An artist has just transformed Berlin’s Berghain nightclub into a weird and immersive 3D swamp. See the images here
It sounds both familiar and foreign. Many Berliners have entered the towering walls of Berghain, Germany’s most famous nightclub, but it’s different this summer. Its rooms are not yet filled with strobe lights and techno music. Instead, filling its empty dance floors is a scintillating two-story art installation showcasing an unusual soundscape of flora and fauna. The club has been re-savage.
The ambitious installation by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Berlin-Berl, which opened this month, delicately transforms the famous nightclub into a swampy 3D ecosystem using innovative gaming technologies and software. The artist, who is based in Berlin, has assembled masses of archival and original images to create a fluid moving film landscape that twists and turns across a vast, microscopic panorama.
“Berl”, the first syllable of Berlin, is actually an Old Slavic word for swamp, a testament to the Slavic people who resided in the area (some still do) and to the ancient state of the landscape, before it either drained in the 18th century. All the moving images used for the show were taken from traces of the remaining wetlands in the German capital or from the vast archives of the Museum of Nature. It immerses viewers in a fictional world of nature that seems impossible and endless, but which largely stems from the real – a particularly heart-wrenching realization in a summer of back-to-back climate emergencies, including the worst of the century in Germany. floods.
Sophisticated imagery is splashed across nearly a dozen screens across two levels, with reflective flooring creating a water slick that doubles the vibrant imagery. It is a unique approach to immersive, tactile and contemplative art, also calming at a time when the theme of climate is forged by anxiety.
The show is hosted by a unique Berlin-based nonprofit arts foundation called Light Art Space, which focuses on light-based media art that intersects with scientific research. It is run by Bettina Kames, an art historian who is its founding director, and supported by collector and business tycoon Jan Fischer. Its nomadic program presents a great spectacle at least once a year, when it takes over a large area of the city.
“It has been a great privilege to be a curator for Light Art Space,” said Emma Enderby, chief curator of The New York Shed, which organized the exhibit at Berghain, in a statement. “They have a visionary, experimental and open approach to thinking about the role that an artistic foundation can play in society.”
Steensen, a recent resident of the Luma Arles Foundation in France, often focuses on the environment and harnesses technology to achieve a supernatural result. He called on the famous musical artist Arca to collaborate on the soundscape. She will have a performance at the exhibition in September.
The Berl-Berl installation by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, commissioned by Light Art Space, is on view until September 26 at the Halle am Berghain in Berlin.
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