Tautes Heim – Living in a UNESCO World Heritage Building

February 12, 2019

The rentable museum apartment ‘Tautes Heim’ is a project started by landscaping architect Katrin Lesser and graphic designer Ben Buschfeld. Planned by Bruno Taut it is located in the Unesco World Heritage ‘Hufeisensiedlung’ and won the EU-Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa-Nostra-Award in 2013. Katrin Lesser and Ben Buschfeld bought the 65 sqm house in 2010 and renovated it with monument conservation guidelines over a period of only two years. Visitors and architecture fans can rent ‘Tautes Heim’ for an authentic living experience.

Miriam has met the two for an interview:

MB: How does your day start?

BB: We are both freelancers and early birds, therefore – fortunately –  we need no alarm clock. Our day starts with a relaxed breakfast, shower and a fruit salad but shortly after we start working.

MB: Where is the ‘Tautes Heim’ located and how did the idea of it come up? 

KL: For almost 20 years we have lived in the Hufeisen settlement, just 100 meters away from ‘Tautes Heim’.  We feel very comfortable here and are both committed to historic preservation, have repeatedly published on the settlement and also offer guided tours ourselves. From my point of view, a guided tour includes visiting the interior. The reason is simple: the high quality of living behind colorful facades can only be experienced from within the building. Back then „light, air and sunshine“ was the slogan of the planners. The new housing should become a contrast to the dark tenement blocks of that time.

Tautes Heim, Außenansicht, (www.tautes-heim.de)

MB: How did you manage to let a house with world heritage status privately on a daily basis?

KL: It has a lot to do with the transformation to individual property in this area, in contrast to other settlements of the “Berliner Moderne”. It makes it more difficult ensuring a homogeniously monument preservation. From this situation we have initiated several projects that pursue a knowledge transfer relating to monuments and at the same time address neighbors, politics and externals. Thankfully we are well connected locally and know many houses of the settlement from the inside. One day we accompanied friends of neighbors during the inspection of an end-terrace house up for sale. The house – formerly inhabited by an old lady – was quite run down and in extreme need of renovation. The friends quickly rejected but we were immediately excited and have been looking for a possibility to make it accessible to third parties since.

After having tried to achieve funds unvailingly we came up with the idea of a temporary furnished living space according to museums standard. We took the risk jumping into work and now hope to refinance our private investment through renting. It is fun but also a long idealistic process which was only possible by the experience we bring along.

Hufeisen Settlement, (www.tautes-heim.de)

Hufeisen Settlement, aerial view, (www.tautes-heim.de)

MB: Your are a couple, do you split the responsibilities for this project? I know for example that you Katrin, are a landscaping architect and have caused the Hufeinsen settlement to become a garden monument. And Ben, what role do you play?

BB: I am a communication designer with focus on architecture and contemporary history, and so far consider myself to some degree a professional. The whole planning and restoration work is a real ‘couples-project’. Over a period of two years we’ve been working together almost every weekend designing and making choices. Only later we split the work. Katrin has much more competence in garden issues and is also a great site manager. I myself on the other hand was able to demonstrate my PR-skills and took care of the photos, website, networking, etc.

Tautes Heim, Living Room, (www.tautes-heim.de)

MB: Temporary residents and architecture fans can stay overnight and also work at ‘Tautes Heim’. There is a desk and a wifi connection. What about cooking, can I rent the house and invite guests for dinner?

KL: Theoretically, yes. Even though the house is full with originals of the Bauhaus era, simultaneously the kitchen is functionally fully equipped. Modern comfort in the form of a fridge and a dish washer has been achieved by hiding the devices conveniently behind the kitchen front. Also the charming „backofix“ stove does its duty. However, it is no high-end equipment and the 65 sqm house is relatively small. Insofar it is not a place for extensive culinary events. Up to four people can be comfortably catered though. Besides, in spring and summer you can enjoy sitting outside on the terrace in front of the house.

 

Tautes Heim, Kitchen, (www.tautes-heim.de)

Tautes Heim, Bedroom, (www.tautes-heim.de)

MB: How does your day end, do you enjoy cooking?

BB: Yes, I love cooking – more than Katrin actually. But we eat and cook regularly, consciously and healthy – not only for us, but also for our friends and guests. This however takes time of which we lack a bit of these days.

