Lichtgrenze – Berlin

I believe this past weekend was indeed the best one to be in Berlin. In part I am saying it because the weather was gracefully beautiful, but mostly because the events that the city pulled out for the 25th Anniversary of the Wall Fall were really on point. Lichtgrenze was a sublime project, and didn’t miss to spread a clear reminder of how a city can not be divided, without losing its soul.

This art project, composed of 15 km of light installation, sent out a message of clear immortality, like a peace can be reached, without forgetting, without losing the memory of it, of its core. 15 km to walk along, across, next to. The invisible wall of light was constantly mixing up with the city, with the iconic buildings of the past and the new ones, with citizens and tourists.

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I walked for 12 out of those 15km, carrying a broken camera, motivated to capture some eloquent moments, despite the crappy instrument (seriously, I need a camera). I played mostly with long exposures, because I despise the flash and wanted to preserve the colours. Suicidal move: I didn’t use a tripod, because it’s another thing I need to buy. I started walking around the closest piece of the Berlin wall I have next to where I live, the central part, on Friday. On Saturday, Mitte filled with people everywhere, I explored the northern part, from the Hauptbahnhof until the ex border crossing point Bornholmer Strasse. I kept the eastern part, around my neighbourhood, for Sundaym with the plan to get to the East Side Gallery. I didn’t reach it, due to the mass of people on the street. For many reasons, it looked like NYE. After an emotional tour around Kreuzberg, finding my way through the thousand of people on the streets, I stopped at Schillingbrücke, that is an important bridge between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, West and East Berlin. I thought it was a great point to see the balloons, that were attached to the light installation, let free. I could have decided to go to Brandeburger Tor and enjoy the concerts, but I wanted it to be a more private experience, and I really wanted to be at the crossroads between two former countries, now one. It was a good farewell. A meaningful one. I went home with the awareness of being part of the history. Moreover, I went home with the moral obligation to remember the history and share it with as many as possible.

Here are some snippets of the event. Bear with me for the quality. MORE PICTURES CAN BE FOUND ON MY FLICKR in the following days.

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Zimmerstrasse

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Beautiful border between Kreuzberg and Mitte

Beautiful border between Kreuzberg and Mitte

@ Topography of Terror

@ Topography of Terror

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Awful shot @ Potsdamer Platz, , the lights and people there were too many for my old friend, the crappy camera.

To Brandeburger Tor

To Brandenburger Tor

The Reichstag-Bundestag area.

The Reichstag-Bundestag area.

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Liesenstrasse at the corner with Chaussestrasse, Mitte

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Liesenstrasse

Gartenstraße

Gartenstraße

Park am Nordbahnhof

Park am Nordbahnhof

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Bernauerstrasse

Mauerpark

Mauerpark

Bornholmer Straße border crossing

Bornholmer Straße, ex border crossing

Bundesdruckerei

Bundesdruckerei

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Indischer Brunnen, Kreuzberg

Bethaniendamm

Bethaniendamm

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October Highlights

Let me start with an explanation, of about where I have been this entire month.

I was here, I was there, I was nowhere. I was so busy that I had actually no topics to share, so I left this space to better times, like right now, the monthly favourites.

This month is a good one, especially for my obsession over a radio podcast, Serial. Find everything HERE

As usual, we begin with a playlist, click on my dog to start!

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Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

Berlin. Lights and Politics.

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There is a wonderful, free event at the Bundestag in Berlin, going on every evening at 7:45pm since the beginning of Summer, ending October 3rd.

October 3rd, does it ring a bell? It’s Tag der Deutschen Einheit, the day to celebrate the German reunification.

A friend of a friend brought attention to a film and light show along the river Spree, and curious to see I brought my camera along. What I saw what beyond expectations, a nice 30 minutes  journey through parliamentary German history, from the Reichstag to the Bundestag, across the facts that changed Germany (the crisis, Nazism, war, the wall and its fall ’til the modern days).

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I am not a German citizen, but I have been living here enough to tell the good and bad of it. Not by any mistakes, the fact to have the possibility to be involved with such an important yet elusive element like politics is a sign of civility: It’s a sign democracy is working here.

