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Outside the White Cube: Non-Galleries in Berlin

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The traditional art gallery is remarkable in its invisibility, its ability to act merely as a blank backdrop. For some artists and projects, however, the intrigue lies in the dialogue between the physical space and the exhibition, taking art outside of the traditional white walls.

 

sonntag

Sonntag

A cozy living room is about as far away as possible from the sterile white-walled environment of the traditional art gallery. And yet, co-founders of the Sonntag project, April Gertler and Adrian Schiesser, decided to take art exhibitions just there—into the comfort and intimacy of private apartments. One Sunday a month, an artist is invited to exhibit their work in a different private apartment, and co-founders April and Adrian bake the artists’ favorite cake and offer a slice and a cup of coffee to everyone who comes in the door.

“Philosophically and emotionally, the cake is really an essential part of Sonntag, co-founder April Gertler explained in an interview with Berlin ArtLink, “It actually has a lost to do with memory”.  Enjoying the artists’ favorite cake further connects viewers with the artists, and Gertler explains that the element of feeling at home removes inhibitions and encourages conversation between viewers and artists.

Sonntag’s next exhibition is September 18th featuring Christine Cheung.

 

therapy-room

Propeller Island City Lodge

Propeller Island City Lodge is part gallery, part hotel. Visitors live and sleep in rooms designed by artist-composer Lars Stroschen. Created by the artist as an opportunity to “live in a work of art”, the thirty unusual rooms are an intriguing mix of kitsch and artistry, each with their own unique design. There is the Upside-Down Room, where furniture suspended from the ceiling creates a topsy-turvy illusion, the Mirror Room with a  dizzying kaleidoscope effect, and even the Coffin Room where—you guessed it—the beds are coffins.

While each room differs in design and aesthetic, they all contain six channels of piped in music composed by the hotel creator himself. From the Therapy Room, an all-white room with soft, furry walls, to the Flying Room, where tilted walls and floors give the illusion that the large bed is suspended in mid-air, Propeller Island City Lodge is about as different from typical hotels as it is from traditional galleries.

 

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spektrum-display Spektrum

It’s the intersections that interest the patrons of Spektrum—the connection between art and technology, or the convergence of scientific and artistic communities. The physical space of Spektrum is itself a combination, featuring both a café/bar and an exhibition space. At the back of a stripped-down bar outfitted with artistically static-filled television screens and minimal modern furniture, a vault door opens to reveal a multi-layered exhibition room. Conceived by artist Alfredo Ciannemo and community builder Lieke Ploeger, Spektrum provides a space to share and provoke discussion about technology based artwork and science-focused events, not merely to display them.

A wide range of projects and on-going conversations belong to the Spektrum community. All of these projects invite new members, from beginners or experts. More info can be found at Their website.