BÜLOW STREET WKND | RECAP

  • by Nicola Petek

The BÜLOW STREET WKND offered a whole weekend of neighborhood festivities with a full program: workshops for children, panel discussions, vernissage, artist talks and performances, live concerts, guided tours and exhibitions. The doors of Bülowstraße 90, 97 and 7 were opened and offered an insight into the diverse activities of the Stiftung Berliner Leben involving the URBAN NATION Museum, the international artists of Fresh A.I.R. and the new program Stadtraum!Plus for children and young people.

What a weekend! From September 17-19, there was a lot to discover and experience in and around the URBAN NATION Museum. We are happy that we were able to introduce the museum, it’s colorful neighborhood and the diversity of Urban Art to numerous visitors during the weekend.

INTERAKTIVE WORKSHOPS

In the stencil and calligraphy workshop, led by Parisurteil and Christian Rothenhagen aka deerBLN, the basics of both art forms were taught. With the help of a template, the participants learned to write their own name in a special typeface. Before starting to create colorful pictures with stencils, everyone was allowed to try their hand at using a spray can.

Calligraphy Workshop. Photo by Berlin Artcore

During the Fresh A.I.R. – MEET THE MAKER workshops, participants could not only get creative, but also meet some of this year’s scholarship holders. Together with Rita António they could create comics. Under the guidance of LiHenn, attendees learned about an image process that is somewhere between collage and encaustic. Encaustic is an artistic painting technique in which color pigments bound in wax are applied hot to the painting surface. Shapes were torn or cut from plastic bags, wrapping films and other packaging materials and applied to a surface by heating with an iron. In the process, it was possible to observe how the material deformed, shrank, smoothed and adhered.  With William St Leger, participants explored the idea of personal identity or character through various objects they carry with them every day.

Street Art Tour. Photo by Berlin Artcore

GUIDED TOURS

On tours through the neighborhood, interested participants got to know the colorful murals that can be found in the immediate vicinity of the museum. Old, new and sometimes hidden works of art were visited, explained and marveled at. Some of the artists, such as Peter Missing and LADY AIKO, could even be observed at work. In addition to the images in the urban space, visitors were also given an introduction to the exhibition Layer Cake: The Versus Project in the URBAN NATION project space.

LADY AIKO painting the UN facade. Photo by Nika Kramer

LIVE CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES

On Saturday evening, junk-E-cat and Nika Ham performed together live and with an audience at the URBAN NATION Museum. Berlin-based musician junk-E-cat weaves acoustic and electronic elements into a soundscape in which saxophones and bass clarinets, both arranged and solo, organically merge with electronic finger drumming, samples and loops. The masked figure performs in clubs and at festivals. Furthermore, as an “urban explorer” it explores remote industrial locations in order to perform its own beats and tracks there.

Nika Ham is a performance and video artist from Ljubljana, Slovenia, and FRESH A.I.R. #3 scholarship recipient. The joint performance of the two artists in the museum spaces was one of the many highlights of the BÜLOW STREET WKND.

junk-E-cat and Nika Ham live. Photo by Nika Kramer

In the context of the Fresh A.I.R. – Performance Marjolein van der Meer moved the visitors. I AM SEVERAL is an electronic music piece that leads into a performance. A polyphony of voices symbolize diversity. It is about the different people we can be, plurality versus devotion, the individual versus the group. The piece uses everyday situations, sounds and movement to create a certain unity, a choir of people in which at the same time the autonomy of each individual can be heard. It’s about finding your own voice, being autonomous, and also about. the loneliness that this can bring. But it is also about how we are elementally similar. The project was created in collaboration with choreographer Merel Franx.

Photo by Berlin Artcore

During the Living Room Concert at the URBAN NATION Museum, VELVE performed tracks from her album X TO THE MILLION and other new releases to close out the weekend on Sunday night. Ambient and acid sounds flow smoothly over a deep, bass-driven groove. VELVE weaves rave patterns into easily accessible pop song structures and subjects her charismatic voice to a fireworks display of synth effects.

FRESH A.I.R. #5 EXHIBITION

The eleven scholarship holders of the 5th Fresh A.I.R. year from a total of nine nations came to Berlin in March 2021. At the BÜLOW STREET WKND, they gave an insight into their artistic work in an extensive exhibition.

Since 2018, the Stiftung Berliner Leben has been awarding scholarships to European artists who deal with socio-political and urban issues through the Fresh A.I.R. (Artist-in-Residence) program. The grants give the fellows the opportunity to absorb new impulses during their stay and to develop artistically while being integrated into Berlin’s cultural life. At the same time, they give residents of the city an insight into their perspective and skills in the form of workshops and events.

The exhibition in the premises of Bülowstraße 90 can be visited until October 31.

Photo by Nika Kramer

We are happy to have been part of this unforgettable weekend and are already looking forward to the next opportunity to celebrate with everyone!