Following the two major exhibitions “Return of Landscape” in 2010 and “Culture:City” in 2013, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste is now working on their next project coming up in spring 2016 titled, “Demo:Polis”. This exhibition is dedicated not only to the future of public space but the right to this real, physical space. While the Internet simulated a virtual public sphere, its promise was disappointed by Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon’s revelations. In contrast to this, people are again voicing their views with relative anonymity by demonstrating in real public spaces. Today, social media and real public space are the new framework for self-determination. Neo-liberalism has made the real public sphere a target for commercial interests: from advertising, sponsored events and the sale of publicly owned property, almost every public privilege and property have been sold. As cities grow denser, building projects encroach more and more on public space, an issue in which citizens demand to have a greater say in. As an ambitious endeavor on a highly complex issue, always close to failure – just like the constant fight over the right to setting the rules for the meaning and use of public space – “Demo:Polis” will include an exhibition, a catalogue and a series of conferences and parliaments, bringing together multiple approaches and working principles.
The 6th edition of the NORDWIND Festival, with its focus on exploring the North European and Baltic performing arts scene, will also throw a spotlight on Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union this year. Under the title “BALAGAN!!! – Zones of Resistance” Artistic director Ricarda Ciontos presents performances, choreographies and installations by some of the most exciting artistic teams and directors from Northern and North-Eastern Europe such as Oskaras Koršunovas, Stina Nyberg, Verdensteatret, Mungo Park and Elina Pirinen. A special program concentrating on contemporary performance in Russia will show controversial, innovative and formally sophisticated productions by artists such as Dmitry Krymov, Mikhael Patlasov, Olga Jitlina and Petr Pavlensky. “BALAGAN!!! – Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places”, an exhibition taking place in three venues across Berlin, will feature works by over 50 artists as well as the first retrospective outside Russia of Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe (1969-2013), comprising his paintings, films, photography and performance.
Since its foundation the biennial NORDWIND Festival has been continuously expanding its interdisciplinary program in terms of output, structure and ambition. This year it will take place in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and – for the first time – in Bern. Performance and exhibition venues in Berlin include Volksbühne, Sophiensæle, Max Liebermann Haus and KühlHaus Berlin.
The autumn of 2015 marks the second collaborative project between four of Berlin’s leading art institutions: Berlinische Galerie, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin will present a total of four thematically related and coinciding exhibitions. Titled STADT/BILD (Image of a City), the project approaches the notion of “the city” as thematic cluster from various perspectives. Architects Brandlhuber+ Hertweck, Mayfried will devise a spatial intervention in the Berlinische Galerie. The Dialogic City: Berlin wird Berlin sets out to question the museum as an institution, its acquisition policy, conditions of exhibiting, and different constraints. Xenopolis at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle will focus on the city as a living organism that does not belong to anyone in particular. Working under the hypothesis that there is no such thing as one coherent city, curator Simon Njami explores the multiplicity of cities. At the heart of the exhibition Welcome to the Jungle at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, a “jungle” serves as a desired imaginary space, symbolizing the subconscious, potentially dangerous counterpart of the controlled urban environment. The jungle marks a maximum distance from everyday life, as the name of the best-known discotheque in the history of West Berlin illustrates. With Fluids. A Happening by Allan Kaprow, 1967 / 2015 the Nationalgalerie presents a comprehensive reinvention of Allan Kaprow’s Happenings from 1967 in the public sphere. Originally constructed out of ice blocks, Fluids explored the questions of authorship, participation and communality, temporality, and choreography. Berlin-based artists are invited to react to this process-based work. Their versions of Fluids will appear in different locations around Berlin on successive days during the Berlin Art Week.
After their pastrami buvette Maxie Eisen, the three restaurateurs Oskar Melzer, James and David Ardinast took the next step, opening their first fine-dining restaurant Stanley Diamond, named after Maxie Eisen’s notorious Jewish- American mafioso associate from the 20th century and also located in Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel. Culinary references to bygone times characterize the kitchen which is inspired by European classics. Traditional recipes that have steadily disappeared from restaurant menus are revived with a contemporary take to form a diverse and seasonal menu featuring classics such as Leipziger Allerlei, plaice ‘Finkenwerder style’, Osso Bucco, Bouillabaise, Baba au rhum or apricot dumplings. The interior, designed by Paul Bauer in collaboration with the architects Hollin+Radoske and the design company e15, plays with the combination of contrasting materials. A long stone wall made from green Indian marble, a rose-pink concrete flooring and a gleaming copper ceiling are set off against wooden elements and custom made seating. With strong ties to the city, Melzer and the Ardinast brothers combine fine-dining with the rough and vibrant atmosphere of the Bahnhofsviertel.
