Conceived as a hybrid space for exhibitions, events and short-time residency projects, turned into a weekly dinner event exhibiting emerging artists, promptly established as Berlin's melting pot of the expat crowd, and raised to the category of cult project space... for no less than 5 years, Appartement embodied all the romantic ideas that stand for Berlin's independent milieu: candle-lit rooms in an unrenovated house filled with emerging art, with artists, music and drinks, and a background view of an illuminated Fernsehturm always shining in the night.
But in October 2010, and after uncountable exhibitions and intimate evenings, the legendary Appartement had to move out from its location in Prenzlauer Berg, for the building to be refurbished into luxury lofts and studios.
Ever since, the project has been in hiatus for two years, with the exception of a new year's eve party at Atelierhof Kreuzberg and the event “Search and Destroy” at Galerie Mikael Andersen Berlin. And yet, Appartement is back this weekend once again, for a very special one-night event brought to you by Pampero Colectivo at Atelierhof Kreuzberg.
APPARTEMENT RE-INSTALLED will bring back together the people, the art, the vibe and the music from past times. With a groupshow with works by Silke Briel, Clara Brörmann, Bernadette Corporation, Amir Fattal, Pius Fox, Franziska Furter, Amelie Grözinger, Philip Grözinger, Gregor Hildebrandt, Eno Henze, Isabel Kerkermeier, Henry Kleine, Dennis Meier, Timo Nasseri, Philipp Simon, Yorgos Stamkopolous, Despina Stokou, Nikola Ukic, Elmar Vestner, Johannes Weiss Sinta Werner and Markus Wüste.
A selection of music curated by Christopher David/xocd will include performances and dj sets by Jeremy Shaw, Jianca Bagger, Your Body & dj Sweat... and more surprises that will be waiting for you on Saturday evening at Atelierhof Kreuzberg... (it's a date!).
Alexander and Yen from Pampero Colectivo answered to our questions regarding the past, present and future of their projects for this Have you met... Special.
Pictures courtesy of iHeartBerlin.de
What was the original idea that led you to start doing the Appartement series?
Alexander: The idea came out as a result of the collaboration with the rum brand Pampero. We started searching for a location in 2005, with the idea of an appartment in mind; a space where we could organize small events but also provide accomodation for artists not residing in Berlin, for a couple of days or weeks. And then we found the brewery space in Prenzlauer Berg and saw it clear: That is!- we thought, although without heating and hot running water, we had to discard the idea of accomodating artists.
So in the end we came out with the “dinner for friends”, inviting an artist at a time to organize a show. We went from being twenty to over a hundred of people showing up on Tuesday evenings. And still, some of our guests took the name of the project really serious and actually thought that we were both living there, as in a shared flat.
Yen: Right from the beginning, it was an open place with no curatorial or conceptual restraints, that allowed creative people coming from many different fields, to develop their own ways of self-expression and to work interdisciplinary and exchange ideas.
It was an advantage for me, the experience that I already counted from organizing events at the club, while on the other hand, Appartement was compensating and distracting.
How long have you two been working together?
Y: I met Alex at my former club, but we didn't really get to know each other until we started working on the Appartement project, where we would continue working together as event hosts for the next five years...
What are your roles in this project?
A: There have been some sparks flying a couple of times. I came from the agency area and have ever since coordinated sponsorship of artistic and cultural projects for the rum brand Pampero. Yen assumes the tasks of the event organization. Sometimes we had quite different ideas.
Please introduce Pampero Colectivo for us...
Y: Colectivo is the continuation of Appartement, now under different circumstances, according to another times, and a series of activities supported by Pampero that will also take place in the near future in other cities like Hamburg.
A: We will suppport similar projects with Pampero Colectivo, just as in the past, but not in any particular location. We are focusing more in collaborating with spaces that are already established. And this doesn't only mean spending some money in putting a logo on an invitation... we are rather concerned here about using our networt and experience to contribute to support projects. We also care about mediating between ideas and needs of the artistic and cultural scene, aside from the sometimes fixed-structures of big companies. Luckily, Pampero is a partner that allows us a lot of freedom and really stands behind the project.
Please describe the vibe of Appartement (2005-2010) in just three words.
Y: Ready, steady, go!
What was the most successful recipe for a dinner for friends?
Y: The spontaneous nature of the menu planning. Many dishes were concocted in the course of the evening as a consequence of cooking together. We used to go grocery shopping with just a vague idea of what we would prepare.
A: I would also add that the dishes in itself weren't so important. It was rather the process and the idea behind it. We were not eager about serving Haute Cuisine whatsoever, it was just about getting together in a laid-back environment.
Any remarkable night, any story to remember from the times? (guess hundreds of them... but any remarkable one?)
Y: one evening, historical and beyond our regular program: the election of the American candidates to the presidency. And of course our closing party.
It used to be a classic for a Tuesday night... where is the crew that used to go to Appartement now? Which places are they to be spotted after Appartement closed?
A: Berlin has changed a lot since then. Most of my friends were living somewhere around Prenzlauer Berg or Mitte by the times when we started Appartement. They all live in Kreuzberg or Neukölln now. In a way, Berlin is reaching adulthood and not everything happens in a radius of 800 meters from Rosenthaler Platz anymore.
But there is also the that feeling of familiarity, of closeness, of those years that is gone. There used to be just one club where everybody used to go, or just event where everybody would meet. When I think about the circus in Brunnestrasse, or Peres Projects in Neukölln- that was blowing down, but at the same time was really cozy. Now we are all scattered all over the city...
I think there is only a couple of places left, like Bar 3 or Grimmuseum, where you can get that feeling of closeness.
Y: I am sure that our former fans are doing fine wherever they are, and that they still keep nice memories from the days of Appartement.
What made you pick Atelierhof Kreuzberg for your upcoming event? Is it about the space?
A: We were looking for the Appartement-feeling in some hidden place behind trees and walls, where you have to walk a bit from gate to the entrance. Also because of the building, which is from about the same time as the former brewery in Prenzlauer Berg.
Y: ...and we don't want to disclose more details yet, but the attendants will get really surprised when they will get in.
Keep an eye out for PAMPERO COLECTIVO's upcoming events and collaborations in different cities. Soon tba in Hamburg!.
And in Berlin... Robert Mongomery‘s Echoes of Voices in the High Towers presented by Neue Berliner Räume at Stattbad Wedding and supported by the Colectivo, open through 13th October.