Wednesday, July 4, 2012


John and I visited the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art at Auguststrasse, 69, Berlin. It is the headquarters of an artists' collective which provides " a place for the production and presentation of discourse oriented contemporary art". It was housing its 7th Biennial show in May.
We entered through the 18th century front into the courtyard of the former 19th century margarine factory and passed the elegant, 20th century Cafe Bravo, a pavilion  designed by American artist, Dan Graham, to enter the main exhibition hall.
The 7th biennial is entitled Occupy Bienniale 2012 and reflects the Occupy Wall Street protests against the divide between rich and poor in contemporary Capitalist society.
We entered onto a balcony overlooking the main exhibition space.
It was filled with various meeting places and installations on a Power to the People and Occupy theme.
For those of us of an age, it recalled hippy and yippee events of the late 60's and early 70's in North America. Remember taking over vacant city lots to make People's Parks complete with flower plantings, stages for free concerts and dancing and free food?
This area where tech people would repair your computer for free reminded me strongly of that time. I've often wondered at Berlin public events if Berliners missed the earlier youth movement and are reviving it today.
The space is plastered in Occupy and People Power slogans.
There are also photographs of the Occupy Bienniale activities that have been taken into the streets of Berlin.
John climbs old stairways to walls covered in Occupy images and ideas.
ART reflecting and discussing the popular Western movement.
Looking down into the old factory courtyard we were struck by how perfect the KW venue suits this biennial theme.
Eventually we descended the great old staircases to return to the courtyard
and make our exit back onto Auguststrasse
which retains elements of its raw, post-Wall revival of the 1990's.

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