Since March, Berlin has been comparatively quiet with their nightclubs having been shuttered due to COVID-19. However, one of the city’s best-known clubs, Berghain, will once again welcome visitors into its industrial interior for a different kind of party. Today, “Studio Berlin,” a unique art exhibition, debuts in the nightclub offering a snapshot of the here and now of city’s arts community.
While getting into the club is easier now than it might have been a year ago with no bouncers at the door, one policy remains: no photos. Guests are given stickers as they enter Berghain to put on their cameras keeping the interior – and what is to be experienced – exclusive. “Studio Berlin” takes advantage of the cavernous nightclub with large-scale installations and sound installations created by artists, both local and international, while many of the tell-tell signs that you’re in a club remain including the dance floors and bars.
“Studio Berlin” is a collaborative project between the club’s owners, Michael Teufele and Norbert Thormann, and renowned collectors Christian and Karen Boros. Ultimately, the Boros Foundation has organised more than 100 contemporary artists who live and work in Berlin to exhibit works over the course of the next few months. The Boroses, Teufele, and Thormann hope “Studio Berlin” will help support the nightclub scene alongside the artists community in the city as they’ve both been hit hard by the pandemic.
Of the artists included in “Studio Berlin” are younger artists like Anne Imhof, Klara Lidén, and Rirkrit Tiravanija and established artists known internationally like Olafur Eliasson, Rosemarie Trockel, and Isa Genzken. There will even be some familiar faces amongst the artists for Berghain regulars like Sven Marquardt, a Berghain bouncer, who has created video work depicting the quietude of domestic life.
The start of “Studio Berlin” comes just ahead of Berlin Art Week, which kicks off tomorrow, and more artists are participating in the exhibition than in the whole of the Berlin Biennial, opening this Saturday after its June start was postponed. What makes the exhibition even more interesting is that many of the works to be on display are essentially the product of the pandemic. Many of the works presented in “Studio Berlin” have been created since March offering a unique look into the era of COVID and lives of the artists as they navigated the pandemic alongside us all.
“’Studio Berlin’ is chaotic and organic, and, for some of us, a bit nostalgic,” writes cultural writer and editor Kimberly Bradley in The New York Times. “It’s not a show that tries to make astute curatorial statements; it’s about celebrating the city’s cultural assets — its people and their ideas.”
“Studio Berlin” at Berghain runs from September 9th, 2020 through December, but depending on the pandemic, it could be extended.