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Falckensteinstr. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Falckensteinstr. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

1. To love dogs. I used to have panic attacks, when I saw a dog, and I never wanted to have one myself. Berlin changed it all. From big to small Berlin dogs never bark, never jump, don’t wear a leash and can sit outside the shop without making a move or noise what-so-ever. See for yourself here.

2. That the artist has to know how to sell. You are the product, the marketer and the seller all in one.

3. To love beer. Before I moved to Germany, I strongly disliked this type of alcohol. Now I can tell the tourists what is what. I also learned that your bathtub is your beer fridge for the house party. And if you haven’t drank beer in -10, you have not been to Berlin.

4. That Berlin has the best Zoo in Europe. When you’re sad, I strongly recommend visiting this place, where you can easily spend the whole day.

5. To make the bridge bounce while dancing on it (Modersohnbrücke in particular). Get DJs, get a good stereo system, invite people, make a party, let the heavy cars still go over the bridge, dance like none is watching, make it bounce, feel it!….

6. That unfortunately yoga and being vegan can be fashionable. After several years of living here I got a flock of sheep impression. Because people without reason are trying to do both and are not realising, that it does not suit every body, and both vegan lifestyle and yoga can do harm. Yet on every corner in Berlin you now will find a yoga center and even though Germany has really good meat and lots of farms and farm product delivery options, Berliners are trying to avoid iron and take B12 Vitamin. Dear readers, everything should be in balance. I have vegetarian/vegan friends and I respect them. Find your reason first, and make sure your body agrees with it.

7. To multi task. German classes in the morning, work until 20:00, meeting friends in the evening + contributing to 10 other projects at the same time.

8. To cook crackers and bread without flour and eggs. I worked for a paleo restaurant, where I learned the secret.

9. To cycle in Neukoelln. Neukoelln inhabitants have a tendency to stop their cars randomly in the middle of the street, they also ignore traffic lights which turns a cyclist experience into survival.

10. To travel with soup pots and baking dishes on the underground. Shared food parties is a normal practice here. Great and sweet idea too!

Kottbusser Tor. A part of a university project.  Don't have the name of the author, if you know please drop me a line.

11. That the trash bags can cost €3,50 when they’re bio  supposte to normal ones for €0,59. Recycling is a big thing here.

12. What means an amazingly relaxed big city life. It’s the capital, but there is no stress and no rush. No rush in the morning, no rush in the evening, no rush for the party…

“There just isn’t really this fear of missing out,” Mr. DeNorch said. “You just feel like wherever you’re at is fine. You’re just having a good time.” … “When you want to go out to the club, you grab a beer on the way,” he said. “You can buy some weed on the street so you can smoke a joint if you want to. There’s all these little things you can do here that you can’t do there to get you in the mood.”

“In New York specifically, there’s a huge amount of stress about what you’re doing tonight and where you’re going to be in the city and who you’re going to be with,” said Mr. Ladner, a founder of the Janus party. 

Read full Article on NYTIMES

13. A feeling of blended genders. Berlin is the city where I’ve received the least amount of compliments. In here you forget that you’re a woman, as it does not matter how attractive you look, people seem to not pay any attention, because they like it all: any size and any gender. There are both negative and positive aspects of this, yet this is typical Berlin.

14. That Berlin is a temporary stop for many of us.

“It’s like living in an airport here in Berlin”
Ben Sömethingorother

15. That work and parties in Berlin are like black and white. “…half of all Berliners make under 1500 EUR a month, and a third less than 1000 EUR” (source)

Berlin is the poorest German city, with highest unemployment rate and half of the expats are receiving the job-centre benefits. Berlin is the place where jobs don’t last long. And it’s also normal if you have not been paid up to a year, but then you might want to go to the lawyer. On what really is happening in Berlin and the city’s mayor you can read here.

As about the parties – they are always here: cheap or absolutely free, 7 days a week. On a hot summer weekday all the parks in Berlin are full with jobless people or people who do odd jobs. Berlin parties more than it works. If you are considering Berlin as your next career destination, please think of Hamburg first.

