Category Archives: Museums & Galleries

re:MMX – Art Exhibition in Berlin

SAM crew & JBAK at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

A couple of weeks ago I had a very art-oriented Sunday.  After checking out the Stroke Urban Art Fair I went on to have a look at re:MMX.

The original MMX exhibition took place in Berlin in 2010 in the anonymous looking house at Linienstrasse 142 that it has returned to in 2012.  The building may in fact be most recognisable to Berliners for the large-scale tape sculptures of animals by Tobias Sternberg that have inhabited the garden since that first exhibition.

There are also some walls painted in 2010 that are still in tact.

JBAK at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

The land on which the building stands has been bought by a developer who will be renovating the old house and building a new residence in the current garden.

The inner Hof of the building was recently used by Street Artists trying out new motifs in a project called the Cave and it was when the developers saw this art that the idea for re:MMX was born.

SAM crew at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

JBAK at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

KES at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

In addition, a number of pieces have been painted in the house specifically for the 2012 exhibition and there are video and light installations as well.

James Bullough at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

Anonymous at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

JBAK at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

Nineta & LEGO at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

Ulu Braun at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

MADGAY at the re:MMX exhibition at Linienstrasse 142 in Berlin

Containers have also been set up in the front garden to house a different video installation each week.

Originally launched with a two day exhibition on 15 and 16 September re:MMX has been extended to run until 12 October.  The video instillation is open daily from 17 – 22h and the exhibition inside the house is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 14 – 20h.  My advice – catch it while you can.

Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)

A close up of a skeleton in the World of Dinosaurs exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in BerlinYesterday afternoon, with Berlin’s weather teetering on the edge of the depressive part of its bi-polar summer weather cycle, I went to the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum).

I have been conscious for a while now of neglecting Berlin’s museums. I’ve posted about the Deutches Historisches Museum and The Stasi Museum, both of which I loved, and the Museum für Kommunikation, which I was not impressed with, but featuring just 3 of the 180 museums the city has to offer (so I read recently) in 8 months isn’t representative of the cultural options available here.

When I woke up to grey skies and threatening clouds it seemed fated that I should go to the Museum für Naturkunde, as it had been recommended to me the previous evening.

Walking into the museum you are immediately greeted by The World of Dinosaurs exhibition and the impressive skeleton of a Brachiosaurus, looming over you at a height of more than 13 metres.

A Brachiosaurus skeleton in the World of Dinosaurs exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

Just the right kind of thing to fire up a visitor’s enthusiasm and inspire awe in children and adults alike.

For me though, the highlight of the museum was walking around The Wet Collections.  According to the Museum für Naturkunde website there are:

around one million zoological objects – from spiders, fish and crustaceans to amphibians and mammals – in 276,000 vials, preserved in 81,880 litres of ethanol.

The collections have only been on display to the public since September 2010 when they were moved to a state of the art storage and display area in the newly renovated East Wing of the museum.

Samples in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

A sample in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

A sample in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

If you’d like to see more photos of The Wet Collections check out this post on überlin.

A special exhibition, Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) was another high point for me, though I mistakenly assumed that I was fascinated by a Mammoth.

A Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

The head & shoulders of a Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

A headshot of a Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

Amongst the other exhibits that impressed me were the multimedia installation about the origins of the universe, viewed from below by visitors lying on a round sofa, in The Cosmos and Solar System.

Visitors on a round sofa viewing the multimedia installation in the Cosmos and Solar System exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

An impressive collection of Minerals and Fossils.

Just a few of the samples on display in the Minerals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

Fossils on display in the Minerals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

A number of skeletal remains.

An ape skeleton in the Evolution in Action exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

A skull on display in the Hoofed Animals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin

A foot skeleton at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

And Keller’s Models, a collection of insect models created by Alfred Keller for the museum between 1930 and 1955.

A model of a fly in the Keller's Models exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

My only criticisms are that on the day I was there the temperature inside the museum (except for the controlled environment of The Wet Collections) was way too high and I feel that the layout could be made to flow better.  There were some collections currently off limits and others under construction so these may remedy that problem.

Apart from those minor gripes, I really enjoyed my time in the Museum für Naturkunde and would recommend a visit, especially to those looking for a rainy day activity with children.

Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum)

The glass and steel encased spiral staircase of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin, designed by the architect I M Pei

One thing that Berlin does not have a shortage of is world-class museums and back in May I got to see one of the very best, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) for free.

Sunday 20 May was International Museum Day and as part of the celebrations a number of Berlin’s museums offered free entry.

