Our Likes our now complete- Maria, Rachel, Christian and mine below.
Now your turn! Send in or comment online the 5 things you absolutey adore about Berlin and its art scene. We will post all half -way sane answers with a name, as soon as we get some.
I LOVE the Alex Tower. I just love it. It helps me orientate and it looks funny: A magic wand, the needle sleeping beauty cut her finger on or a forever landing UFO!!! (Which only confirms my (our) view of Berlin as a fairytale land) Seeing it from my window everyday or from the airplane landing back in Berlin always makes me feel safe and happy. In a world where everybody feigns sanity, it is very comforting to have such an openly absurd object in your life.
@8mm bar- installation by Hannes Gruber ( partly still on view)
The German way
The stereotype about Germans where I come from is: cold, always working, rule following, conformist, bores (as opposed to us hot blooded Mediterraneans). This is not true. Germans work just as much as they have to, in Berlin even a little less, love to dance/exercise, flirt openly, and drop their pants at every chance they get (open air). They share/sublet their apartments with strangers who become their friends, they share car rides with strangers who become their lovers( admittedly that does not happen so often) and they recycle. Flexible, efficient, open, respectful of the other- that is the German way. I have lived most of my adult life here and I am much better person for it.
From the project which brought me to Berlin 10 years ago Dostoprimetschatjelnosti – Sehenswürdigkeiten by anschlaege.de, to the Temporäre Kunsthalle (with it s ups and downs, was a great venue) to the temporary use of the Palast der Republic (where I got to see Einstürzenden Neubauten again, who kind of sucked, but hey..) to of course the forgotten bar, Skulpturen Park, the beloved Apartement and many many other project spaces, initiatives and pop ups. I am personally reaching an age for permanent contracts but I cannot deny the charm, and the opportunities a temporary use could have, in love, art or real estate. Berlin would not be the same without it.
back in days of Bar 25- where I would put my signature everywhere
I always was and will remain very impressed by “Dielen” – parquet. Of course the whole Alt Bau package is impressive. A ceiling so high you can fly a kite, a room so big you can have ballet lessons in, double doors if you are lucky, huge windows and the whole ornament thing round about. Plus the whole thing costs as much as your windowless bathroom dear New Yorker, dear Londoner. So Suck it!! Ah yeah and Dielen, I don’t know, I think they are damn sexy. (This is why Laminat is almost a bigger deal breaker then Friedrichshain.)
Der Himmel über Berlin
I remember how frustrated I felt one of the first weeks here when I discovered I had just missed this film OMU in some cinema. I discovered later it runs every Sunday at 3 am, and every few months appears Wim Wenders himself in Babylon. But I mean the actual sky of Berlin. You often have a 180 degrees view, you get the loveliest thick white clouds on the best light blue ever, you get thunders and sudden rain which will hopefully leave you looking for shelter with the right tall dark stranger. Say what you might about the weather in Berlin, it is very moody and dramatic. I would be a hypocrite not to like that.
in the Arts
and i am not talking lame ash wine from the box, or Absolut free drinks from 20-20.30, grateful as I am for everything I am given of course. I am talking first night at Kingsize free, Guggenheim free, Venice Bienalle opening days free, these rare nights, where everything is free for everybody in what seems like forever, and nobody lives to report. I also enjoy the occasional goody bag that comes my way. I once got a whole bottle of my favorite perfume, a super sun screen my sister used for three holidays in a row and inexplicably a men’s shower gel I had to leave behind because of airport regulations.
I fought hard with my conscience if I should write this or previous point first. Truth is with everything that comes with it: the money, the power, the drinks, the clothes, the gossip. It is easy to overlook. But yes, even as a viewer art is one of the things I enjoy most in the Art scene. A no brainer. The colors, the smells, the texture, the process, the different systems, strategies, the truth, the illusion, the language, the freedom (or audacity as somebody once very accurately accused me of) of it all. I believe art is the opposite of fear and viewing art is the best anti-depressive there is. And yeah, producing art can make you very rich, very fast. That is cool too.