16. That Berlin’s tech startup scene is far behind the Silicon Valley, and that we Europeans are modest in comparison to brave Americans, who can sell an old three-leg-chair without blinking as a brand new one.

17. That bio products in Germany are at least 95% bio, full stop. My research on eco label in Germany you can read here.

18. That a Berliner is a traditional North German pastry similar to a doughnut with no central hole made from sweet yeast dough fried in fat or oil, with a marmalade or jam filling and usually icing, powdered sugar or conventional sugar on top. 
John F. Kennedy‘s words “Ich bin ein Berliner” are standard German for “I am a Berliner”. Mentioned in Len Deighton‘s 1983 novel Berlin Game, an urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as “jelly doughnut”, and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. The normal convention when stating a nationality or, for instance, saying one is from Berlin, would be to leave out the indefinite article ein. Throughout the 1980s, the legend was spread even by quality papers and reputable media like The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC or NBC.

A berliner in a box by Dorit Bialer http://iwanteverything.de/

19. I also learned that giving a birth and remaining skinny is a normal practice in Berlin. The answer to “how?” I still haven’t found.

20. That it is okey to be explicit, naked and have sex in public spaces. Freedom to everyone. Just be yourself. No judgement, no fashion, no boundaries. From train station to night life. Berlin is possibly the most sexually open city on earth, that also makes a stable classical relationship almost impossible. Berlin greets open relationships, swingers, gay/lesbian/transexual, BDSM and other experimental loving methods.

“Ask any straight woman over 30 and she’ll tell you that the odds of finding a committed man in this city are about as high as unearthing the Holy Grail. Is there any hope for the single Berlin female?”

– See more at: http://www.exberliner.com

“Men are like toilets. They’re always occupied, and when they’re not – they’re full of shit. Well, welcome to Berlin!”

                                                                                                                           – Emilie

P.O.P Berlin

P.O.P Berlin

David Bowie exhibition

David Bowie exhibition

The exhibition David Bowie is coming to the German capital. Berlin is the city where the exceptional artist has spent some of the most productive years of his career.

On 20 May 2014 the exhibition curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, opens its doors to the public. Exhibition venue is the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. Be among the first to experience a spectacular show!

THE RETROSPECTIVE

David Bowie is the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times.

The exhibition demonstrates how Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theatre and contemporary culture and focuses on his creative processes, shifting style and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre and film.

DAVID BOWIE IN BERLIN

The Berlin stop is one of the highlights of the international exhibition tour due to the intimate relationship between Bowie and the German capital. The exhibition sends the visitors on a time journey through the subculture of West Berlin during the 1970s, the time when Bowie and dazzling companions such as Iggy Pop influenced the Berlin nightlife.

The Berlin years 1976/78 were some of the most productive years of Bowie’s career; it was then when he wrote music history. He drew creative energy from the city and created a triptych of groundbreaking albums: Low, Lodger and the centrepiece Heroes. It was recorded within sight of the Berlin Wall at Hansa Studios. Here, he and his companions experimented with avantgardistic concepts of their personalities breaking boundaries between fashion, music and performance art – life and art merged to something radically new.

The exhibition in the Martin-Gropius-Bau shows those intensive relationships and presents objects which have been gathered up especially for the Berlin stop of the tour.

"In 1987, Bowie returned to the divided city to perform for a crowd of 70,000 fans, their sparklers and candles glittering around the Reichstag. Towards the end of the show he read aloud a message in German. “We send our best wishes to all our friends who are on the other side of the Wall.” Then he sang “Time will Crawl”. On the other side of the hateful divide, hundreds of young East Berliners strained to hear echoes of the concert. They caught sight of stage lights flashing off blank, bullet-marked walls. They heard Bowie greet them. They listened to his song. Their song. Berlin’s song. “We can be heroes, just for one day,” he sang in a daring, ironic elegy to both the divided world and his past life.  As “Time will Crawl” reached its climax some of the East German crowd pushed towards the Brandenburg Gate, whistling and chanting, “Down with the Wall”. They threw insults and bottles at the Volkspolizei, rising together in a rare moment of protest. On stage Bowie heard the cheers from the other side. He was in tears." Read full article: The Berlin landmarks that inspired David Bowie  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b20113b0-8753-11e3-9c5c-00144feab7de.html#axzz2s3ZrCQb6