MB: Recipe idea?

BB: This weekend, we are invited to a birthday of a friend and are supposed to contribute something to the buffet. I think we will prepare a mousse auch chocolat and an exotic asian salat – both not typical meals of the 1920ies though.

Tautes Heim, Chamber, (www.tautes-heim.de)

Römer + Römer’s new exhibition on view at Haus am Lützowplatz

January 18, 2019

The exhibition ‚Burning Man – Electric Sky’ runs from January 18 to March 10, 2019. Nina and Torsten Römer are a German-Russian artist couple. Both studied painting in the Academy of Düsseldorf and were master students of A.R. Penck. Already during their studies they collaborated artistically. Their works were displayed in many exhibitions including Manifestina Zurich, the 56. Venice Biennial 2015, the CCA Andratx Mallorca and the Palais de Tokyo. Römer + Römer live in Berlin.

Römer + Römer at Burning Man 2017

Miriam spoke to Römer + Römer about their new exhibition:

 

MB: How does your day start?

R+R: We open the window and deeply hope that the Duang Xuan Center in front of us does not burn again – an image we have seen once at the horizon of our Kreuzberg apartment.

MB: You are an artist couple living and working together. How do your works materialize  – do you develop everything together or do you split the procedure somehow amongst each other?

R+R: Ping pong! We develop all our projects together, already since 1998 when we still studied with A.R. Penck in Düsseldorf.  There, we also finished the Meisterschüler degree with a collaborative work. We have no division in our work and realize everything based on a dialogue: from the idea via research through the realization of the concept. The paintings as well get done side by side.

MB: Your most recent show opens right now at Haus am Lützowplatz. What is it exactly you show in „Burning Man / Electric Sky“ whose paintings are based on your participation at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada in 2017?

R+R: Apart from one, all paintings are about the night in Black Rocky City, the temporary town of the “Burning Man”. The focus of our series lies in the fire and particularly in the interaction of the burner with all these phenomena. Also, we do not intend to represent the whole festival – our painterly interest is specifically in these aspects. The paintings are mostly large scale, the biggest is a diptych of 2,30 x 6 meter.

exhibition view at Haus am Lützowplatz, photo: Eric Tschernow

MB: What fascinated you most and how do you integrate emotion in the artistic work?

R+R: Emotion talks probably the most through colors, shining out of our paintings. Indeed, many aspects were fascinating to us at Burning Man. It is no festival in the traditional sense but a huge interactive hedonistic art spectacle adventure in the desert! The ‘culture of giving’ is fantastic, there is nothing to buy (apart from ice cream and coffee) and everybody is delighted in making each other happy. It is a completely different social interaction being practiced there.

Rabbit Transit, 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 230 x 300 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

House of Enlightenment, 2018, oil on canvas, diameter: 120 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

MB: Guideline of your oeuvre is the confrontation with politically and socially relevant major events, for example the Carnival of Rio. Are your latest works based on one another, Kulturkommunismus, Partysträfling? What in particular motivates you in these exceptional situations?

R+R: From distance, the carnival in Rio seems like a big sexy Samba-Party. However, once you are there it becomes quite political. One group for example put the topics racism and slavery into an extreme action. Experiencing the get-together of participants from so many different districts and regions – also from many favelas in the prep station in front of the Sambódromo, the Concentracao – was very exciting. One image series arises from the other. After „Sambódromo“ we worked with the topic of the “Fusion Festival” for several years in which we got immersed five times.
In these collective exception states we are interested in the emerging cosmos of temporary communities. The rules are different than ‘outside’. For us this is the artistic research and therefore a combination of analysis and empathic experience.

LED-Bus, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas, diameter: 100 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

MB: Say a few words about your technique…

R+R: In our current works we combine spray and glaze painting on canvases, combined with thousands of hand dabbed spots.

MB: I am very interested in how you translate photography in painting: the pixels on the photograph becoming thousands of handmade dots. Is it a way of consolidating the snapshot via painting and is supposed to convey a moment of contemplation?

R+R: On the one side, the dots are a reference to the pixels and on the other our idea is to achieve a certain liveliness and shimmer by dissolving the shapes in the paintings. After that the effect of looking ‘frozen’ is gone and it becomes something cinematic. The process of painting is a very concentrated one and creates lots of energy.

