shu and joe

Posts filed under ‘Berlin’

Rainbows in Curved Air

August 19, 2008

Our little publishing concern, Historical Fiction Press, is now distributing Pash Buzari‘s book Rainbows in Curved Air. The book was printed in 2003 as a component of Buzari’s contribution to the 50th Venice Biennale (Utopia Station). It’s a fascinating collection of images of Buzari’s architecturally concerned work and research, with texts by Philippe Parreno, Doreen Massey and Hans Ulrich Obrist. You can pick up a copy through Amazon.

Oh, and there are a few copies left of our book Dead Animals. Now also available through Amazon.

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July 27, 2008

Andy was in town this week with the Nike SB crew. Cookies came calling and didn’t disappoint. 4+ hours of hip hop hits and misses. All over it.

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July 26, 2008

So yeah, the rally. We thought that if we arrived 3 hours ahead of the 7pm start time, we’d have a good chance of getting close enough to at least see Barack give his address. It didn’t work out that way. After passing through the Brandenburg Gate and beginning the mile long walk to the Victory Column, it soon became clear that we’d arrived too late. After passing the first jumbotron and heading into the bratwurst and beer concessions, I thought we might just get there, but then the second screening station appeared and the push to the front came to a halt. The polizei had set up a barrier to control the size of the crowd that would get to fill in around Obama’s podium. We ended up about 200 meters away, but it was still exciting to see the response of the crowd when Obama took the stage.

Approach to the Brandenburg Tor.

One to 200,000: not very good odds.

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Matt and Gina

July 23, 2008

They visited us last weekend, so we got them to show us their “surprised” look.

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Daughters of China

July 15, 2008

Just discovered the work of the Chinese American artist Hung Liu, whose new show, Daughters of China (Zhonghua nü’er), is opening at the F2 Gallery in Beijing this month. The paintings depict scenes from the Chinese film of the same name, directed by first time filmmaker Ling Zifeng in 1949, at the height of the Maoists struggle against the Nationalists for control over China. The stuff of heroic fables, the film is based on a novel recounted by a Communist activist named Yan Yiyan. In her novel, Eight Women Throw Themselves into the River (Ba nü toujiang), she recounts the story of eight women who drowned themselves to avoid becoming Japanese prisoners of war. Daughters of China was one of the first propaganda movies in China and sought to encourage support for the Communist cause.

What’s interesting about Hung Liu’s paintings is that they are interpretations of a historical moment, as defined by a film, which was itself based on a memoir. The truth of that moment becomes far less important when compared to the tales of heroism it inspired. Through the lens of these paintings, one begins to form an understanding of the historical place of women in China and their important, albeit sometimes superficial, role in shaping Communism.

Tis The Final Conflict No.2, 2007. Oil on canvas. 152.4 x 243.84 cm

Tis The Final Conflict No.4, 2007. Oil on canvas. 152.4 x 182.88 cm / diptych

No Saviour From On High Delivers #1 , 2008. Oil on canvas. 203.2 x 243.84 cm

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Berlin Transport

July 14, 2008

Came across this archive of subway seating in Berlin. Photos aren’t of the highest quality, but still a nice visualization of an urban topology I think.

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Sammlung Hoffmann

July 13, 2008

The Sammlung Hoffmann features work from the private collection of Erika and Rolf Hoffmann. Textile magnates, the Hoffmanns began collecting artwork in the late 60’s and grew their diverse collection over the next 40 years. Every Saturday, Erika Hoffmann opens the doors of her Berlin apartment to private tours, allowing groups access to her home and to the collection. She changes the selection of works every July, so viewers have the opportunity to see something different every year. Images courtesy of Sammlung Hoffmann.

Since it’s a private collection housed in the owners’ apartment, visitors must wear felt slippers during the tour.

Erika Hoffmann changes the artworks and rearranges the furniture in her apartment.

A view of the main living room, with a large Frank Stella piece on the far wall.

Sculptures by Francois Morellet.

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Sugimoto in Berlin

The Hiroshi Sugimoto retrospective at the Neue Nationalgalerie is stunning. The work is of course impressive, but its situation in Mies’ “temple of light and glass” really brings the spare lines of Sugimoto’s shadow studies, seascapes and architectural images to the fore.

Ohio Theater, Ohio, 1980, Gelatin silver print, 119.4 x 149.2 cm, Private collection, © Hiroshi Sugimoto, 2008

Mediterranean Sea, Cassis, 1989, Gelatin silver print, 119.4 x 149.2 cm, Private collection, © Hiroshi Sugimoto, 2008

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Updating Germany

July 7, 2008

Nice article about Matthias Böttger and Friedrich von Borries’ upcoming contribution to the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale over at the Goethe Institute site. They have been commissioned to produce the German pavilion for the event, and have chosen to present 100 projects from various German studios that aim at “Updating Germany“.

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Saigon in Berlin

July 6, 2008

Thanks to Yvonne for giving us the information on the “Little Saigon” of Berlin. Located somewhere (take the M8 towards Ahrensfelde and get off at Herzbergstrasse & Industrie-Gebiet) in the town of Lichtenberg, the Dong Xuan Center is composed of three large warehouses with some small Vietnamese businesses scattered nearby. One enters through a large gate covered with signs in Vietnamese and crosses through a large parking lot before arriving at the market halls. Once inside, there are shops neatly radiating from a narrow main hallway. Each of the three warehouses seem nearly identical to one another, featuring a smattering of restaurants, Vietnamese grocery stores, hardware shops and clothing stores. The atmosphere feels like a bazaar in a big Asian city, only much less crowded and bustling. The shops resembled dollar stores back in the US and featured the same range of ceramic sculptures, fake flowers, waterfall 3D wall clocks and athletic socks. We even picked up a couple pairs of authentic Ambervue sunglasses at one place for a Euro a piece!

The entrance to the Dong Xuan Center. Kind of odd that all the Vietnamese businesses are clustered inside of three warehouses, rather than in a physical neighborhood. It makes me wonder whether there’s another part of town that functions more like a Chinatown or Little Saigon.

The view across the street from the Center. Apparently this is a loading area for shipments from Northern Germany.

The parking lot and entrance to one of the main market halls. It feels like the parking lot at a big Asian grocery store in the US, only with more BMWs and Mercedes.’

A community board with listings for all kinds of services. All in Vietnamese, there’s even a poster for a concert by popstar named Roni Trong.

The strangely empty corridor that runs the length of the market hall. Inexpensive tshirts hang tidily on either side, flanked by “1 Euro” dish cloths and children’s toys.

A woman grills meat for each of the restaurants at a little stand outside.

There were a few restaurants to choose from, but we went for this place because a woman waved us in. Unused to getting such an emphatic welcome, we walked in and took a table with 4 Vietnamese businessmen. The menu was in German and Vietnamese, so we had to use our memories from our Walker street days to recall the meanings of Goi Cun and Bánh canh. I ended up getting beef over rice noodles. Not bad…

The wall on the way out. It looks like all the derelict buildings inside the complex might be redeveloped.

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