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Das Fablehafte Berlin!

Anna Mields

Daniel Moore



The Slow Death by Liam Gook


Lisa Jugert


I Want To Be An Architect Editorial by Jan Mielke


Bang! Bang!


Katja Kollowa


Berlin is one of the most vibrant creative cities in Europe. Das Fablehafte Berlin (The Fabulous Berlin) is a special issue of Magpie Magazine which celebrates all that glitters with creativity in that city. This issue heavily features Berlin artists and their work. You will find the beautiful ‘I Want To Be An Architect’ editorial by fashion photographer Jan Mielke as well as profiles of some of the most exciting artists. Although Berlin is the focus, we have included a sneaky couple of pieces by UK based artists including Daniel Ellyot, who has created another stunning six page editorial for us. A City with such creative weight may be in a position to buckle under it’s own creation. ‘All good things must come to an end’ is a saying I generally dislike, but when referenced to Berlin I simply abhor it. Liam Gook has been living and working in Berlin for the last four years and I was lucky enough to meet him in his (now) home City. Talking to him about the slow gentrification it was going through led me to demand he write an article for this issue, culminating in “The Slow Death” (pages 16-19). Hopeful that it can hold off much development, we raise a glass to the artists from Berlin JOEY VIVO EDITOR

A N N A MIELDS Artist Anna Mields is a Berliner whose contemporary artistic work is not only exciting and visually intriguing, but informed and considerate of the artistic movements that came before her.

Farbenlehre is a collaborative piece between Mields and Alex Gross. It looks back to the revolutionary artistic movements happening in Germany, 1968 - and how it influenced one art teacher to move from his West Germany home and buy a mountain in Spain. Aim; to create an artistic oasis where his friends could live out their expressions in freedom and spontaneity. “A small village in Spain, a community, an architectonic experiment. In the seventies a German Art teacher bought a mountain in Spain. Then he invited his friends to join and they started building a village. He had left his hometown, West Berlin, a while ago; seeking space and freedom to shape his life after his ideas. Within the video a discourse between images, words, facts, and fiction is unravelled. Questions are surfacing: “Is it possible to create a piece of reality based on naivety, freedom, and spontaneity? Is this reality sustainable? Is it worth trying to create a thing like that at all?” The work can be seen as an optimistic look back into the past. Showing the ambition of a group of West German artists influenced by revolutionary student movements of 1968.”

‘“Pacific Quay’” sounds like an idyllic location for a holiday. Not so apt a name then, for the patch of wasteland situated in Glasgow, where Dreckecke (2009) was installed. This façade of a dingy alleyway was a monument to those communal spaces found tucked away in the dark corners of every city, which are often made good use of after time is called at ‘The Dog and Duck’ down the road. It was fitting then, that overnight Dreckecke turned into an introverted stage for acts of vandalism. Arriving in the morning, the artist found that the installation had been partially kicked in.

In Utopia Konferenz (2010) although the ‘“elderly gentlemen’” on stage are presented as parodies, there is a genuine excitement which gains momentum during the performance as the daughters retell their fathers’ stories, mimicking gestures they have obviously witnessed countless times as dad banged on about this, that, or the other. It’s difficult to believe Anna Mields is behind one of the father figures so cleverly parodied



photographs Anton


Jones and Jonas


Makeup: Daniel Ellyot Moore Styling & Jewelry: Adele Eleda Leggins: Ada Zanditon






Walking around Hackescher Markt in the Berlin suburb of 'Mitte', literally translated as 'Middle', you certainly get the feeling that the process of gentrification hit this area a long time ago. Just a little walk from Hackescher Markt is Oranienburgerstrasse. On this street you will find 'Kunsthaus Tacheles', a massive, old, run down building, which these days looks very much out of place in the neighborhood. Despite this, or maybe because of this, the historic building is one of the most visited places of interest in Berlin. Unfortunately its current state as an artist retreat is under threat of extinction due to the






corporate greed of banks and developers trying to cash in on the inner city’s real estate boom. Tacheles, a Yiddish word meaning 'straight talking' was built between 1907-08, and started its life as a department store. Throughout history this building has had many different occupants and purposes, most famously housing the Headquarters for the Nazi's SS towards the end of WWII. During the Cold War era, the building existed on the East German, communist side of the Berlin Wall. Nowadays though, this artist retreat hosts various different gallery spaces with

the world showcasing their work. The artists originally squatted the building not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Squatters, mainly from West Berlin, occupied, not only Tacheles, but many buildings all across the old East side of Berlin after the Berlin Wall came down. One of the most famous squatted areas was in the former East Berlin suburb of Friedrichshain. Squatters here basically took over many of the houses on Mainzerstrasse and were there for almost a year until the police violently enforced evictions, which more or less turned

into a bloody street fight that lasting for days. Tacheles though, seemed to maybe have a little more luck on its side. After the artists moved into the only remaining section of the building, which was scheduled for demolition in 1990. (The other sections of the building had already been demolished in 1980, due to severe damaged caused by allied bombing during WWII.) They then managed to get the building listed as a Historical Landmark, thus saving it from total demolition. Not long after, a lease was even drawn up, giving the artists the legal right to stay there until 2008.