Architecturally, one of the most striking features of the museum is the spiral staircase of the new Exhibition Hall, designed by the architect I M Pei, which is encased in glass and steel.

It was in the Exhibition Hall that I saw the temporary exhibitions: Friedrich Der Grosse – Verehrt, Verklärt, Verdammt (Frederick The Great – Respected, Revered, Reviled) and Fashioning Fashion.

I was disappointed that there were very few English descriptions for the exhibits in the Friedrich Der Grosse exhibition so I quickly moved on to Fashioning Fashion.

On entering I was given a full brochure in English and I really enjoyed tracing the development of European fashions between 1700 and 1915 through the many garments on display.

This would be an ideal counterpoint for anyone in town this week for Berlin Fashion Week to the many catwalk shows and parties.

Unfortunately, photography wasn’t allowed in the temporary exhibitions.

The permanent exhibition housed in the Zeughaus (Armoury) covers German history between 100BC and 1994.

Whilst there were a number of interesting exhibits here, it was the sections covering the rise of Nazism, the World Wars and Cold War years that I found most interesting, probably because I have a better understanding of these events.

A bronze of Hitler on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

Uniforms with Swastika armbands on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

A model of the Grosse Halle des Volks, part of Albert Speer’s plans for Hitler’s Welthauptstadt Germania, which you can read a little more about in my Hitler’s Folly – Schwerbelastungskörper post.

A model of Grosse Halle des Volkes, part of Albert Speer’s plans for Hitler’s Welthauptstadt Germania, on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

I was fascinated by a model, by the Polish sculptor Mieczyslaw Stobierski, depicting the horror of the extermination chambers at Auschwitz.

A guard with a dog and prisoners in a model of Auschwitz by Polish sculptor Mieczyslaw Stobierski at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

Prisoners are marched into the death chambers in a model of Auschwitz by Polish sculptor Mieczyslaw Stobierski at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

Prisoners are put to death in a model of Auschwitz by Polish sculptor Mieczyslaw Stobierski at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

Amongst my favourite items in the other areas of the museum were a huge painting by Anton Alexander von Werner of the inauguration of parliament by Wilhelm II in 1888 and a bust of former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.

A painting of the inauguration of parliament by Wilhelm II in the White Hall of the Berlin Palace in June 1888 by Alexander von Werner on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum)

A bust of former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

The treasures of the Deutsches Historisches Museum aren’t limited to the exhibition spaces.  There were some wonderful statues in the foyer.

A statue of Lenin in the lobby of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

A statue in the lobby of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin

There was far too much on display to take it all in in one visit so I will have to return to the Deutsches Historisches Museum, probably more than once, to learn more about German history.

Mark Jenkins – Glazed Paradise

A thug with a baseball bat awaits visitors to Glazed Paradise - an exhibition of work by Mark Jenkins at Gestalten in BerlinMark Jenkins uses humour and shock tactics in his art, particularly his street installations, to convey his message.

Jenkins’s work employs a number of ideas and techniques but it is his life-size and life-like figures that have always intrigued me.  He creates these sculptures by taking live models and wrapping them in cling film and then strips of adhesive plastic (think industrial sellotape).  Jenkins then cuts the resulting shell off the models using zig zag cuts so that the pieces can be re-assembled like a 3D jigsaw.

The resulting mannequins are then clothed and placed in situations that make them art.  Mark Jenkins believes that it is often the interaction of the audience that makes the art works most interesting.

He has added legs to rubbish bags and left figures dangling precariously from buildings or seemingly embedded into them.

Many of his works depict people who appear to be in need of help or deserving of pity and the question is whether people will notice and if they do react.

This girl leaning against the wall in the corner of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten Space in Berlin seemed to be crying out for someone to put a comforting arm around her shoulders and ask what was wrong.

A girl leans against a wall - a sculpture by Mark Jenkins, part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

I haven’t been lucky enough to see any of his work on the street (as far as I’m aware) but in a stroke of good fortune I read about the Glazed Paradise exhibition shortly after my arrival in Berlin.  The exhibition coincided with the launch of the book of the same name published by Gestalten and you can see my post about it here.

A man sits on the floor reading - a sculpture by Mark Jenkins, part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

Not all of Mark Jenkins works are life-size figures.  This Afro creation was particularly striking.

An Afro tape sculpture by Mark Jenkins - part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

You can see more of Mark Jenkins work and keep up to date with his career on his website and Facebook page.

Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The Berlin Wall Monument at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) consists of three main elements: the Indoor Exhibition; the Outdoor Exhibition (referred to in the site’s literature as the Exhibition Trench); and Berlin Wall Monument, a remaining section of the wall.

