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AN EXHIBITION FOR DESIGN DEVOTEES — OTTO AICHER AT THE BRÖHAN MUSEUM

AN EXHIBITION FOR DESIGN DEVOTEES — OTTO AICHER AT THE BRÖHAN MUSEUM

He’s one of the most renowned German designers of the 20th century. But Otl Aicher stayed away from the metropolitan design world, living and working in the hamlet of Rotis in the alpine region of Allgäu. It was a rebellion against slick, fancy urbanity and allowed Aicher to combine living and working in one place. The late designer’s Rotis typeface can be found on packaging in every German pharmacy and supermarket and is the subject of heated debate among typographers. Aicher was probably one of the first great design generalists, with an influence that surpasses the work itself. The designs took advantage of the freedoms provided by Germany’s post-war blank canvas. The brother-in-law of siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl – founders of the resistance group “Die Weiße Rose” – Aicher took a clear stance against National Socialism. To him, design was an attitude. With the foundation of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, he is considered a pioneer of visual communication.

A crucial example of Aicher’s work is the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. They were the second summer games to be held in Germany following Hitler’s 1936 Olympics, and were intended as a response to the past. No doubt Aicher’s celebrity – and politics – led to his commissioning for the games’ corporate identity. To this day, his visual identity is unsurpassed in detail and scope and enjoys worldwide recognition. Now, at the Bröhan Museum in Charlottenburg, you can visit an entire exhibition dedicated to the work. In addition to original designs and detailed explanations, 17 of the 21 iconic Olympic posters are on display, their silkscreen colors shining beautifully in the rooms of the museum. Entering the building’s main room takes you right back to that era. You see just how holistically and revolutionarily Aicher and his team pursued the design for the games, with his progressive politics playing a role throughout. 

Text: Jan Husstedt / Photo: Jan Husstedt / Credit: Florian Aicher, Rotis; HfG-Archiv, Museum Ulm

Bröhan Museum, Schloßstr.1A, 14059 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map
Tue–Sun 10–18h

Otl Aicher – Olympia 72 until 30.10.2022
 
@broehan_museum

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LUTE PLAYERS, POLISH JAZZ AND A FIRE EXTINGUISHER ENSEMBLE — JAZZFEST BERLIN RETURNS

LUTE PLAYERS, POLISH JAZZ AND A FIRE EXTINGUISHER ENSEMBLE — JAZZFEST BERLIN RETURNS

It is one of the oldest and most renowned festivals of its kind: Jazzfest Berlin (03–06.11.2022). After two years of pandemic hybrid formats, the festival is back for its 59th edition held in the freshly-renovated Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The program combines new works with genre classics, large auditoriums with smaller venues, live concerts with talks, and local audiences with global artists. It’s set to be a wild one: Swedish experimental artist Sven-Åke Johansson’s “MM schäumend – Ouvertüre für 15 Handfeuerlöscher” features 15 performers playing slightly unusual instruments: fire extinguishers. And on Friday 04.11, the small corners of the Festspielhaus will become center stage for “Playing the Haus” with collectives like Die Hochstapler, Umlaut Big Band, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors Camille Émaille and Otto. As for the audience: they are invited to dance on stage. Johansson and other artists from Europe and the US will pack out a program which begins with a (pre) kick off concert by British pianist and composer Alexander Hawkins at the Pierre Boulez Saal on 30.10.2022.

With the likes of Polish folklore trio Lumpeks, the festival’s musical focus has long been European jazz. But there are contributions from musicians from other continents, such as the stylistically versatile ensemble The Brother Moves On from Johannesburg, New York’s Borderlands Trio and the Chicago cornetist Ben LaMar Gay. In a return to pre-pandemic norms, the popular Kiez concerts are once again bringing global artists to the Fassanenkiez area around the Festspielhaus. The sounds will ring out everywhere, from bookstores, wine shops and galleries, onto streets and squares and into our houses, ears and hearts.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Rog Walker, Sonny Dayes & Def-image

Jazzfest Berlin (03–06.11.2022) various venues. The full program and tickets are available online.


@berlinerfestspiele

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CONTEMPORARY OR TRADITIONAL: TWO STAATSBALLETT PERFORMANCE SERIES WE RECOMMEND IN OCTOBER

CONTEMPORARY OR TRADITIONAL: TWO STAATSBALLETT PERFORMANCE SERIES WE RECOMMEND IN OCTOBER

The art of ballet is enticing: ballerinas move in ways that seem both impossible and effortless. While dance devotees may be able to decipher what performances are worth seeing, those of us who don’t know emboîté from echappé may not know where to begin. The Staatsballett Berlin have made this decision clear with two special performances in October. The first is Onegin. Choreographed by John Cranko, it is a story ballet of a young aristocrat, Eugene Onegin, who travels with a friend to the countryside to visit his friend’s fiancée Olga. When he arrives, a shy Tatyana confesses her love for him. What ensues is a story of unrequited love, which twists and turns in an elegant tragedy. For each performance, a different principal dancer (among others Polina Semionova) will play Tatyana. It is a perfect show to see if you want to expand your repertoire of classic 20th century ballet.

