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A STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER — VIVIAN MAIER AT WERKSTATTGALERIE NOACK

A STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER — VIVIAN MAIER AT WERKSTATTGALERIE NOACK

When several boxes of her film turned up at an auction in 2007, no one in the art world had heard of Vivian Maier. Fast-forward to today and she is considered one of the stars of American street photography, with a personal story that only heightens her mystery. Maier spent much of her life working as a nanny, never letting on that she had a lifelong and deeply-held passion for photography. She took her pictures in secret and left a large number of her film rolls undeveloped. Now, to celebrate her life and work, the Werkstattgalerie Hermann Noack in cooperation with New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery has brought together an exhibition of 120 of Maier’s prints and Super 8 films.

Maier did not need to be schooled in capturing special moments and composing images. Instead she developed her own extraordinary perspective of New York and Chicago street life. Maier’s photos capture people unaware that they are being observed: sleeping men, couples holding hands and friends absorbed in conversation. She captures both the glamor of the swinging sixties but also the darker side of the era: suited men and ladies in fur coats hurry past beggars, alcoholics and petty criminals being taken away by the police. Maier herself remains in the background, never imposing herself on her subjects, her gaze neither leading nor judging. Maier is a quiet, brilliant observer with an ability to capture profound, humorous details in the viewfinder of her Rolleiflex. Then there are the self-portraits: looking sternly on, Maier photographs herself in the reflection of shop windows and brightly polished hubcaps. Her face appears distorted, appearing like a shadow at times. Maier is present and yet invisible. Now, at last, her creative world is being revealed and celebrated in full.

Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

Werkstattgalerie Hermann Noack, Am Spreebord 9, 10589 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map

Vivian Maier – Streetqueen, until 27.02.2022, Mon–Thu 9–16h, Fri 9–19h, Sat 12–19h, Sun 12–17h

@howardgreenberggallery
@hermannnoack
@vivianmaierarchive

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DANCING TILL THE WORLD ENDS — DISCOVER UPCOMING ARTISTS AT TANZTAGE 2022

DANCING TILL THE WORLD ENDS — DISCOVER UPCOMING ARTISTS AT TANZTAGE 2022

“Keep on dancing till the world ends” – that’s the principle that guides the organizers of Tanztage Berlin, the annual dance festival at the Sophiensaele theater. The quote is actually a lyric from a Britney Spears song, the video for which shows a choreographed crowd dancing as the world around them implodes. It’s a topical image: the festival, finally back on a real stage after last year’s digital edition, sees dancers defy the turbulent times to (safely) perform in front of an audience again. Running until 22.01.2022, the two-week program continues tonight and tomorrow (13 & 14.01) with Ana Lessing Menjibar’s cathartic solo show Perpetual Archive. Accompanied by bleak digital samples and abrupt lighting, the German-Spanish dancer’s flamenco flourishes take on an empowering, even healing, quality.

Next week sees a double-bill of A Strategy for the Fragile, which features dancer Shiori Tada hidden inside a head-to-toe costume, and Rita Mazza’s Dandelion II, a performance blending sign language with dance (double performances on 17 & 18.01). Dance artist Robert Ssempijja’s You Judge, meanwhile, combines traditional movement, breakdance and gender nonconformity as he reflects on his youth in Kampala, Uganda. During the festival the Sophiensaele will also host a number of installations and one-offs, including Infinity Rug (22.01) a “sonic séance” that runs until 4am. Taking a seat on your own rug or blanket, you are accompanied through the night by soothing sounds and soft performances. Tickets for the performances are selling out fast, so get yours quick!

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Joe Goergen, Juan Pablo Cámara, Zander Porter & Mayra Wallraff

Sophiensaele, Sophienstr.18, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map

Tanztage Berlin runs until 22.01.2021. Tickets are available online.