There is nothing better than education and promotion when well explained, in a clear, catchy way; not to forget for free too. I found the event an excellent way to remember people the importance of politics, moreover the importance to vote.

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The show is subbed in English and always accompanied by famous German songs. The part about the Fall of the Wall was really entertaining and also quite moving, I must admit.

Here is a video:

Thanks Deutscher Bundestag for the pleasant event.

HEY! You are still on time to watch it, more info: https://www.bundestag.de/grossbildprojektion

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August Highlights!

Hello lovely people.

It is, again, the end of the month. Almost the end of the Summer too, so double meaning.

New exciting times and changes are coming, more layers on too. I can’t wait for Autumn to start, maybe bar the rain, but I’ll live to moderately embrace that too. Bring it on! Under “Playlist” you can find a new fine selection ’bout what impressed me this month: flowers, movies, books, radio, etc.. We start with a brand new playlist.

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A very peculiar mix this month: I took some of my favourite songs listened on Youtube, (especially this lovely demo song by Henry Hall for a great Casey Neistat’s video – he’s a filmmaker from NYC, go check him out if you don’t know him!), podcasts like Song Exploder and This American Life. I believe it’s an interesting mix, let me know what you think. To start to listen to and read of other monthly favourites just click on the picture or directly HERE.

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

 

Val

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July Highlights!

What is the best thing about the end of a month?

The fact that you will get a paycheck? Or that it’s the only day you are sure you have no new bills to pay? That holidays come soon? Wrong. You’re all wrong.

The best part of the end of the month is to get to read this post. 🙂 Cheeky me, I know.

Here for you a new selection over art, photography, flowers, radio, movie and tv-series reviews, plus a fresh yummy recipe, all starting from a new Playlist. Click on the picture or here to start a new journey!

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Full link: The Playlist

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

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Berlin. Sky Art. Snippets.

It’s been a very interesting artsy month indeed.

Last Saturday in Berlin we experienced a very cool event in Mitte, precisely at Neue Nationalgalerie and related exhibition at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle “Otto Piene. More Sky”.

Let me start by saying I didn’t know this artist, at least I didn’t remember of him, but nevertheless its interest hold me an entire weekend, buzzing about him, despite the crazy heath hitting the Hauptstadt. It was a sky art exhibition!

This is a great video by Deutsche Bank to understand how big and exciting, especially with the help of the darkness, it was.

His beautiful description explains better than anything all the celebrations Deutsche Bank KunstHalle made for Otto Piene.

His Manifesto.

His Manifesto.

I took some pictures at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle I want to share with you, enjoy.

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That yellow...

That yellow…

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Greetings from Berlin, ’til the next time.

 

Art Basel: parallel Exhibitions

When people tells me that contemporary art is snob I tend to disagree. Yes, it can be an as amusing as expensive hobby, but also a big, international community where to find opportunities, events and more. A clear example is Art Basel: during the week the fair is in town, the city itselfs hosts all the parallel exhibitions.

I went first to Volta 10, to feel the New York vibrations. It was a nice, niche exhibition at Markthalle, the indoor market, spot-on location next to the train station.

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I let myself playing a bit with the blues and vibrance, sorry 😉

vvolta 10

Of the 70 galleries I put my eyes on Fred Eerdekens at Spencer Brownstone Gallery mural. I was in love with the semplicity and spectacular effect on visitors (moi-même)

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Fred Eerdekens

Special mention to Michael Reisch at SCHLEUBLEIN +BAK and Marian Drew at Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Project, go visit her website to be amused by “alternative still life”.

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The next day I visited Scope. It was in an industrial hangar along river Rhein next to the border with Germany and France, a direct view to pharmaceutical companies. Since the backseat location the place was not overcrowded; that gave me the possibility to chat with gallerists and people around. Good experience.

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Hellow.

I didn’t see any breathtaking work, but for sure I was positively impressed by some galleries, like Wanrooij Gallery and Koh Sang Woo’s “Decoding Women” project

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My special mention goes to Roberto Fanari’s Solo Exhibition at gallerianumero38, a bit of Italian pride on my side. If you are around Lucca-Tuscany, go visit this gallery, people were lovely and works really worthy.

