The wonderful Stil in Berlin blog asked me to whip up one of my mixtapes to celebrate their fifth birthday. Honored, I mixed up five years of favorites (and some SiB soundbites), trying to soundtrack what the last half of the noughties sounded like for me, and I hope you’ll find some of your best-loved tunes in there too.
The Thomas Demand show at the Neue Nationalgalerie preserves the mystery of the artist’s elaborate paper reconstructions by not revealing the story behind these locations. Thus, what may look like a cherished place from the artist’s past could just as well be the site of a heinous crime. The pairing with texts by Botho Strauß is less successful, since the accompanying paragraphs sometimes get bogged down in pointless narratives or, what’s worse, Teutonic philosophizing.
The New York Times tipped me off to a low-rent but highly exciting show of social realist painting from ye olde communist Russia. Thematically organized but fluorescently lit and stuffed to the brink, the walls of the Jeschke-Van Vliet Gallery still yield great pleasures. Admittedly, many of these pleasures are ironic in the sense that some of these patriotic paintings look like Diesel ads, but the sheer volume of works on display cannot help but communicate something of real life behind the Iron Curtain. (first three pics via Cherries and Sparrows)