In April of this year, 2011, the first signs that the life Tacheles was under threat, became extremely obvious. In 2009 an eviction notice was delivered, but was never enforced by the authorities. In April, the current owner of the building, ‘HSH Nordbank’, decided it was time to put this now prime real estate up for auction. The auction ended up being cancelled, but the two groups who occupied the building were offered money to leave. One group, ‘Gruppe Tacheles’, who represented the famous bars Cafe Zapata and Studio 54, as well as a cinema in the building, decided to take the €1 Million to leave the location. The other group, which mainly represents the resident artists, very much considered ‘Gruppe Tacheles’ as sellouts, and decided to stay and fight for their building in which they have been for over 20 years. Unfortunately the building now already has a different vibe to before April. ‘Gruppe Tacheles’ who left, occupied the backyard space, where in

summer, it was turned into a massive beach bar with live music, fire juggling performers, film screenings, and people from all over the world mingling in this very vibrant location. After they left, this area was demolished and fenced off. With ‘Kunsthaus Tacheles’ prime location in ‘Mitte’, one of the more expensive and developed areas of Berlin, it is not surprising that the Bank who owns the building now wants to sell it to capitalize on the current market situation. When you stand on Oranienburgerstrasse, it is obvious that this big, old, dirty, graffiti covered building will not last forever in its current state. Eventually it will be turned into shops, apartments, a hotel, office spaces or whatever other boring development the eventual owners decide, all of course, with the sole purpose of making money and gentrifying the area even more.

This is a story that the now hip and trendy Berlin knows all too well. Many other cultural icons that made this city so unique, like other former squat houses, nightclubs and art spaces, have already been shut down to make way for new developments by companies wanting to cash in on the cities rise in popularity. With popularity comes gentrification and change, where the losers are usually the young people who originally sparked change, who then can no longer afford to continue living in that area.

A Further note: Shortly after Liam Gook sent this article over, he sent news that after going to Tacheles, “another gate has been put in place restricting access to the backyard completely now...�

Amy Twigger Holroyd, ‘St Michael–12-40’ Found St Michael cardigan, stitch-hacked with text taken from the garment label Photo: Richard Battye


Lisa Jugert studied Fine Arts in Vienna, Glasgow and Frankfurt am Main. With changing focus from graphics and painting to video and installation to conceptual art she has developed a body of work within conceptual photography since 2004. Most of her images are still life pictures, often studio based set-ups, made for the sole purpose of being photographed.

The artist uses analogue medium to large format cameras and only occasionally includes digital media. In favour of analogue processes she prints all colour pictures herself. More recently, she includes performance as a complimentary contrast to her photographic work; preferably in collaboration with groups of artist friends. In addition, she continues her practice within sculptural and installation art while working on a long-term documentary about the demographic development of New Orleans in relation to the emerging local art scene.

Conceptually, all of her work is united by an interest in the psychology of perception through visual media. In other words: she studies the way we look at images and construct our idea of reality through them. It is a reflection of the relationship we create between image and experience. Furthermore it is about cultural conventions, which influence and generate our conception of the world. Lisa Jugert lives in Berlin since 2006 and spends as much times as possible in New Orleans.

Image on this and previous page from the piece ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Inspired by the culture of parading; namely the funeral parades of New Orleans, a group of costumed musicians parades throughout the building in slow motion. With speeding down all motion as well as music, the parade transforms from participatory culture into an exclusive show. The parade becomes object rather than spectacle.