The ground on which the exhibitions stand was the site of the Gestapo, SS and Reich Security headquarters on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse (now Niederkirchnerstrasse).

Berlin Wall Monument

Approaching the exhibition it is impossible to miss the section of the Berlin wall that is still standing here.  Souvenir hunters and the effects of time have ravaged the wall and the reinforcement rods are visible through the holes they have created.  From inside the exhibition grounds you can look out at what was the Ministry of Aviation (now the Ministry of Finance), an imposing Nazi-era building, though the chinks in the wall.

The Ministry of Finance (previously The Aviation Ministry) seen through a chink in the Berln Wall

Seeing the wall like this gives a sense (though only a vague one) of how the structure divided the city.

The Outdoor Exhibition or Exhibition Trench

Running below the wall, and covered by a steel and glass roof, a series of displays tells the story of events between 1933 and 1945 and their effects.

The Exhibition Trench at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The displays here cover political events such as the Nazi party’s rise to power, Hitler’s installation as Führer and his plans for Welthauptstadt Germania, which you can read more about in my Hitler’s Folly – Schwerbelastungskörper post.

Visitors take in the outdoor exhibition (Exhibition Trench) at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

A display about Hitler and Speer's plans for Welthaupstadt Germania at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The exhibition also deals with the way these events affected the people: the persecution of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and other ‘undesirables’; life in a city devastated by war; and the war crime trials, to name a few.

A visitor contemplates the outdoor exhibition (Exhibition Trench) at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

Indoor Exhibition

The indoor exhibition focuses on the organisation and operations of the SS and Police, the power they held over the people and the abuses they committed.

The Indoor Exhibition at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

A display of index cards in the indoor exhibition shows the crimes of Police and SS and their consequences at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

Admission to all of the exhibitions is free but for more details and opening times check out the Topographie des Terrors website.

The Stasi Museum

The exterior elevation of The Stasi Museum in the former headquarters of The Stasi in Berlin

The former Stasi Headquarters in Berlin is now a museum.  This is the building that was ‘stormed’ in 1990 by protesters looking for the files that were kept here.

With all the secrecy that surrounded this building in a divided Germany, it seems apt that since re-unification it has become accessible to curious minds and prying eyes.

The first three floors of Haus 1 in this massive complex have been used to lift the veil on the Stasi’s secret past.

The exhibits on the first floor deal with the formation of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) and the development of the Ministry for State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit) or Stasi, as it was most commonly known, which was considered to be the Shield and Sword of the Party.

It was interesting to see that despite their opposing political ideals the SED had borrowed some of their ideas from the Nazis.  Echoing the Hitler Youth, the Free German Youth (Freie Deutsche Jugend or FDJ) was formed in 1946, as an organization for those aged between 14 and 25.  It was used to nurture young minds and instill in the country’s youth the ideals and doctrines of the party and to develop the political leaders of the future.  In 1989, a little under 90% of this age group belonged to the FDJ.

A display of items related to the Frei Deutsche Jugend (FDJ) or Free German Youth in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

Also on the first floor are a number of biographical displays, showing how the lives of citizens of the DDR were affected by the regime.  For example, the story of Wolf Biermann, a poet and musician, who was considered to be a political dissident.  Whilst on tour in the West in 1976, Biermann was denaturalised, meaning he was no longer able to return to his home in the East.

Displayed on the walls of this floor are a surprising array of propaganda items on mats, rugs, banners and tapestries.

Propaganda on a wall hanging in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

For me, the most interesting rooms in the museum are on the second floor.  Here, the offices, conference rooms and relaxation areas of the head of the Stasi, Erich Mielke, have been preserved.

It was from his office here that Mielke commanded a staff that grew from 2,700 at the time of the organisation’s formation in the 1950s to around 91,000 in 1989.  As a consequence of the economic problems of the DDR, Mielke initiated a hiring freeze in 1983, otherwise the ranks would surely have swelled further.

Erich Mielke's chair and desk in his office preserved at The Stasi Museum in Berlin

In addition to the official staff, Mielke had an estimated 189,000 unofficial collaborators (inoffizielle Mitarbeiter or IM) at his disposal.  These were ordinary citizens who had agreed to spy and inform on their neighbours, colleagues, fellow students and, in some cases, family members.

It was strange to me how normal it all seemed.  The conference room here looked much like you would expect the boardrooms of countless companies to have looked at the time.

