and hails all the way over from NYC, it’s been happening in Berlin already for 5 years in a row and it’s really the first year that I took notice of it. How could I have missed that? Enjoy the photos of the peculiar subway ride below.
We’ve already mentioned Ashkan Sahihi as the author of the captivating and personal portrait series of women in Berlin. Born in 1963 in Teheran, the photographer grew up in Germany, and today he lives in Berlin, shooting pictures for publications like “Zeit Magazine”, “New Yorker”, and “Vogue”.
His most recent project, however, references to the time back in 1987 when the author, still pursuing his artistic identity, moved to New York. There, as he recalls in the foreword of the new photo book, he met other young men, like him searching for their own ways of fulfillment, forming a community that encouraged all forms of self-exploration.
photos: Carrie Schneider
Nudity is nothing a Berliner is particularly shocked about. In contrary, I think that Berlin is the city with the most public nakedness in the world if you consider all the nude beaches and public sex parties. It is also a different nakedness than in a tropical or Mediterranean city because the weather is not actually inviting to take off your close. The Berlin nudity is a public statement to the liberation of the human body from all the social, political and gender oppressions. At least that is what I like to read into it, even though I doubt that all of the half naked 19year old kids at the Pornceptual parties would agree.
But I am losing track here. Let’s discuss Berlin’s political intentions on nudity another time… I actually just wanted to recommend a damn sexy contemporary dance festival starting today: Tanz im August. Scrolling through the pics I saw some naked flesh popping up in the press folder and I was wondering if a conservative audience would claim that the dance world needs sex to get more attention from the younger audience. This could not be more wrong. Dance is not automatically sexy when the bodies on stage are naked.
But there is an element of contemporary dance that I find extremely sexy (which is why I also used this alluring headline). It is the intensity and the ability to control, perform and present yourself and your body that intrigues the spectator. A contemporary performer is always in a constant dialogue between his own body and the audience and is within this dialogue able to create tension and persuasion. From my point of view, most of the times the nakedness of a performer is actually not erotic but rather a narration of intimacy and disclosure.
We selected several dance pieces from the festival taking places in some of our favorite theaters including Sophiensaele, Hau and Volksbühne, that we think are promising and worth visiting. Our recommendations after the jump.