Don’t Stop Me Now Performance Duration: 20-30 minutes A project by Beatrice and Lisa Jugert in collaboration with Camilla Storgaard, Trine Lund, Doireann D., Anna Mields Performance image from: Testing Stage Performance Festival at Hebbel am Ufer Theatre, Berlin 2011

History Vision Machines (2010) is a series of 8 photographs, in which cameras are presented both as subject and as recording device. Every picture was taken by another camera with the help of a mirror. The types of cameras reach from a historical Kodak Brownie to the iPhone. “I am interested in the ways in which the device’s specific aesthetic have been shaping our visual perception of history and thereby have had impact on memory and perception.” - Lisa Jugert

The Difficulty of Representing Ideas C-Print 50x40 cm 2005

An ambiguous model was produced for the purpose of visually translating the photograph’s title.






krietsch hair






manuela kopp (close up) with products by Khiels fabienne




BANG BANG was the final in a trilogy of explosive artparty-cum-club-nights curated by Trevor Pitt and played out at VIVID gallery in Digbeth, Birmingham UK. An unterirdische partei with the feel of a true Berlin event. BANG BANG invited some of the colourful characters from the Sleeve Notes demimonde to vamp the tired club-night formula through social, sartorial and artistic rebellion. Hosted on Saturday 12 November it was a night of outlandish revelry.

The night included... DJ sets by: Mini Moderns Brian Duffy (Modified Toy Orchestra) Mazzy (Chicks Dig Jerks) THIS IS TMRW Experimental performance installations: ‘Re-make/ Re-model’ by Joey Vivo and Roseanna Velin ‘Pop is Dead’ by Vincent Gould ‘99 Red Balloons’ by John Napier BANG! BANG! concluded Trevor Pitt’s Sleeve Notes project at VIVID, which spawned the unforgettable Cum Clubbing and Get Bent!


In 2007, artist and curator Trevor Pitt founded POD Projects as a platform for collaborative v e n t u r e s with artists, organisations and the public. Inventor of ‘Sleeve Notes’ (a trilogy of events hosted in VIVID Gallery, Digbeth, Birmingham), Bang! Bang! was the final explosive cum-club-artparty where he commissioned Joey Vivo and Roseanna Velin to create their installation performance piece ‘Re-Make ReModel’.

Editor at Magpie Magazine, artist Joey Vivo created Re-Make Re-Model in collaboration with Roseanna Velin. Together they chose to bring in the set designer Robert French to help create the other worldly tranformation space that the performance took place in - The Womb Room. Labled as one of Trevor Pitt’s ‘Uberstars’ he has worked on all three Sleeve Notes parties, documenting the filthy gorgeous ‘Cum Clubbing’, and creating his Pop-Up Studio in Get Bent! to then create Re-Make ReModel for Bang! Bang!

The beautiful, androg ynous, etherial and talented Roseanna Velin created ReMake Re-Model with Joey Vivo. Her artistry comes in the form of the body, implimenting makeup and paints to transform her sitters. Also one of Trevor Pitt’s Uberstars, her work has seen her internationally published. Her top clients include M.A.C. Cosmetics, The Clothes Show Live and Gatecrasher Birmimgham.

Robert French is a set designer and maker who helped develop The Womb Room for Re-Make Re-Model. Studying in the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design where he met ey Vivo. After the successful collaboration and creation of the Womb Room, realised by Robert French, there looks to be further collaborations in the future. His interests lie primarily in set design for theme parks and developing more evocative experiences for their customers.


An East German children's song is counteracted by the artist's own charm and irony. While the song is about the committed support of an infant helping a working mother in the household: “When mummy leaves early for work, I stay at home. I tie around an apron and mop the whole house ...“, the artist sees in the act of tying the apron the starting point for artistic and anarchic freedom. By destroying the built stage through dancing, something new – via a creative act – has been realised. In the well-known dance performance Hat Rack Dance, seen in the film Royal Wedding (1951) Fred Astaire appropriates a hat rack creatively and idiosyncratically as his dance partner. So too Katja Kollowa tap-dances in the same slapstick-like ‘destructive dance’ through her constructed stage-landscape by seeing in the stage her dance partner. The destructive concrete objects become consequently part of the Video installation as relics and aesthetic piles of rubble and stand for destruction and regeneration. These relics are in part remnants of her public installation Insert Coin, seen on Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg last spring, where pedestrians could insert a coin into a vending machine that triggered a makeshift disco inside a Display window and an invitation to dance. The relics also relate to the constructed stage area Special Guest, also from last year – a visitor attraction in the former KioskShop berlin (KSb). These two installations asked the viewer for personal engagement through dance and self-presentation. In contrast, Kollowa now assumes this part herself through “destruction-dancing”. Kollowa’s video installation is flanked by two artworks on the walls. One is an early monochrome painting, reminiscient in texture and colour of a scrubbed rusty surface, that paraphrases the topic of the children’s song. The other is a rounded concrete spot akin to a tarnished mirror. The material concrete, understood as a synonym for new construction, precision and stability, is employed by Kollowa in an alien and often headstrong manner.

ISSUE 04 -Das Fablehafte Berlin!  

Special issue of Magpie Magazine exploring creativity from Berlin. Issue 04, April 2012.

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