@sophiensaele

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THEATER AUFBAU KREUZBERG: DISCOVER A CHANGING KIEZ WITH AN AUDIO WALK AROUND MORITZPLATZ

THEATER AUFBAU KREUZBERG: DISCOVER A CHANGING KIEZ WITH AN AUDIO WALK AROUND MORITZPLATZ

Kreuzberg has changed a lot in recent years. So what – and crucially, who – has been left behind? With the urban space performance Die unmögliche Vertreibung des Herrn B. (“The Impossible Displacement of Mr. B”), Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg presents some of the changes in the neighborhood by following around the fictitious Mr. B, a man who resists his eviction from Kreuzberg. With their 2h30 audio journey, Mirjam Schmuck and Fabian Lettow from Kainkollektiv turn the streets around Moritzplatz into a setting for real questions on urban development, gentrification and the resistant spirit that defines SO36. Download the individual audio pieces and let yourself be guided through the district, starting from the Aufbau Haus and its creative residents, through the old churchyard of St. Jacobi and into the underground of yesteryear. You will hear from established Berliners as well as newcomers who call the neighborhood home. Without them, Kreuzberg would not be what it is today.

Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Jonas Michel

Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg, Prinzenstr.85F, entrance via Prinzenhof, 10969 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map

Hörspiel des Herrn B audio walk by Kainkollektiv (in German). The individual parts are available for listening and download. Directions for the audio walk can be found here.

@tak.berlin

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DARING TO DESTROY — “ENDE NEU” GROUP EXHIBITION AT KINDL

DARING TO DESTROY — “ENDE NEU” GROUP EXHIBITION AT KINDL

We live in uncertain times: a pandemic, the climate crisis and numerous conflicts. While these environmental and socio-political issues require constructive thinking, it is the opposite – destruction – that can really give rise to healing, as the Ende Neu exhibition at Kindl demonstrates. This latest group exhibition brings together eight international artists whose works feature both collapse and regrowth. Glance at Katja Aufleger’s work and you see what look like perfume bottles. Look again and you’ll see aesthetically staged Molotov cocktails. Working in the best tradition of Italian Baroque, Nicola Samorì creates meticulous oil portraits before brutally rendering their faces unrecognizable. Meanwhile Michael Sailstorfer’s sculpture of a human hand – created especially for “Ende Neu” – is attached to a pneumatic drill and appears to be trying to poke a finger through the gallery wall. In all the works, you feel a sense of creative tension – that point at which destruction and invention coincide. Incidentally, the exhibition’s title is an allusion to the song of the same name by Einstürzender Neubauten, a Berlin industrial band famed for their on-stage destruction. It’s a fitting title for a show that explores the end of the world with so much irreverence.

Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Jens Ziehe / Credit: Bastian Hoffmann, Michael Sailstorfer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021

Kindl – Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Am Sudhaus 3, 12053 Berlin–Neukölln; map
Wed 12–20h, Thu–Sun 12–18h; 24.12. & 25.12. closed

Ende Neu runs until 06.02.2022

@kindlberlin

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THE WORLD SHATTERED — “THE BROKEN JUG” AT THE DEUTSCHES THEATER

THE WORLD SHATTERED — “THE BROKEN JUG” AT THE DEUTSCHES THEATER

Theater director Anne Lenk has recently been responsible for a number of classics at the Deutsches Theater. Her production of Schiller’s Mary Stuart was invited to Theatertreffen this year, and she received the Friedrich Luft Prize in 2020 for her version of Molière’s The Misanthrope. Now, the director has brought her talents to Heinrich von Kleist’s play The Broken Jug, which celebrates its premiere this Saturday (18.12.2021). Lenk brings the classic story of the village judge who rules on a case in which he himself is guilty to the stage with Ulrich Matthes in the leading role. Judith Oswald, who has attracted attention in the past with her minimalist, colorful sets, is responsible for the stage design. Kleist’s 1808 story is usually staged as a comedy – at the center of which is an unscrupulous man who gets caught up in his own lies after shamelessly trying to manipulate everyone around him. But as is so often the case with Kleist, The Broken Jug is also a parable about patriarchal structures, false morals, and real abuses of power. In times of #MeToo and powerful men spreading “alternative facts”, Lenk shows that Kleist’s fictional Dutch province of Huisum, where the story is set, is closer to real life than you might think…

Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Arno Declair / Credit: Sibylle Wallum (Figurinen)

Deutsches Theater, Schumannstr.13A, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist (in German; some performances with English surtitles), premieres 18.12.2021, 19h30, tickets €5–48

@deutschestheaterberlin

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