“In 1987, Bowie returned to the divided city to perform for a crowd of 70,000 fans, their sparklers and candles glittering around the Reichstag. Towards the end of the show he read aloud a message in German. “We send our best wishes to all our friends who are on the other side of the Wall.”
Then he sang “Time will Crawl”.
On the other side of the hateful divide, hundreds of young East Berliners strained to hear echoes of the concert. They caught sight of stage lights flashing off blank, bullet-marked walls. They heard Bowie greet them. They listened to his song. Their song. Berlin’s song. “We can be heroes, just for one day,” he sang in a daring, ironic elegy to both the divided world and his past life.
As “Time will Crawl” reached its climax some of the East German crowd pushed towards the Brandenburg Gate, whistling and chanting, “Down with the Wall”. They threw insults and bottles at the Volkspolizei, rising together in a rare moment of protest. On stage Bowie heard the cheers from the other side. He was in tears.”
Read full article: The Berlin landmarks that inspired David Bowie
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b20113b0-8753-11e3-9c5c-00144feab7de.html#axzz2s3ZrCQb6

Pied Piper by Vivek Budakoti

Because it’s a freak house, the place where everything is possible. Where you forget who you are, dissolving in the filmic nonsense. And every stranger in the room is the dearest alien to you. The childhood, the adolescence and the old age come together and generate the best viewer.

6-16 February

No admission till 8 pm

Film, Music, Art

programme

Facebook Event

1. The first reason why I like Directors Lounge, is its team. They’re all true characters. Once you see them, you never forget, and even more you won’t confuse them with anyone else! Greet them when you meet them.

2. The second reason, of course, is the film selection. This is where I lose myself. I stop even blinking, breathing and thinking. It’s just not necessary. Directors Lounge always has a crazy selection, for every taste: funny, ugly, surreal, disturbing, queer, touching and everything else what cannot be categorized. See the programme. 11 days of a video quirk is a great way to overdoze. You will look at the world with the different eyes.

Gilivanka Kedzior and Barbara Friedman

3. And the third reason, is the place. It’s the boring Alexanderplatz area, but Naherholung Sternchen is a real underground explosive. They have entirely rebuilt it within the last year, expanded and made even more freaky (A Twin Peaks party took a place there in December 2013; and I met Bob). On a regular DL night the aliens smoke cigarettes, drink beer and dance. It’s all good. And yes, there are plenty couches to share with directors.

These all three reasons create a very bizarre atmosphere, where I never know if I am who I am.

Some acts I am looking forward to seeing:

– World Premier: Nonconformity by Igor Parfenov 13.02. 

Nonconformity is a multilayered epos based on the works by Leо Tolstoy. The action is shifted to our reality. The spotlight of the story is a withdrawn existence of mountain village inhabitants.

Nonconformity.

– LIVE: Steve Morell 16.02. 10:30 pm

is a  remixer, DJ, producer, musician, founder of the record label “Pale Music Int.” and the German underground festival Berlin Insane.

– The exhibition: Digital Storytelling | arts and informatics 9-16.2. daily 6-9pm

Digital storytelling presents an installation of books that trigger interaction through the flipping of pages next to selected works from the Directors Lounge open call and video installations from the FKI, the research center of arts and informatics. All at the gallery space next to the Naherholung Sternchen

– Film Performance: Reynold Reynolds 11.02. 9pm

The live construction of the image destroys the illusion of film, revealing the whole studio process as art.

This guy does brainshaking stuff.

Secret Life from Artstudio Reynolds on Vimeo.

