48h Neukölln: Saturday

After the unsuccessful Friday night, I was willing to start another attempt on Saturday night – less planning, less destinations, better preparation (vodka & coffee) and with company.

Eklis, Nü and I took off starting at the same spot where I had started the day before: Lenaustrasse. After we took another peek into bauer&ewald we went a couple of houses further down the road, into the backyard and four floors up to the bright photo laboratory of Thomas Nitz, photographer and artist who presented his experimental artworks: A2 paper screens that were painted with what looked like water colour and then prepared with a photosensitive liquid emulsion. Exposed onto these screens were several layers of black and white photographs of faces and patterns. The result were amazing unique posters with a grungy look and incredible depth. The photographer was a really nice guy and we talked with him for a while smoking cigarettes and drinking beers.

We had an appointment with more friends at Weserland, a new arty co-working space in Weserstrasse. Going there already was strange because there were even more people on the streets than yesterday but Weserland was insane. Hundreds of people were crammed into the rooms, there was hardly any space left to see the exhibits, it was hot and loud and smoky – but the installations we saw were kind of nice. They had a paper shredder and invited everyone to bring their IOUs or other negative and unpleasant documents and turn them into confetti. The other one was a room filled with fog so you couldn’t see a thing and in addition the floor was slanted in strange angles which made it a bit difficult to orientate. But here again it was much too crowded to feel effects of being lost or whatever their intention was.

We escaped Weserland and went to Das Gift on the corner of Weichselstrasse and Donaustrasse where the collective Noisekölln had a noise performance and video installations by Henrike Daum. Same problem here again – too loud, too crowded.

through trees from Henrike Daum on Vimeo.

Unfortunately Das Laboratorium in Sonnenallee was already closed, so after a quick Halloumi snack we went on to our final destination: Locht43 at Kiehlufer.

The space there is beautiful. A very large long room that seems to have been some kind of factory or barn invites the visitor to lounge around on some carpets and mattraces. They served cold beers and delicious Oreo cookies tweaked brownies.

In the basement was a nice paper shapes video mapping installation that the artist projected on live and we saw a live gig of the amazing Onyx Ashanti with his self-made wearable cyborg instrument called “BeatJazz“. The overall atmosphere at Locht43 was very relaxed, the crowd was pleasant and we stayed there for quite a while.

My overall impression of this year’s 48h Neukölln is that besides the much too big crowd that’s less interested in the presented arts but more in pushing Neukölln’s party spaces to the limits, there are also just too many exhibitions and art places participating.

Less is more – perhaps the curation should remember this concept next year, or very soon the event will turn more and more into yet another random arty spectacle…if it’s not too late already.

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