In March, when Germany put a nation-wide pause on nightlife in nightclubs owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Berghain techno club shuttered too. But by June, when galleries and museums were allowed to reopen, Berghain’s owners Michael Teufele and Norbert Thormann decided to collaborate with art collectors Christian and Karen Boros of the Boros Foundation to turn Berghain into an exhibition space featuring 115 local artists, reported Kimberly Bradley of The New York Times.
Berghain, housed in a former power plant on the borders of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg opened Studio Berlin on 9 September and is scheduled to run through December. The artworks collected by Karen Boros along with curator Juliet Kothe will be dotted on the club’s 3,500-sq-metre premises and visitors will be able to book guided tours for viewings, the entrance fee of which will go towards Berghain’s uncertain future amidst the pandemic.
Studio Berlin will exhibit various mixed styles including sculptures, paintings, spanning photography, multimedia installation, and sound pieces, reported Kate Brown of artnet News. The pieces on display have come from contemporary artists including Cyprien Gaillard, Dirk Bell, Isa Genzken, Rikrit Tiravanija, Rosemarie Trockel, and Wolfgang Tillmans among others. The more “sensitive and introspective” section of the club, the Panorama Bar, will exhibit works by the couple Álvaro Urbano and Petrit Halilaj, club bouncer Sven Marquardt, and Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili.
Inside Halle, the space in the back of the club, on two levels, the works by some of Berlin’s best-known artists, including A.A. Bronson, Angela Bulloch, Olafur Eliasson, and photographer Yero Adugna Eticha is on display. Reportedly, the nightclub also takes a break from its “thumping techno” music and plays a sound piece by the Nigerian artist, Emeka Ogboh.
With aids from the city of Berlin of €250,00 ($295,000) and the Boros Foundation, Studio Berlin is about ‘preserving assets’ while reopening Berghain to the public and bringing the club’s furloughed employees back to work.
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