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Another day, another fair! Unlimited is part of Art Basel, designed for installations, video art and bis shiny stuff. Love it.

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           unlimited 3                          unlimited 4

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A  great after-fair is to chill along the river, while watching people floating in the Rhein (funny fact about the city: citizens float down the river with Wickelfisch, a designed waterproof bag to keep your clothes and belongings dry while enjoying a free water ride).

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Thanks to my lovely host and Swiss friend Nadia. See you next year, same place same time, I might float myself too afterwards.

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P.S. All pictures taken with mobile phone, some filtered, some naturally blurry and pixeled. Sorry.

Art Basel: one big fair is in town.

The following post will be a highly promotional essay about Art Basel. If you are against contemporary art or you think the matter might offend or hurt your feelings please do not continue to read and go back doing what you were doing. Please beware that any complaint will be forwarded to Bruce.

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Just kidding. This above is an amusing work by the Bruce High Quality Foundation in Brooklyn. Go check them out.

Let’s start again with a statement: If you are into contemporary art, you must at least once go to Basel, let’s say a weekend in June.

Basel – lovely Swiss city where everybody speaks 3 languages and pretends to understand them too – has itself a remarkable amount of good museums, such as the Kunstmuseum Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst and Museum Tinguely, but for the past 45 years it has also been hosting a massive art fair, the most important one on the Planet. Here some datas about the undiscussed supremacy: http://www.artlyst.com/articles/art-basel-45-retains-its-supremacy-in-the-art-marketplace.

So what’s special about it? The quantity? The quality? The events and sub-fairs around it? All of it. It is a very nice way to spend a weekend, believe me. I saw so many good artworks my eyes were hurting. I especially loved a Jaume Plensa’s sculpture…

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or this Sterling Ruby’s spray painting..

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and many more. I am going to try and give you the general feeling with the pictures I took with my phone (sorry for quality). Enjoy.

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Hulk has a personal bodyguard, did you know?

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That’s Amore, Michael Delucia

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A room walking on rainbow paper leaves

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A very natural pose

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An artwork with a cheeky hole to look at the other side

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An entire wall of sea landscapes, to feel inspired and see-sick at the same time. Powerful work, anyway.

 

Kreuzberg, beloved Kiez

Karneval der Kulturen is a celebration for all the different cultural associations in Berlin; they come in my neighbourhood, Xberg, once a year to party and parade along the street. It’s a very nice, messy and feeling-young event.

This year all the elements were in one mix: sun, heath, crowd, music, food, alcohol and “multikulti“.

I take this space now to focus on my point of view, meaning the lonely me walking in the streets with a camera, bumping across people every second, and looking at the infinite people looking at the Karneval from a terrace. Bliss.

I hope you enjoy this different ‘angle’.

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I loved these mothers with their children. There is so much Xberg in this pic.

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Who cares if you have a party going in- and outside your terrace when your neighbour is Kanye West playing a solo guitar??

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Many old people and couples enjoyed the view: so much life going on in the street, so much youth, an unique view for the weekend. I loved to see them involved from their window.

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A cheeky refreshening service for the community: this is how Xberg contributes to beat the heat (34 degrees are no joke around here)

A special mention to: This bloke. He was having the time of his life indeed.

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Dear stranger, life belongs to the curious. Come downstairs next time, and see yourself.

Did you enjoy these pics? Please find more ones about Karneval der Kulturen, stands and its street parade here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157644743713887/

May Highlights!

Here we go friends, the highlights are here and for real! The weather this month across Europe has been ideal and inspiring, I got my groove back thanks with my shiny, now all fixed, bike and some new exciting activities at work. Good vibrations don’t come alone neither for you: stay positive with a brand new Playlist!

In it, a mix of love and wandering, a quite British one, with some old classics plus new entries from my beloved Damon Albarn (did you know he was my first teen crush? Read “Maybe kinda obsession“), Bombay Bicycle Club…have it a go!

On my monthly highlights, some juicy favourites, like a Kiwi tv-series you might not know, an iconic picture I snapped with my mobile camera, a new cake and many many others. Come on board, just click here to the right page!

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always. Val