Root vegetables, Icelandic moss, Scandinavian mountain herbs and dried seaweed join Berlin’s culinary scene with the resturateurs of Grill Royal and Pauly Saal’s newest venture: restaurant and bar dóttir. Inspired by her Scandanavian roots, head chef Victoria Eliasdóttir combines her experience from kitchens in Sao Paulo and Berkeley with Icelandic, Danish and Swedish cuisines and preparation methods, creating dishes with fish from the Baltic Sea, regional vegetables, lamb and unique flavours. Located in the ground floor of a corner building that stood empty for many years in the business district surrounding Friedrichstrasse, dóttir is separated into a bar, dining area and open kitchen – marked by the original plaster walls, freshly installed old wooden floorboards, antique furniture, tailor-made sofas, and, of course, artworks from the owners’ collections – with access to an enchanting hidden courtyard in the summer.
Photos: Stefan Korte
Bringing the authentic dining experiences of Tokyo to Berlin, Zenkichi shies away from typical sushi and teriyaki dishes. Instead, the Japanese brasserie focuses on exquisite, traditional Japanese dishes with modern flair, their specialties ranging from homemade tofu with light dashi sauce and deep fried potato rice cake served with spicy mayonnaise, to black cod Kyoto miso marinade and Berkshire Kakuni, a simmered pork belly in traditional dashi broth with a soft boiled egg. The multi-dimensional experience combines the fresh, seasonal dishes with an equally special Tokyo-style interior. Hidden away in the lower ground floor of a Mitte building, Zenkichi opens with a lounge and sake bar, which leads to a dining area past the reception. Unlike the usual large seating area, the dining space is composed of 35 semi-private booths of varying sizes, equipped with bamboo blinds for extra privacy. The distinct seating concept reflects what owners Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies point to as a Japanese desire to “concentrate on their food and their company.” Further establishing the intimate atmosphere, the dining experience is completed with subdued lighting and organic materials, composed of dark stained wood, bamboo sticks, granite paving and black pebbles.
Photos: © Zenkichi
The products of the Berlin based design company NEW TENDENCY are characterized by conceptual design, clear aesthetics and functional form, as well as the fact that they’re manufactured locally. Whether it is a glass, a coat rack or a jewelry collection, the design company’s credo is continually reflected in its new, interdisciplinary creations – expanding its portfolio of original products and collaborations with select designers. Corresponding to this approach, their newest innovation, the shelf rack CLICK is the result of a collaboration with Danish architect Sigurd Larsen. Furthermore, the latest NEW TENDENCY product range includes the MASA table base, the DECEMBER floor lamp, the HASH coat rack, the META side table and the X CHAIR, the RIEN glass as well as the SID & CHAD vases, next to a new oak version of the SHIFT, which received the Interior Innovation Award 2014.
Photos: Haw-lin | Matthias Schmitt & Michael Ott
Maxie Eisen, a Chicago gangster with German roots, was the organizer of 3 Hebrew associations of food dealers in the 1920s – the Hebrew Master Butchers’ Association, the Master Bakers’ and the Retail Fish Dealers’ Association. He made a name for himself as a mafioso in the food business and was respected in the mob scene due to his cunning, but above all, also due to his close association to Al Capone. Maxie and the rest of the gang would meet for diplomatic treaties late at night at the Hotel Sherman, presumably over charcuterie, fish, magnums of stolen red wine and strong drinks. Building on a mix of Jewish food, the history of Frankfurt’s red-light district and the French sensibility of a buvette, Maxie Eisen, located in the middle of the Bahnhofsviertel, will revive and reinterpret the spirit of those bygone times. Pastrami takes center stage; delicious American beef brisket, traditionally cured using mustard, crushed peppercorns, coriander seeds and garlic. Roast chicken and select charcuterie such as duck rillettes are also on the menu. Matzo ball soup, following a traditional recipe, herring with horseradish and raw onions, home-cooked rosemary french fries and fresh salads act as accompaniments.
Photos: Steve Herud
Specialty tea is still leading a fringe existence on the European continent. But that’s about to change, as P & T sets out from Berlin to spread the word on fine tea in an altogether novel fashion. P & T has made it their mission to make fine teas and tea culture more accessible and rewarding to a broader audience. Nothing like a conventional tea shop, it breaks with the traditional apothecary-like over-the-counter model. Instead, the original presentation system encourages self-directed discovery, sensory experience and dialogue.
Photos by Ludger Paffrath
P & T
Matzoh ball soup, shakshouka, american beef brisket to various patés, homemade desserts and regional jams are the new daily business for Oskar Melzer and Paul Mogg. Serving home-made Jewish American cuisine, Mogg & Melzer Delicatessen brings classic New York food culture to town. Since end of April the deli is opened every day of the week for breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule. The food is available to take away or to enjoy indoors sitting on benches made by the Berlin furniture manufacturer Tipla or the Pirkka chairs by the Finnish designer Illmari Tapiovaara.
Photos: Steve Herud