LOLA Recommends: Art Events in April

Must-see exhibitions, Gallery Weekend 2017, and experimental theatre

Words By Erika Clugston

In a feverish frenzy of blooming and blossoming, spring is upon us and Berlin is bursting with art openings and exhibitions you shouldn’t miss. The local art world is offering an abundance of events this month, ranging from the playfully cheeky to the experimental and macabre.

Whether you’re interested in comprehensive museum exhibitions, experimental theatre, or Berlin Gallery Weekend, we’ve sifted through the mess of events happening this April to let you know what to look forward to. Don’t miss a chance to swing by some of these openings, act classier than you really are, and see the amazing art Berlin has to offer.

Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Prince, "Lovesexy", 1988
Jean-Paul Goude, Grace Jones, "Island Life", 1985

Total Records
C/O Berlin
Runs through April 23rd

Four men cross the street… it’s not the set up for a joke but rather the iconic album cover for the The Beatles’ 1969 album, Abbey Road. Classic album covers like this are seared into our collective cultural memory as integral elements of the music. What is an album without a cover?

C/O Berlin’s exhibition, Total Records, takes a close look at the album cover and suggests that covers are not only essential to the album, but are works of art in themselves. The exhibition has around 500 album covers on display from the 1960s to the 2000s. From classic to obscure covers, the exhibition highlights the surprising collaborations that may arise between visual artists and musicians and the various purposes an album cover may serve. From propaganda to artistic expression, the album cover is often used to shock the public and stir controversy. As the music industry changes with digitization, non-traditional albums, and the growth of online streaming, album covers no longer serve the same purpose, and are perhaps becoming a thing of the past.

The exhibition has been up since December 2016, so if you haven’t seen it yet this is your last chance. Stop by C/O Berlin this month and check out the stunning selection of album art.

Alchemie. Die Große Kunst
Opening: April 5th, 19:00
Runs: April 6th – July 23rd

Myths of creation, creator, and creature are questioned in this comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the art of alchemy. With over 200 works spanning 3,000 years of art and history, it is a show of mammoth-sized proportion. Paintings, drawings, installation, videos, fake gems, and manuscripts – you name it! From Anselm Kiefer to Yves Klein to antiquity, Alchemy. The Great Art boasts multidisciplinary work, both ancient and contemporary, centreing on the universal and timeless theme of alchemy.

Included in the exhibition is The Gold Projections by Joe Ramirez. The world premiere of Ramirez’s latest work was presented by the Kulturforum on the occasion of the 67th Berlinale. Using a recently-patented process, Ramirez projects moving paintings onto a circular, hand-gilded wooden disc. Experimental and visually stunning, the silent films come alive on the textured gold-leaf surface. The gilding process is painstaking and time consuming – each sheet of gold leaf used is twenty-times thinner than a cigarette paper. The process is a labour of love, Ramirez’s life’s work. Though not paintings and not quite films, the misty moving images are a language born of both. This transcendental work and the entirety of the Alchemy exhibition is well worth the visit.

Hangar 1: Charity Art Auction and Exhibition
SomoS Art House
April 6th, 19:00 – 22:00

Art and social awareness come together in this exciting exhibition and auction by Hangar 1. The exhibition features artwork created by residents of the Tempelhof Refugee Centre, alongside the work of professional artists from around Europe. Among the renowned established artists featured is Annique Delphine, read our interview to find out more about her work. All proceeds go to the non-profit organisation Hangar 1, who put on weekly workshops with refugee kids in Tempelhof, and courses for teenagers to learn the basics of web coding. Featuring professional and aspiring artists side by side, the spirit of the event is ‘art for all’. Prices start from 20 euros, ensuring everyone can afford to take some artwork home at the end of the night.

We can’t wait to check out the work and support socially conscious art events. To attend the event, be sure to RSVP to [email protected] and stay for the afterparty to get your groove on.

Mime Centrum Berlin
April 8th, 20:00

DEEP WAVES is a ‘phygital’ dance-tech performance which connects the contemporary digital age with our primordial and ancestral origins. Dance, technology, ritual, and science come together in this ritualistic and innovative performance inspired by ancient Colombian rituals.

Technology transforms the two dancer’s movements into the audio and visual elements of the performance while drawing on Colombian cultural elements for the movement. One performer wears a neurosensing headband, transforming the performer’s brainwaves into visuals. The second performer’s movements create an auditory landscape with a motion sensor embedded in the costume. The performers draw on the duality of the doble yo (double me) concept from pre-Colombian culture as a way of connecting with nature and playing with the duality of male/female, material/spiritual, art/science. Check out the premiere on April 8th, entry by donation. Arrive early to grab a seat!

GlueHeads #5: Zine Release
Zirkumflex Design Studio
April 15th, 18:00

One day, one exhibition, one zine. Check out the GlueHeads wandering contemporary collage project curated by Anelor Robin. Each exhibition features different artists with unique collage techniques to create a fresh new zine. Swing by the event to support the project and swing your hips to some DJ tunes.

Failing to Distinguish Between a Tractor Trailer and the Bright White Sky
NOME Gallery
Opening: April 21st, 18:00

The solo exhibition by James Bridle centres on the subject of a self-driving car. With artistic poetry, Bridle questions technologies of prediction and automation. What are the limits of human perception vs. machine perception? Art becomes a means of resistance to automated regimes in Bridle’s investigative exhibition. Bridle is an internationally-renowned artist and writer interested in concepts of technology and surveillance. We can’t wait to check out his latest work!

Jarnoth: Mein Ego zwingt mich da zu
Theater O-TonArt
April 22nd, 
19:30 – 22:30

Are you ready for a night of experimental German puppet theatre? Then look no further, this is the show for you. With cabaret-esque flair and grotesque ventriloquist puppets, Jarnoth – the performer – works with the Freudian force of his id. In the artist’s own words:

“Insanity rages in the doll’s house. Transsexual puppets, desperate women magicians, depressive starlets, poetry-slam one-day wonders, and other peculiar creatures meet up here: all orchestrated into a morbid, comic theatre collage by the crazy master of ceremonies, Jarnoth. HIS EGO IS MAKING HIM DO THIS.”

For those who speak German, and even for those who don’t, it promises to be an unforgettable experience. Book your tickets soon to guarantee yourself a seat in the cosy venue.

Berlin Gallery Weekend 2017
April 28th – 30th

Simply take a walk along Augustraße this April weekend and rub elbows with the Berlin art elite. With an overwhelming amount of gallery openings from the 47 participating galleries, we’re creating a guide to help you navigate the weekend. Check out our Berlin Gallery Weekend 2017 highlights feature for more detailed info on what to expect this weekend. Prepare yourself for free drinks, trendy crowds, and a weekend of art madness.

Sigmar Polke
me Collectors Room
April 28th – August 27th

The complete editioned works of world-renowned German painter and photographer, Sigmar Polke (1941 – 2010), are on view at the Berlin meCollectors Room. Polke founded the movement Kapitalistischer Realismus (Capitalist Realism) in 1963 with the artists Gerhard Richter and Konrad Fischer as an anti-style of art intended to comment on capitalism and pop culture. He experimented with photography, painting, installation, and film throughout his life’s work as an artist. On view will be books, collages, prints, and more. Check out this extensive collection featuring around 200 of his works.