A conference room next to Erich Mielke's office in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

It reminded me of visits to my dad’s office as a child in the early 1980s – the memory conjured up by that smell of old paper mixed with stale smoke and furniture polish.  It was hard to imagine that in such nondescript and unremarkable surroundings, issues were discussed and decisions made that had such far-reaching effects on the lives of the people of the DDR, challenging their basic human rights – freedom of choice, thought and speech.

One thing that was a little out of the ordinary though was the very large tape recorder in a cupboard near some easy chairs in a corner of Mielke’s office.  The fact that the cupboard could be closed on the equipment makes you wonder how many people were not aware that their conversations here were being recorded.

A lounge chair and recording equipment hidden in a cupboard in a corner of Erich Mielke's office in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

Climbing the stairs to the third floor there were yet more examples of just how the Stasi monitored the people.

Here, just for a moment, the subterfuge and terrible consequences of their use were forgotten, as I stared in wonderment at the myriad ways the Stasi had found to conceal cameras.

There was a camera hidden in a tie.

A camera hidden in a tie on display in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

There was a buttonhole camera, the button replaceable so it could be made to match the clothes in which it was hidden.

A buttonhole camera on display in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

There was a camera in a petrol can, a log, a pen.  There was even a camera in a bird box.

A camera hidden in a Bird Box on display in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

It was like visiting Q’s lab to see the latest gadgets dreamed up for James Bond.  And then I saw something that anyone who has seen The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) will recognise – a scent jar.

A person's scent stored in a glass jar in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

Following an interrogation, during which a detainee had been ‘sweated’, officers would wipe the chair they had sat on with a cloth and store the scent in a jar.  Smells could then be matched to individuals connected to future events.

And this is where a little bit of craziness creeps into the genius and inventiveness.

The combination of the seemingly mundane and business-like offices, the bizarre and wacky inventions and educational and informative displays make The Stasi Museum an interesting and thought-provoking building.

The Stasi Musuem on Ruschestrasse is sign-posted from the U-Bahnhof at Magdalenenstrasse.  Admission for adults is €5 with an extra €1 for permission to take photographs.

If you’d like to know more about the former head of the Stasi, Erich Mielke you should read this excellent article by Tam Eastley on Slow Travel Berlin.

A display in The Stasi Museum in Berlin including busts of Lenin and Marx

A chair and telephone in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

The lounge area next to Erich Mielke's office in The Stasi Museum in Berlin

Border Experiences: Everyday Life in Divided Germany

Built in 1962, the departure hall for the border checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse train station soon became known as the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), as it was frequently the sight of tearful farewells.

Here, those bound for West Berlin were subjected to passport checks, baggage searches and probing questions.

After the fall of the wall the building was used for cultural events and concerts but was closed in 2006 whilst building work was completed nearby.

In September 2011 the building reopened housing the permanent exhibition, Border Experiences: Everyday Life in Divided Germany.

With personal accounts, interviews, news reels and artifacts, the exhibition tells the story of the wall and the life of citizens in a divided Germany, with an emphasis on the restrictions on travel.

As well as the building itself and the passport control passages, photographic displays and audio commentaries tell the story of the routines and procedures followed here.

A bank of monitors shows still photographs of the surveillance carried out by the Stasi, focusing on the family and friends of those travelling as well as the travellers themselves.

It’s not all about unhappiness though.  Some of the personal accounts told here have happy endings.  Jan Möllmann from the West and Silke Schmidtchen from the East met in 1987 but their relationship was defined by their separation by the wall.  Jan tried unsuccessfully to move to the DDR.  They tried to feel connected through music – Jan listened to Silly and Silke to David Bowie.  After the fall of the wall the pair were able to conduct their relationship on their own terms and married in 1992.

This is another of Berlin’s many sights where you are aware that ‘history happened here’ – lives were altered and a nation was shaped by the events played out in the Palace of Tears.

Of course, the one thing that the exhibition and building can no longer fully convey is the fear that gripped travellers as they queued here and the conflict of emotions (happiness at leaving the country and sadness at leaving loved ones) that people experienced.

Johanna Keimeyer at Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg

On World Water Day, Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg opened its doors to the public and hosted Pool Around Me, an exhibition by Johanna Keimeyer.

As I’ve always wanted to see inside the Stadtbad I made sure to go to this exhibition before the GLS Language school renovates the building.

The doors were open in the afternoon and visitors were encouraged to wander around the building (see my post about it here) and able to explore the photographic element of the exhibition.  This consisted of a project in which the artist appears in photographs underwater in more than 50 hotel pools around the world.  The photographs were displayed on the walls of the swimming pool and in a side room, including a selection laid in some of the old baths, gathered here for the purpose.