Art, 2017, oil on canvas, 100 x 130 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

7:30 between GlamCocks and Contraptionists, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas, 230 x 300 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

MB: How does your day end? Do you enjoy cooking and have a recipe idea for us?

R+R: Yes, a simple version of Okonomiyaki:

Mix 100 g flavor, 100 ml water, 1 egg and 10 cm of a peeled and grated yams root, cut 100 g cabbage in thin strips and cut some slices of scallions separately. Add 100g of shrimp and mix everything well. Fry two omelets and eat it with mayonnaise and soy.

Hexagon Lounge, 2017, oil on canvas, 150 x 180 cm, photo: Eric Tschernow

Regina Maria Möller at Michael Janssen Gallery Berlin

November 16, 2018

Regina Maria Möllers’ exhibition ‚The Moth’ runs until November 17, 2018 at Janssen Gallery Berlin. Born in Munich Möller firstly took up her studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Ludwig Maximilians University. She spent a large part of her career as a professor/visiting professor as well as artist (since 1993) amongst others in New York, Stockholm, at the NTNU Trondheim, Singapore as well as MIT in Cambridge. Today she lives in Berlin. With ongoing and often interdisciplinary projects such as ‚regina’ or ‚embodiment’ Möller focuses on socially relevant topics that partly autobiographical. She consistently works at the interface between culture and everyday life.

GoArt! meets Regina Maria Möller.

MB: Regina, how does your day start?

RMM: When I am in Berlin I usually go to the SSE – I swim.

MB:  At first glance, the gallery showcase is covered with a heavy black curtain. Entering the front space the visitor is confronted with a stage-like set of historical theatre curtains. Only after passing through does he reach the props warehouse, which is in the backspace of the gallery, exhibiting more of your works. Consequently, it becomes an indirect stage direction for the viewer – what role does the moth play in this production?

RMM: During the exhibition visitors pass the gallery through the main curtain and thus become participants. There is a shadow play in the center of the “stage” and by moving the curtains it reveals a new perspective to the viewer. Dramaturgy and orientation move circular – similar to the behavior of moths orbiting round the light while simultaneously being attracted by darkness. In this case I am referring to the ‘clothes moth’. An unwelcome visitor in our wardrobes, but at the same time it is a quality guarantee in digitally and plastic dominated ages: their larvae live on keratin, a protein that is a component of an animals fur and horn. Therefore fibres of high quality like wool and silk are a desirable resource for larvae.

Generally speaking, a heavy theatre curtain is often associated with something dusty in which thousands of moths larvae are romping about. It is penetrated, eaten and if it is not conserved in a theatrical prop it consequently lands in an old stuff bag. Moreover, the fabulous creature ‘The Mothman’ is an allegory for the Grim Reaper and so do the clothes moths remind of the Ephemeral.  For me, this is a memento mori to our senses and to material as a tangible body.
In addition, the porcelain vases come into play: For the first time they are endowed with a moth motif and produced together with Uli Aigner One Million as well as with the porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg. Handcraft and porcelain production have taken on a new significance in our technological world. All the more I love its delicacy and imperfection. Like so many materials I work with porcelain has its own character – a life – that provides surprises. So does the moth.

MB: Originally, you have a theoretical background, and among others studied art history. 1994 you also emerged as an artist with works like the magazine ‘regina’ and the label ‘embodiment’ – designing dresses, wallpapers and furniture as well as art works. Noticeable are the biographical components, for example, ‘Reproduktionen’ or other photo works, even the robes in it function as requisites. Do you place yourself in the genre of the self-portraying artist?

RMM: Generally, I do not consider myself an art piece and do not stage myself as an artist. But as an author, an artist, I naturally identify with my works and in this sense each piece leaves an imprint, an image of myself. On the one hand important issues of ‘regina’ and ’embodiment’ is the question of identities showing themselves in everyday life – intercultural and medial – for example via ‘clothing’ (dresses, textiles, interieur). But also the attribution and penetration of role models are of particular relevance. In our fast pace digital age people use multiple identities. Like this biographies become a mirror of a entertainment society. Nevertheless ‘regina’ and ‘embodiment’ go back to the 90ies where these issues were still quite different. Today they have a new relevance – their physical (embodiment) and analogue (regina) presence.