– LIVE: DIETER RITA SCHOLL with Martina Colli, piano 12.02. 10:30pm

Dieter Rita Scholl

A very special guest performing live, accompanied by Italian import pianist Martina Colli, straying from the classical repertoire of her recent album into the world of the offbeat.

– Live Performance: Still und Dunkel (silent and dark)

An audiovisual performance by Christoph Brünggel and Benny Jaberg.

Our interest lies in the aura of disused factories, abandoned civil defense facilities and similar supposed utopian, non-places‘. The temporality of such locations and their potential to evoke the feeling of loneliness in the spectator inspires us. We examine abandoned places towards its capacity to store and capture time in itself with artistic means.

While Nick Cave said he’ll pop in to Berlinale on the 10th of February, I really think he should come for the afterparty at Directors Lounge.

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey

Typical Berlin. 1st of May. Drugs free zone - Goerli. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Typical Berlin. 1st of May. Drugs free zone – Goerli. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Here is my 2013 in retrospect. I do this yearly just to look back and see what new and exciting or maybe shocking and sad happened within the last 12 months.

Berlin is the most alive city I’ve ever lived in. Everyday something happens. I really should start making a diary like in old days, hand written, with scribbles and one day this can become a book.

Let’s see first, who’s been reading Avant-Hard:

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Sebastian Bieniek

Everyone seems to be talking about a Berlin based artist Sebastian Bieniek; oh yes, even Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol.

The first time I’ve heard about Sebastian, was in April 2013, when Deutsche Bank has announced an opening of their new Kunsthalle (Art Hall) in Berlin. On April the 5th Kunsthalle was accepting everybody’s art just for one day; until the space is full. People came early in the morning and queued for hours. There was also a cash prize of €500 for the best piece.

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Image found on Wiki Commons

Image found on Wiki Commons

Living in Berlin you often ask yourself – where to go and what to see? It’s a huge city with a breathtaking history, old impressive buildings, world wide famous graffiti, modern hotels and restaurants, great markets and designer shops. Every district has it’s own story, way of living and an atmosphere. I love discovering Berlin step by step, opening new places and facts each month. It is not enough just to know the district you’re living in. I want to live the city.

Apart from the famous Spreepark and Teufelsberg there are many other places worth your time. For example an old Olympic Stadion, The Ball House in Grünau, even the Victory Column, which offers a 3-euro trip upstairs and the dark tunnels with screens that react on your body movement with many small light spots. Some metro stations have amazing stories behind them and are pretty atmospheric for photographs.

Recently I found a great source of information, which will be useful to both: visitors and locals. It offers a wide range of places for all kind of purposes: exhibitions, clubs, abandoned and historical buildings, cafes, restaurants, designer shops, hotels and so on. The page is in German and is called  Geheimtipp Berlin.  The Facebook page was started only in August 2013, and already has 21 thousand followers, which is a good indicator for quality.

For example, thanks to this page I read about a very interesting hotel: Arte Luise Kunsthotel. Each room is a like a piece of art (see here). My favorite one is the 20s cabaret room. The website allows 360 degrees view which is a great way to study all the details.

I suggest you follow the page to discover new places whether you visit or live in Berlin. Another page I find very informative – is Slow Travel Berlin. They offer big serious write-ups on various topics, often bent to the past. They also have a What’s ON section for each week; if you have an event you want to share, Slow Travel Berlin will be happy to hear from you.

All rights reserved by Jürgen Bürgin.

Anita Berber

Anita Berber was the sex of Berlin, the most extravagant performer of the 1920s. The woman who was first to perform naked and was often dancing in the cabaret called “The White Mice” in Friedrichstrasse, where she would urinate on the table if someone was not watching her on stage. Now there is a bar in Wedding, on Gerichtstrasse 23, called Anita Berber Bar in the memory of a great dancer.

With my big love to the 20s, I always thought Berlin should have a real cabaret or a typical 20s bar even now, but all I saw were absolutely missing the point replicas. I am not saying it is easy to keep the spirit of the 20s, yet Berlin with it’s open sexuality, must have a place where one could go back in time. Unfortunately, even Anita’s bar only has her photographs to offer, other than that it is a typical Berlin bar.

