Blustery skies and darkening days have fallen upon us, but nonetheless, there’s plenty to do and places to be this October. Grab your scarves and bundle up, contemporary art abounds and we’ve got a few tips.
Celebrate women in art and dance your heart out at the Curated by GIRLS anniversary party. Wander the dark streets of Berlin to see stunning light installations during the Festival of Lights. Question the meaning of art and discuss the impact of Duchamp’s 1917 urinal at The Readymade Century conference. Learn about the impact of women activists in Egypt with an interactive documentary. Slip into fishnets and join the Rocky Horror Picture Show to get in the mood for a spooky Halloween.
Need we go on? Keep reading for a selection of recommended art events in Berlin this October.
Berlin Festival of Lights 2017
October 6th – 15th
Take a night-time stroll and find Berlin illuminated by spectacular light projections. Berlin is aglow with 3D mappings and light installations that transform the landmarks of the city. Cuddle up with friends and special someones and enjoy beautiful artwork and touching stories unfolding onto historic buildings and monuments. Let your imaginations run wild and see our city in a fresh light. Find the map here.
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp changed the art world with a urinal. 100 years later, we’re still reeling.
Duchamp shocked the world when he submitted a standard porcelain urinal, signed ‘R. Mutt’ and titled ‘Fountain’ to an art exhibition in Paris. With his radical gesture, the artist brought the concept of a ‘readymade’ into being and questioned the very meaning of art. What is art? Can an ‘already made’ object be picked up off the street – or out of a gent’s toilet for that matter – and be called art? These ideas are still relevant today.
But perhaps in the digital age, the interpretation of the readymade is shifting. What does the concept mean today? How are artistic practices shifting while continuing to question the meaning of art? Such is the subject of the conference, The Readymade Century at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. In this conference, artists and moderators will discuss the ‘contemporary readymade’, taking intercultural, post-digital, and post-industrial perspectives into account. The conference will feature Saâdane Afif, Lars Blunck, Martha Buskirk, Simon Denny, Katja Kwastek, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Olaf Nicolai, and others. Join the moderators and artists to discuss artistic practice, theoretical research, and the readymade.
Celebrate the first anniversary of Curated by GIRLS with a fabulous party full of art, music, and performance. A selection of beloved Curated by GIRLS artists will be featured in a exhibition, and feminist artist Annique Delphine will create a special installation for the occasion, turning the back room into ‘Club Boobicana’. DJs Coco Maria, White Lie, and Monchichi will keep you dancing all night, and expect a special live performance by Free Free Dom Dom. There will be a small cover charge of one to three euros, but it’s a small price to pay for what is sure to be a fantastic night full of surprises. See you there!
Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017: Exhibition & Artist Talk
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart
September 29th, 2017 – January 14th, 2018
Artist talk: October 12th, 19:00 in English
Four artists, one prize. Who will it be?! The Preis der Nationalgalerie is a prestigious biannual prize that is awarded to contemporary artists under the age of 40, resident and active in Germany who are – shall we say – kicking ass with their work. Essentially, the Preis der Nationalgalerie celebrates passionate, innovative artists with a strong individual perspective that is reflected in their art.
This year’s nominated artists are four women: Sol Calero, Iman Issa, Jumana Manna, and Agnieska Polska. The artists each create multimedia, intersectional art engaging with social and political ideas. Walk into a bright, tropical installation with the work of Sol Calero. Her colorful patterns are reminiscent of Henri Matisse and are playful walk-in paintings, immersing you in a tropical dreamscape of pale turquoise and bold reds that critique colonialism and cultural stereotypes. Iman Issa constructs orderly installations and alternative monuments that reconsider the politics of place. Agnieska Polska creates uncanny and dream like film, animation based works, and photography that question the construction of history within society. Jumana Manna’s films and sculptural installations make the personal political. She wields storytelling and satire as tools for resistance and critique. Though the artists styles range from conceptually tropical to uncanny and political, each artist’s portfolio is conceptually complex, unique, and visually arresting.
On October 20th, the wait is over. The winner will be selected by a second intersectional jury and awarded a solo exhibition with the Nationalgalerie in 2018 with an accompanying publication. And don’t miss the artist’s talk on October 12th to hear directly from the creatives themselves.
15 Egyptian women came together to create an interactive documentary confronting the question of gender. The result is Womanhood: Our Interactive Documentary, filmed in 2015 in Cairo. This is a documentary in which the narrative is written by the protagonists themselves. In a world where the Western stereotype of the ‘Arab/Muslim woman’ is a prolific fantasy in contemporary culture, the Womanhood team created what they call “an Egyptian kaleidoscope” to present multifaceted perspectives from real women in Egypt. The Womanhood website states: “We centred this project on particular and singular points of view, on personal narratives. All the women gave their definition of chosen words related to womanhood: they talked about their experiences around 75 gender-related words.”
The documentary will be screened at Spektrum with a brief presentation by the film director, Florie Bavard. There will be 50 minutes of video with ten individual testimonies, discussing four chosen words: ‘Activism’, ‘Gender’, ‘Voice’ and ‘West’. There will be a discussion with the director after the screening. The Womanhood team states, “[W]omen’s bodies remain a battleground for identity quests between East and West. Moreover, these images often overshadow the very voices of the social actors.” Take the time to listen to the voices of the social actors and learn about the battles they fight for gender equality. You can explore the interactive documentary on the Womanhood website.
We’ve all seen Rocky Horror, right? If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Frank-N-Furter, this is your chance.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a brilliant musical about two sweethearts, Brad and Janet, who get a flat tire and find themselves in the mansion of the mysterious scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-described “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.” It’s madness from there on out.
It began as a musical stage production in 1973, written by Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien, and was adapted for the screen in 1975, directed by Sharman. By the following year, it had not only garnered a cult following but had audiences everywhere engaging with the film – joining in with the dialogue, dressing as the characters, and acting scenes out alongside the film. And so, the Rocky Horror shadow cast tradition began!
This is your chance to see a live shadow cast – and to join in! A group of passionate performers in Berlin are putting on a wild performance in the American shadow cast tradition this Halloween. Dress in your sexiest mad-scientist fishnets and head over to BABYLON to worship the cult classic in real time. Let’s do the Time Warp again!