In contrast to pretentious nobodies, these are people who despite their high position or status, don’t take things or themselves so seriously, remain curious for art and life, and (in the right context and timing) are approachable for new ideas. I have avoided naming names in the Hate-o-Meter, but in this case I don’t see a reason not to. Established galleries, which have followed bpigs from the beginning, a few of them now supporting us with the Adopt a Project Space membership (latest of which Christian Ehrentraut), Elke Buhr from Monopol is an early fan of pigs tips and offered us the very first press appearance we had, mere days into the project ( I know this is just good journalism, but you ‘d be surprised…), a propos…Kito Nedo volunteered his support and enthusiasm from the very beginning as well, Annika von Taube (Available Works and much more) has listened to many many crazy ideas of mine, without knowing me personally, has participated and helped out in a few of them. Silke Neuman (Bureau N), maybe the most well connected woman in Berlin has been extremely open and tolerant too, Giti Nourbakhsch–no explanation necessary, look at her good bye Berlin video, Gregor- Kent-Hilderbrand has introduced half of Berlin to the other half, and more then once I am sure. Mr Eigen & Art, Leo (and to an extent Johan) König too are (womanizing aside) extremely active, extremely curious and open and first to hit the dance floor gallerists. And for Leo König I have also heard he is extremely polite and friendly with his staff, from the director, to the temp (very important dear gallerists!). Kolja Glaser can discuss with you, day and night, mostly night, about art theory and current affairs. VW has the coolest indoor cinema, a bier tab and in the invite always reads “reception in honor of the artists”, At Michael Janssen gallery they have a little warm kitchen going on at every opening, for the artists and the people who help set up, and allow you to smoke near the window, both my gallerists Helga and Peter Krobath can drink me under the table any day of the week and appear not worse for wear the next day at the fair. Kirstine Roepstoff actually answered to an email from me out of the blue (in fb nonetheless) asking her to show at this new space I am curating (Grimmuseum…). And lets not forget Prom Queen and King of the Berlin art-fashion scene Jen Gilpin (from DSTM) and Maxime Ballesteros a couple so cute, so adorable, and so so so friendly- it is heart lifting every time they are around – which is almost always! (in fact we should all chip in an get Maxime something to wear for the winter, a blazer, a jacket, some sleeves, something)
It is not always easy, it is not always fun-but there IS a way to get (or be) rich and successful gracefully and all these people (and hopefully many more I have not met) show how.
Every Tuesday (Friday or Saturday too) dinner for friends + art for everybody in the old Browery in Prenzlauaer Alle. Appartement was the home away from home, there was a time we went every week, without asking each other if we would meet there- and it seems that all the different circles of Berlin the Germans, the expats, the Night of the Pawn guys, the Gregor crew, the french, the Americans, even the erasmus students did too. I curated a memorable show there at some point called- my life Bar Bar with all the people I know in Berlin working in Bars (bar 3, kingsize, mysliwska,..). While the very spacious appartment was entertaining a shabby chick style, in the winter heating with our breaths, both owners Alex and Yen-incredible awesome people, always combined a Mitte boy self assured look with a slight touch of the Godfather , which thrilled us even more. After an apartement interlude at the tor str, and different memorable art parties- at least one of them Yen is now to meet at Mandy's, his new bar, alas a bit more away from home, on Reichenberger str 61 in Kberg. (wed-sat)
another bar? well yes. I love bar 3, from the first time I saw it, through all the time it took for everybody to know my name and vice verca. I like the style, I like the design, I like the music, I live Victoria, Agathe, Ryan, the girl that cannot see through all the hair, and the new boy I forget his name. And of course Emma, Ludo and Dan too. And dear Felisa of course...I was there the night Michale Jackson died ( a few nights later was maybe the only time I heard his music played there and people started dancing), also the night Whitney Huston (when we composed our Love/Post Love list) died - and what seems like everynight in between. I know many people do not agree. but Prost!
also: I heart Klaus Jörres! - pic by Trevor Good