The Berliner Festspiele have brought the ICC Berlin, an architectural icon and sleeping colossus, back to life. Celebrating their 70 year anniversary with a unique experience of art, dance, performance and film “The Sun Machine Is Coming Down” is a cultural milestone for the city of Berlin. 45 Berlin-based and international artists contributed to the interdisciplinary project, coming together in a conceptual 10-days-programme based on simultaneity, similar to the original architectural concept of the building by Ursulina Schüler-Witte and Ralf Schüler.
Featuring nine female artists of outstanding significance between 1870 and today, “Close-Up” at the Fondation Beyeler, presents works by Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Lotte Laserstein, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, Marlene Dumas, Cindy Sherman and Elizabeth Peyton. Heterogeneous merely in appearance, the artists share a common interest in the representation of individuals and the innovative use of the portrait format to mirror the essence of their time and reflect on their surroundings.
With “Here We Are! Women in Design 1900 – Today” the Vitra Design Museum is telling a new, multi-voiced story of design against the background of the struggle for equal rights and recognition of women designers. The exhibition showcases works by protagonists of modernism such as Eileen Gray and Charlotte Perriand but also lesser-known figures like the social reformer Jane Addams. Contemporary positions and future outlooks are represented by such designers as Matali Crasset, Patricia Urquiola and the activist network Matri-Archi(tecture).
Alicja Kwade’s solo exhibition “In Abwesenheit (In Absence)” at the Berlinische Galerie shows her most recent works, which place her in the spotlight, appearing as self-portraits in the broadest sense. Exploring various methodological perspectives to describe her presence in space, Kwade’s heartbeat, the pure chemical elements making up the human body or her fully sequenced genome meet and greet the visitor.
Hagius has transformed a historical post office in Berlin Mitte to a one-of-a-kind sports studio, in which physical aptitude and wellbeing are interwoven in a holistic programme of individual and group training sessions and treatments. Drawing reference to our circadian rhythm, targeted stimulation of the brain and nervous system through light, sound and scent according to the time of day allows for physical assertion that works with rather than against our body. To accommodate the multi-sensory training, Hagius worked with Gonzalez Haase AAS to redesign the historic building into a muted, tranquil space.
Gallery Weekend Berlin has launched a new format: beginning with Gallery Weekend *Discoveries, the autumn edition will present annually a new thematic exhibition series. In 2021, the participating galleries were invited to focus on emerging and underrepresented positions and on artists who have not yet held exhibitions in the galleries before. Whether in solo shows or group exhibitions, the eager visitor could indeed make some great discoveries during that weekend: Emma Jääskeläinen’s huge but humorous sculptures at PSM, Igor Hosnedl’s slick surrealist paintings at EIGEN + ART and Daniel Hölzl’s site-specific installation in front of Dittrich&Schlechtriem have been highlights of the exhibition series.
The fourth edition of “The New Infinity” by Berliner Festspiele transforms the dome of the Zeiss-Großplanetarium into an immersive experience of contemporary art: a combination of audiovisual shows, full-dome world premieres and adaptations of classic avant-garde films come together in a programme that excites art lovers as much as film enthusiasts.
By playing with Sardinia’s lively backdrop of colourful construction and lush vegetation, the architecture duo of Gonzalez Haase AAS created a unique space for the first Modes store in Porto Cervo. In contrast to the island’s hot temperatures, the architects chose to recreate Nordic weather-like progressions by implementing neutral grey shapes and surfaces to cover all floors, walls, and ceilings, complete with curtains made of metallic fibre that add both movement and light reflection to the composition. Across the three floors that make up the space, large display blocks, each unique in their shape and size, were crafted with a palette of one or two colours. Reminiscent of bright “buoys”, their silver surfaces offer an additional neutral background for presenting the retailer’s exclusive garments. Uniform lighting, suspended near the ceiling, contradicts what would be expected in such a climate, calling to reference the cool light of Northern regions.
Facing Munich’s Isar River, the Erhardt10 ensemble, created in collaboration between architect Thomas Kröger and Euroboden, aspires to not only fit in but enrich its prominent site. The medley of apartment typologies, courtyards and terraces are a homage to the diversity of the lively neighbourhood. A playful layering of traditional and contemporary references lends the facade depth and ambiguity: Erhardt10 appears simultaneously familiar and strikingly new.
Gonzalez Haase AAS‘ design for the beauty and concept store MDC Next Door, celebrates a bright and colourful interior emphasised through the playful use of natural light. Yellow vertical mirrors and rose-coloured mirror sequences extend the space by reflecting sunlight in emblematic tones for natural connection. Circular elements in various scales and materials explore the limits of architecture through the space, drawing inspiration from Gordon Matta-Clark’s sculptural “building cuts”. These are found in a black cut-out at the register, round overlapping mirrors but most apparent in the twenty-four stainless steel polished light shades installed in a lively progression on the store’s ceiling.
For years, the owners of FRESKO have dreamt of bringing the best in Italian products to Berlin in a space that felt like Berlin, designed by Berlin. Italian cuisine shines with simplicity afforded by the high-quality ingredients that go into it. Consequently, the concept driving the new delicatessen is simple – rather than ten different types of pasta, olives, or oil, you will find just one of each – namely, the best that Italy has to offer. The design concept, developed by Sam Chermayeff and Arno Brandlhuber, highlights a nearly room-sized walk-in refrigerator, allowing passersby a sneak peek into the fine jars that await inside.
Halle am Berghain is transformed into a vast virtual swamp in Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s Berl-Berl. The immersive installation, created as part of the LAS programme, dives into Berlin’s history as a wetland and the mythologies behind it. In cooperation with the Naturkunde Museum Berlin, the artist spent several months documenting the remaining wetlands around Brandenburg and used cutting-edge gaming and VR tools to generate a 3D digital world.
For once, the latest project on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein is not a building: in front of the VitraHaus, a perennial garden designed by Piet Oudolf invites guests to wander around and lose themselves in nature. Oudolf’s projects are known for their wild and untamed appearance, which (ironically) could not exist without meticulous planning. Throughout his projects, the Dutch designer strives to achieve a balanced composition: a community of plants – as he calls it – with distinct strengths and weaknesses, various flowering periods and life cycles. A garden that, in the end, can be enjoyed all year long.
Today, museums are fittingly encouraged to reevaluate the focus of their work, given it is also their collections that shape relevance, status, and success of artists and designers. With the new collection presentation at the Vitra Schaudepot, the museum is exploring the role of women in furniture design while also questioning the museum’s own practice. “Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection” seeks to strengthen awareness of female designers’ works and to give them an equal voice in public discourse. Featured designers are Inga Sempé, Reiko Tanabe, Matali Crasset, and Gunjan Gupta among others.