History

Anita Berber and Sebastian, her 2nd husband.

Born in Leipzig to musician parents who later divorced, she was raised mainly by her grandmother in Dresden. By the age of 16, she had moved to Berlin and made her debut as a cabaret dancer. By 1918 she was working in film, and she began dancing nude in 1919. Scandalously androgynous, she quickly made a name for herself. She wore heavy dancer’s make-up, which on the black-and-white photos and films of the time came across as jet black lipstick painted across the heart-shaped part of her skinny lips, and charcoaled eyes.

Through 1916/17, Anita’s star was rising and she not only toured throughout Germany and Austria with the Sacchetto Troupe but also performed solo at the Berlin Wintergarten and was featured twice on the front cover of glossy women’s magazine Die Dame. By 1918 she had made her first of nine silent films, was becoming a sought-after model and was touring her own solo programme.

In January of 1919, Anita married the wealthy young screenwriter Eberhard von Nathusius. Her film career was blossoming and  in the spring of that year she appeared, alongside rising-star Conrad Veidt, as Else in the ground-breaking Richard Oswald film “Different From The Others” (Anders als die Anderen).  Anita had occupied a suite at the Adlon Hotel, spent wildly on furs, shoes and jewellery and indulged heavily in cocaine, cognac and all-manner of illicit narcotics smuggled from around Europe. She would spend her nights touring the hotels and elegant restaurants of the city, wearing nothing but a sable coat, and with her pet monkey around her neck along with an antique brooch packed full of cocaine. In addition to her addiction to cocaine, opium and morphine, one of Berber’s favourites was chloroform and ether mixed in a bowl. This would be stirred with a white rose, the petals of which she would then eat.

By 1921 her sham marriage had collapsed completely, Von Nathusius divorced her and she dated a string of beautiful women, including, allegedly, young Marlene Dietrich. But it was stylish bar-owner Susi Wanowski who won her heart and very quickly became her lover, manager and secretary.

In June 1922, Anita met the dancer and poet Sebastian Droste during a particularly wild night out at a Berlin casino. It was to be a life-changing encounter.

Anita and Sebastian were immediately drawn to one another (even thought Sebastian was a homosexual) and convinced they could create something bold, new and shocking.

Droste.

Rehearsals began immediately with a fervour only matched by the pairs’ cocaine consumption.  Very quickly Droste had replaced Susi as Anita’s manager and, by July of 1922, a series of performances of their new production “The Dances Of Depravity, Horror and Esctasy” had been booked for Vienna in November.

In January 1923 Anita and Sebastian got married. A year later after crazy and scandalous touring they came back to Berlin,he was desperate for drugs and stole the money, later had to run away to America. Anita had repealed their marriage. The same year she  re-married to Henri Chatin-Hoffman (also homosexual) after 2 weeks knowing him.

In June 1926, Anita and Henri were  on tour with their new production “Dances of Sex and Ecstasy”. Whilst in Zagreb, Anita publicly insulted the King of Yugoslavia and was imprisoned for six weeks. Back in Berlin, both Anita and Henri were now broke and Anita returned to the cabaret circuit.

On the night of July 13th 1928, Anita collapsed whilst performing at a Beirut nightclub, and was diagnosed with an advanced state of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Four months later, on November 10th 1928, she died and was buried in a paupers grave at St. Thomas Friedhof in Neukölln. 

The band Death in Vegas named a song after her, which is on the album Satan’s Circus.  And there is a film called Anita – Tänze des Lasters, where and old lady goes mad imagining herself being Anite Berber.

Gedenktafel Anita Berber 10707 Berlin Wilmersdorf Zähringerstraße 13. Image taken from Wikipedia

Gedenktafel Anita Berber 10707 Berlin Wilmersdorf Zähringerstraße 13. Image taken from Wikipedia

Sebastian Droste (Husband of Anita Berber), 1923

Anita and Sebastian.