MB: To me, objects in the show awaken protagonists of the cultural life like the Brechtian curtain, a time travel through different epochs and genre. Is the moth synonym for a pioneering spirit of researchers, for artists, even for you, in your artistic context?

RMM: No. But it is part of it.

MB: Besides, a topic that interests me a lot is food – also part of ‘regina’ -of course in a vital way. The social importance of food, of nutrition, up to recipes. What place does food/cooking have in your artistic context?

RMM: The Eat Art concept of Daniel Spoerri has taught me early on how closely art and cooking are interlinked. To me the kitchen is a meeting place. Communal cooking and eating create the climate for fruitful exchanges between cultures. I myself enjoy cooking and I like carefully prepared tables – simple as well as magnificent – but always elaborate ones. Besides, there is king Louis II of course – the fairy tale king of Bavaria – with the fabulous ‘Wishing Table’…

MB: Recipe idea?

RMM: Re-educating our senses and sensors.

Berlin Art Week 2018

October 5, 2018

With the Berlin Art Week 2018 happening from September 26th-30th the Berlin art scene prepares for the upcoming fall season. Visitors from all over the world had the chance to see a vast range of internationally established as well as emerging artists in various Berlin institutions, private collections, galleries and project spaces.

‘Open House for Open Minds’ is the slogan of the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in its new spaces of Palais Populaire in the former Prinzessinnenpalais Unter den Linden. Already at the beginning of the year, the recently appointed director of the Martin Gropius Bau, Stephanie Rosenthal, announced a focus on contemporary and experimental tendencies in the 2018 program. Consequently, “Crash” (on view until Januar 13th 2019) is the first solo show there of Lee Bul, Korean-born artist living in Berlin. The show includes sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings and spatial installations.  

Other focal points of this year’s Berlin Art Week 2018 is the opening of EMOP – European Month of Photography at C/O Berlin and Agnieszka Polskas solo show at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Evidently, art berlin and Positions Berlin are two of the pinnacles in those September days.  Lately located in the hangars of the former Tempelhof airport neighboring the well frequented Tempelhofer Feld galleries found a prime location for the numerous art lovers from Berlin and abroad.

What GoArt! clients liked during their Berlin Art Week 2018 hopping: a new revival of ceramic and glass works in the context of fine arts. A gallery owner who has been in the business of the genre for over 25 years now is the trendsetter Geer Pouls: For the first time he participated with Brutto Gusto Fine Arts at the art berlin.

GoArt! Berlin consulting

 

Paloma Proudfoot @Soy Capitán, Art Berlin

Carole Feuerman @Galerie Hübner+Hübner, Positions Berlin

Ashley Scott & H.M. Davringhausen @White Square Gallery, Positions Berlin

Brutto Gusto Fine Arts, Art Berlin

Julius Weiland @Lorch+Seidel Contemporary, Positions Berlin

Jelena Bulajic's painting is mirrored in the work by Tarik Kiswanson @carliergebauer, Art Berlin

Šejla Kameriç @Galerie Tanja Wagner, Art Berlin

Karin Sander @Esther Schipper, Art Berlin

Eva & Adele in front of the booth of Galerie Neu with works by M.C. Chaimowicz, Art Berlin

Christian Hoosen @Tore Süssbier, Art Berlin

Zilla Leutenberger @Palais Populaire

Alicja Kwade @Galerie König

Alexander Golder @Fuchs Galerie

Matthew Brandt @C/O Berlin

Studio Visit with Klaus Killisch

Klaus Killisch
September 4, 2018

GoArt! studio visit with Klaus Killisch

„Mann vor Mauer“ (1988) by artist Klaus Killisch is part of the group show „ Die Schönheit der großen Stadt“ at Ephraim Palais, running till October 28th, 2018. The exhibition shows 120 top-class works by artists who represent the urban and social structures of Berlin in the 19th and 20th century. Born in the former GDR, Klaus Killisch lives in Berlin since 1972, first studied industrial design, later painting at the Academy of Arts in Weissensee. Expressionism as well as the Bauhaus idea, pop and punk, bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten or Nick Cave have influenced the artist’s style from the beginning – a particular kind of collage painting. Music as sound, or rather as material – vinyl, record sleeves or portraits of these models often represent a component of Klaus paintings.