During the evening there were three performances of a video projection in which the artist, interacting live with the video, appeared to dive into the pool and swim around the walls.

It was still possible to wander around the building at will so I couldn’t resist going back to the upper walkways now lit beautifully for the night.

The exhibition was an inventive use of the space and enhanced the innate beauty of the building itself.

Museum für Kommunikation: Fashion Talks

Dressed In White - Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

I was checking out the What’s On listings on Anglo Info last week and read about ‘Fashion Talks’ at the Museum für Kommunikation (Museum for Communication) in Berlin.

Berlin is blessed with a wealth of great museums and I’ve been to quite a few during my three trips but as I hadn’t been to this particular one so the opportunity to go and check it out appealed.

This temporary show ends on 26 February 2012 so I went to see it today while I could.

On the way up to ‘Fashion Talks’ on the top floor I checked out the permanent collection, which did nothing for me.  Some interactive displays and rows of telephone and post boxes doesn’t make for an interesting day out in my opinion but may be just your idea of heaven.  The building itself had some interesting architectural details though.

Statue at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

The assertion on the website set up to promote the exhibition:

every day when we wonder ‘What shall I wear today?’, we are actually asking ourselves ‘Who do I want to be?’

spoke to me.  I’ve always subscribed to the view that ‘clothes maketh the man’ so I was keen to check out an exhibition that explores what our clothes say about us.

The curators had a few good ideas and some of them were presented reasonably well but you could probably learn as much about fashion principles if you walk around the shops near Hackescher Markt, spend an hour in the KaDeWe, or stroll along the Ku’damm.

If you do end up at the museum watch out for the guided tours.  If you happen to be looking at an exhibit that a guide would like to present to their group, you’ll be told to move on.

Fashion Tribes Exhibit at Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

Mods - Fashion Tribes Exhibit at Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

This happened to me as I was checking out what I thought was an interesting presentation of the items that define fashion tribes in library drawers.  As one of the principles being explored in ‘Fashion Talks’ is the first impressions made by our clothes this struck me as ironic – my first impression of this guide was far from good.

If you’re thinking of going to the Museum für Kommunikation, my advice is, don’t.  Take your €3 to one of Berlin’s many bars and have a beer, it will leave a better taste in your mouth.

Gestalten: Mark Jenkins – Glazed Paradise

The neon sign outside Gestalten Space - a bookshop, gallery and more in Berlin

As I left Barcomi’s Deli, my lunch spot for the day I noticed what I thought was a bookshop across the courtyard and wandered in to have a look around.

Gestalten is a bookshop but it’s so much more too.  The building I had entered is also a gallery and there was a Mark Jenkins exhibition on.

But Gestalten is also a publisher.

And as if that’s not enough there’s also Gestalten TV and the work they do in graphic design and other creative ventures.

The shop has an extensive range of books about art, architecture and there are a number of interesting products for sale: art works, ceramics, jewelry and lots more to boot.

I had read about the Mark Jenkins show and wanted to go.  I’ve been aware of Mark Jenkins’s work for a while now, through Vandalog and Wooster Collective, but never had the good fortune to see any until today.

Jenkins’s work employs a number of ideas and techniques but it is his life-size and life-like figures that have always intrigued me.  He creates these figures by taking live models and wrapping them in cling film and then strips of adhesive plastic (think industrial sellotape).  Jenkins then cuts the resulting shell off the models using zig zag cuts so that the pieces can be re-assembled like a 3D jigsaw.

The resulting mannequins are then clothed and placed in situations that make them art.  Mark Jenkins believes that it is often the interaction of the audience that makes the art works most interesting.

A man sits on the floor reading - a sculpture by Mark Jenkins, part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

The exhibition at Gestalten features three of these figures, as well as photographs of street installations and an impressive ‘Afro’.

Street Art purists often take issue with Street Artists exhibiting in galleries – their argument is that this is ‘just art’.  But how do you classify a photograph of an installation on the street?

Photographs of street installations by Mark Jenkins - part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

I’d prefer to come across a Mark Jenkins installation on the street for the surprise factor but there is definitely a place for his work in galleries too.

The exhibition runs until 4 March 2012.

Gestalten Space, Sophie-Gips-Höfe, Sophienstraße 21 www.gestalten.com

A thug with a baseball bat lies in wait - a sculpture by Mark Jenkins, part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

A girl leans against a wall - a sculpture by Mark Jenkins, part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin

An Afro tape sculpture by Mark Jenkins - part of the Glazed Paradise exhibition at Gestalten in Berlin