Second is the triple bill Lab_Works | Half Life, which offers a contemporary slant on ballet. Lab_works is a program where dancers of Staatsballett receive the opportunity to create and develop their own choreographies. Johnny McMillan’s “Oh Captain” expresses the deep care shared between men, while Arshak Ghalumyan’s “Die Nacht” is inspired by a sculpture he saw. The second part is Sharon Eyal’s “Half Life”. If you were lucky enough to catch the ballet earlier in September when it was performed on the Spree, you will know why the banks of the river were filled with onlookers. The way the dancers pulse and shapeshift is hypnotic – making a visit to the Komische Oper, where the piece will appear starting 11.10, worthwhile.

Text: Savannah van der Niet / Photos: Yan Revazov & Jubal Battisti

Onegin performances will take place from 05.10.2022 at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Unter den Linden 7, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

Lab_Works | Half Life performances will take place from 11.10.2022. at the Komische Oper Berlin, Behrenstr.55–57, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

For the program and tickets see here.

@staatsballettberlin

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THEATER MEETS MUSIC AND POETRY — “THE QUEEN COMMANDED HIM TO FORGET” AT THE PIERRE BOULEZ SAAL IN MITTE

THEATER MEETS MUSIC AND POETRY — “THE QUEEN COMMANDED HIM TO FORGET” AT THE PIERRE BOULEZ SAAL IN MITTE

Postponed twice due to the pandemic, The Queen Commanded Him to Forget is now finally ready for its premiere in the Pierre Boulez Saal. Based on a novel by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury and with music by the Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, the internationally acclaimed director Ofira Henig and actor and dramaturg Khalifa Natour are bringing their production to one of Berlin’s more distinctive stages, architecturally speaking. Most recently, Henig’s productions of “The Bees’ Road” and “Kind of” were brought to the Schaubühne’s Festival Internationale Neue Dramatik. Now she is using the elliptical shape of the Frank Gehry-designed Pierre Boulez Saal to completely abolish the separation between stage and audience, thus enabling direct contact among the cast and theatergoers. The play challenges boundaries between theater, music, poetry and cultures and explores how language affects dominant narratives and power. It will be a show where creativity, multiculturalism and education combine – with inspiring results. 

Text: Alison Musch / Photos: Monika Ritterhaus & Gerard Alon / Credit: Pierre Boulez Saal

Pierre Boulez Saal, Französische Str.33D, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

The Queen Commanded Him to Forget, 30.09–02.10.2022 18h

@boulezsaal

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CASHMERE RADIO COMES TO GROPIUS BAU — EXHIBITION HOUSE HOSTS DJ-ARTIST TRIO FOR SOUND EXPLORATION SESSION

CASHMERE RADIO COMES TO GROPIUS BAU — EXHIBITION HOUSE HOSTS DJ-ARTIST TRIO FOR SOUND EXPLORATION SESSION

The atrium of the Gropius Bau is a magical place. As milky light descends from the skylights, you feel a sense of occasion and even awe as you stand among columns, tiles, ornaments, gold and (sometimes exoticizing) frescoes. Built as a trade museum and now used by the Berliner Festspiele, the hall was opened to the public as a “Gathering Place” by artist Emeka Ogboh in 2021. This year, people are once again being invited to collect, listen and linger in the institution. This Saturday (01.10.2022), as part of the group exhibition YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal, radio hosts Vera DvaleRoss Alexanderand Bitsy Knox are hosting a listening session at the Resonance Room. The three artists do the fortnightly radio show Intimate Connections on Wedding community station Cashmere.

For one afternoon they will present aural collages that include field recordings from Gropius Bau and other interwoven sounds that will fill the impressive space. They accompany the current exhibition, which deals with the politicization of health, Indigenous knowledge systems and rights of non-human animals. Both exhibition and sounds decolonize the institution in whose walls they echo.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Mathias Völzke / Graphic: Kopierwerkstatt Cashmere Radio

Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstr.7, 10963 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map

Intimate Connections: Musical Explorations of Rest and the Inner Self, Sat 01.10.22, 14–18h
Admission is free.

@gropiusbau
@cashmere_radio

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