Miriam met the artist in his studio.

Miriam Bers: You told me that the above named heroes of the eighties also swept to the former East of the city, to the Art Academy in Weissensee. This is hardly comprehensible for someone who never lived in the GDR. How does it coalite: Punk and GDR? How come that these movements have significantly shaped your work?

Klaus Killisch: My interest was listening to cool music while painting; for example Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds or Einstürzende Neubauten inspired me a lot. This kind of music best expressed our feelings, the awareness of life at that very moment. It was like a motor stimulating me while painting and propelling me into trance. And it still works the same way today. Much later I understood how much ‚Zeitgeist‘ was turning up in my paintings. This for example is highly visible in ‚die Seele brennt‘ or ‚Teutonisches Bild‘, showing a wolf-man rising out of the image-space.

MB: You mentioned the pottery workshop of Wilfriede Maass being important for you and for other artists, who later also had a gallery in Berlin Mitte in the 90ies.

KK: In the 80ies, the pottery workshop of Wilfriede Maas was a kind of salon and meeting place for the subversive art scene in Prenzlauer Berg, East Berlin. Artists like Cornelia Schleime, Wolfram Scheffler or Angela Hampel painted their pottery there. When I met Wilfriede, many of them had already left the East to live in the West. This exodus was a big loss, but at the same time it helped us going one step further. Together with Wilfriede, Sabine Herrmann and Petra Schramm I founded one of the first artists run galleries in East Berlin. We invited other artists to work there. The ceramic works being produced in the workshop have then been exhibited together with the respective actual work. I therefore had designed blue wall paintings and exhibited my pottery in front of it. That was pretty cool! In the nineties we moved to Gipsstreet with the gallery. We were pioneers of the art boom in Mitte. One highlight was the exhibition ‚Sake Bar‘. It was the idea of Mikael Eriksson. You could sit in a recreated Sake Bar, drink from the vessels but also buy them. Neo Rauch, Carsten Nicolai and many others participated.

MB: How has your work grown in the nineties until today, in the spotlight Berlin? Have you instantly had contacts to people living abroad, after the fall of the wall? I know that in 2004 you co-founded the group ‚Collective Task‘, a kind of mail art together with a poetry scene in New York. How does it work and what is the idea of the collective undertaking about?

KK: When the wall felt through our peaceful revolution I was kind of fortunate: I have been invited to the Biennial of Venice! My expressive works were part of the show Berlin! inthe Italian Pavillon. That was totally exciting and new. With the help of fellowships and exhibitions I traveled a lot and also stayed in Japan for a while. There, I met the American poet Robert Fitterman with whom I have a very long friendship now. He had the idea of ‘Collective Task’. We both organize CT for more than 10 years. The idea is relatively simple: Each month an artist sets a task and the others answer, each in his or her creative way. The results and its variety can be seen on our website. In 2012 we were even invited presenting the work at MoMA. This was thrilling.

In my artistic work I am open for inspiration. Thus several years ago I have been asked by Sangare Siemsen to create a ceiling look for his bar ‚ambulance‘, with records he dj‘ed in the nineties. With this work my passion for vinyl break out. I started experimenting with acrylic color and screened motifs from advertisement thereby developing my collage painting. Talking in terms of music, there is Sampling. And this is how I conceive my art – as a mix of a piece of everyday culture, of the club scene, of trash and painting. Unfortunately the bar no longer exists. In the meantime the ceiling has been covered. Perhaps one day it can be uncovered again.

MB: What will be shown at your next solo exhibition “Endless Rhythm” in Chemnitz? Where and when can it be seen?

KK: The show will beon display at gallery ‚Weltecho‘, starting October 20th, 2018. I already look forward to realizing a wall work there, on the 5 meter high walls!

MB: Which is your favorite place in Berlin?

KK: My studio.

MB: Which is your place of longing?

KK: Parpan, a little village in Graubünden.

MB: How does your day end? Do you cook yourself or do you eat out?

KK: Both. But cooking at home and dining with my family is best.

MB: Recipe idea?

KK: My children often ask for pancakes. And most of the times they turn out well/filmly cut. There are so many options to enjoy them – with salmon, mushrooms, salad or as a desert.

photo credit: Klaus Killisch

GoArt! Berlin art consulting

 

 

Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch
Klaus Killisch