Spent a couple of hours on Friday dashing round assorted gallery openings. Less motivated by the art, to be honest, than by having excuse to walk round Mitte — and so, being in the wrong frame of mind, didn’t see much worth mentioning. Best of the bunch was No portrait. No pornography by Lar Theuerkauff, an exhibition devoted entirely to flesh-tones, adding some pink to the walls of the Cain Schulte, a Schöneberg apartment converted without great gusto into a gallery.
More intriguing as a space is the Salon Populaire, defining iself as “a meeting point for conversations on art and neighboring topics, and for the convergence of different ideas, positions and contexts.”
We want to experiment with formats which both intend to break the hierarchical forms of traditional presentations, podium discussions and seminars on the one hand, and the increasingly popular category of the event on the other, and which exceed the private talk at home, at a café or a at dinner with friends in a restaurant. A prerequisite is: the currently ruling situation in the art context of ‘one talks, the others listen’, is to be suspended, and the audience as a mere witness of the production of cultural surplus value should be abolished. In contrast to this, we understand the SALON POLULAIRE as an invitation for joint debate.
Granted, organizations which successfully break away from dull and hierarchical presentaitons are far outnumbered by those which try and fail. Still, a worthy attempt.
I’m intrigued by “Berlin Festee“, a festival of independent art and music which is taking place this Sunday at RAW-Tempel. Including music lined up under the heading of “The queens and the rebels” — describing itself as a “playful, somewhat awkward thing” that “wants to take over berlin’s nighhtlife and then to spit it back into the pavement”.
And…all free :)
Last-minute plug for some English-language poetry tonight:
Berlin-based British poet Catherine Hales launches her stunning new
poetry collection, Hazard or Fall, in the first of Dialogue Berlin’s
poetry events at Café Hilde in Prenzlauer Berg. Published by Shearsman
Books, Harzard and Fall is Catherine Hale’s first full-length
[I assume there is some kind of a reading as part of this; the event announcement is oddly non-specific on that point]
Wednesday 14th April, 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm, Café Hilde, Metzer Straße 22, 10405 Berlin, FREE ENTRY
English-language books on Berlin are oddly rare, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. Trying to hunt one down on Amazon, I ran into Jason Lutes’ Berlin, a portrait of ’20s Berlin as a graphic novel. I’m pretty enthusiastic about comics; 90% are crap, but the few great successes make up for them. And, if this review is anything to go by, Berlin is one of the good ones:
tracing the arcs of several overlapping narratives; playing with time; a fiction based around real events; in particular, mapping the sense of bewilderment, loss, chaos, creativity, and uncertainty in Berlin at that point – a city on the edge. Lutes plays out the chance encounters in bustling city life with real grace, ultimately to heartbreaking effect.
Has anybody read the thing? Is it as good as all that?
Inevitable because in any battle between money and art, money wins. Unthinkable because Tacheles is a focal-point for so much, that I can’t imagine what would fill the gap if it went. Sure, the artists will find other places, the parties move on. Foreign tourists will turn up, look in confusion at a building site, and be picked off by the commercial tour operators. But all of it together, the whole unstable combination of dismal and excellent? Once that goes, it’s gone for good.
For all Tacheles’ faults – the dirt (a cleaner there once earnestly explained to me how he viewed pissing in the stairwells as a form of artistic expression), the in-fighting, the omnipresent drug-pushers – it’s the best we’ve got. I don’t know how to help Tacheles keep going: the legal battles are for insiders, mass demonstrations are more uplifting than effective. I hope somebody does, though.
If you’re in the city in August or early September, make sure to check out Urban Affairs.
+++ ATM likes to invite you to URBAN AFFAIRS – probably the biggest streetart groupshows this year in Germany with about 45 different artists from all over the world! ATM is proud to be a partner of this event and likes to show you new works of participating ATM Artists BIMER, EMESS and BONK!
URBAN AFFAIRS , Brauerei Friedrichshöhe, Landsberger Alle 54, Berlin-Friedrichshain 05.07.08 – 05.09.08, Di-Do 14:00-20:00, Fr-So 15:00-23:00, www.urbanaffairs.de +++