A walk around Berlin Mitte

BildWhen one enters Berlin Mitte these days, once the offspring and heart of a young and vibrant avantgarde of artists and galleries, one will most surely hit a busload of elderly tourists in Hackesche Markt first and be oddly surprised by the now missing flair of boheme and circumstances. As the whole area from Friedrichstraße to Rosenthaler Platz has reinvented itself as a mingling of expensive shops, flagshipstores and tourist attractions, the last remains of subculture are to be found in the nearly fully closed but famous Tacheles on the Oranienburgerstraße and Clärchens Ballhaus in Auguststraße, an as it were etablissement in the fashion of original 20´s ballrooms, where rather good food is served to enjoyable prices and an illoustrous crowd hits it off at nights in a strange mixture of bad taste and honestly enjoyed standard dancing.

To the left and right stretches the long spreading row of high-end galleries and the Kunstwerke, founded by the now chiefcurator of the MoMa in New York, Klaus Biesenbach. The last big arty thing in Auguststraße definitely was the opening of the Neue jüdische Mädchenschule, inhabiting three galleries and a said to be very good restaurant by the rather famous patrons of the – also rather famous – Grill Royal, where the art world in Berlin was and is coming togther over large, bloody and expensive steaks, which seems rather fitting if one follows the image of the art world as a dangerous jungle where all kinds of mean predators lurk about. Now the street lays rather quite in the afternoon sun of this spring day, breathing solemnly and waiting fort he 7th biennale, hosted by the above mentioned Kunst Werke and curated by polish artist ARTUR ŻMIJEWSKI. The galleries, that is for sure, and that is how business goes, participate with spezial programms and so merely the half of them are reinstalling exhibitions, nearly all of them have painted the emblematic seven, the brand for this years (and seventh, of course) Biennale on their windows.

For the Biennale only the best, could one say, and true enough, there will be some amzing exhibitions to be seen. One of them, assymetrie, martin eder, paintings and objects, hosted by Eigen + Art, has already opened ist doors, most of the others will hit the roadshow this weekend. For who will or may not be making it to the Biennale this year – don´t be sad: after the Biennale is before the gallery weekend and after that it is the fairs in autumn. On top of it Documenta and there you have the german art-madnes this year. I am sure it will be lots of fun.


Über philippkoch

author and curator, specializing in literature and writing on visual arts
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