ODYSSEY OF THE LOVERS

Presented by Mindpirates

Film footage, photographs, audio recordings, text and interviews with participants will engage a dialogue about utopias, gatherings, dreams and the profound ambiguity inherent in the relationship between humans and nature. The exhibition and the concurrent two-week program of concerts, musical jams, art performances, readings and talks will reflect on the experiment and its connected themes. Mindpirates humbly invite the participants to revisit the event a year on, and welcome those who weren’t present to get a picture of the odyssey.

History

The Lovers set out to create a transformational happening: on August 25th and 26th, 2012, 400 participants came together on an idyllic island of perfect nature outside of Berlin for an ambitious musical jam session, uniting 100 international musicians and running non-stop for twenty-four hours.

The artist collective Mindpirates conceptualized and brought to life The Lovers. They conceived it as “a search and experiment to evoke love and human gratitude among each other and towards the universe”.

The invitation to The Lovers promised an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. On site, the event morphed into a cathartic tempest, a caged whirlwind of both love and hate, epiphany and confusion. Many left before it was over, while others wanted for it to never end. A year on, some remember The Lovers with passionate fondness and still struggle to find words to describe it, while for others the dream had turned nightmarish and left a bitter feeling.

Don’t miss this rich flavoured 2 week-long event from Mindpirates, Opening August the 15th, 18:00:

Poetry of the Absurd — Odyssey of the Lovers opening night

Full Programme: http://mindpirates.org/thelovers/

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You're crazy my child, you  must go to Berlin.

You’re crazy my child, you must go to Berlin.

This post is about young Berliners, who are weirdly brave in their creative expressions (often compared to equally crazy New Yorkers). Let’s see what those Berliners do, no more words needed:

Take one

Berlin. From huiii mich mal Facebook Page.

no tourists

“Refugees welcome – Tourists piss off!” Backyard on Rosenthaler Straße, Mitte. Author, who are you?

Bubble addicts

Bubble addicts. Taken from huiii mich mal Facebook Page.

Kotti. Author, who are you?

Kotti. Author, who are you?

He-man platz. Kamerapferd.

He-man-platz. Kamerapferd

Honesty wins it all.

Honesty wins it all. Taken from Berlin Loves You Facebook Page.

Action. Antonio Onio

Action. Antonio Onio. Watch the result here: https://vimeo.com/65293810

Author, who are you?

Der Berliner Elefant.

Horse Day in Berlin.

Horse Day in Berlin. Kamerapferd.

Author, who are you?

Just chilling. Author, who are you?

On the way to Kreuzberg. Author, who are you?

On the way to Kreuzberg. Author, who are you?

On the Berlin bus. Author, who are you?

On the Berlin bus. Taken from Berlin Open Air Facebook Page.

Hop. Author, who are you?

Hop. Author, who are you?

Berlin Kudamm. Author, who are you?

Berlin Kudamm. Author, who are you?

Schlafen. Author, who are you?

Schlafen. Author, who are you?

Bosso Fataka

Bosso Fataka

Prenzlauerberg. All rights reserved by Talulah Tamborin.

Prenzlauerberg. All rights reserved by Talulah Tamborin.

Author, who are you?

Just sunbathing. Author, who are you?

U-bahn

Party time. Micaela (Bit)Schäfer?

All rights reserved by Jarkko Riihimäki

S-bahn. All rights reserved by Jarkko Riihimäki

Posters. Author, who are you?

Push the button. All rights reserved by Steve Bauer.

Sbahn monday morning. Author, who are you?

Sbahn monday morning. Taken from Berlin Open Airs Facebook page.

Reading in the sun. Author, who are you?

Reading in the sun. Taken from Berlin Open Air Facebook page.

Axe advertising campaign.

Axe advertising campaign.

TV night sessions. Author, who are you?

TV night sessions. Author, who are you?

Hallo, Winter, please go home. Author, who are you?

Hallo, Winter, please go home. Author, who are you?

From Berlin with ♥

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