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rihanna

Artwork at the Biennale: “A GIANT, QUESTIONABLE ARTWORK OF RIHANNA’S HEADLESS BODY” (credit: papermag.com)

A former Nazi bunker, a boat on the Spree, an established art school, the former site of the GDR National Council– all of these Berlin locations became sites for the Berlin Biennale that ran this past June through September. The Biennale is a contemporary art exhibit that is held every two years and began in 1998. Organized by the New York-based curatorial collective DIS, this year’s Biennale was subject to mixed reviews from many critics. I became interested in the Berlin Biennale this past fall after a friend excitedly texted me a picture next to the giant, headless Rihanna sculpture featured at the KW Institute. Such a collection promised cultural references and a sense of humor in an age where contemporary art can be stern, removed, and serious. Over the course of the next month, I attended every Biennale site except for the boat tour.  

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► Monday: Illustration & Graphic Art Festival!

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Start your Fall Break by enjoying what the international festival of contemporary illustration and graphic art has to offer! Illustrative annual exhibition offers a platform for local and international artists to present their “craft”. What you will see is a great selection of today’s illustrations and graphics. This year’s festival will be featuring 32 international artists with diverse artistic positions and unique works in this genre.

  • When: 10:00-17:00
  • Where: Direktorenhaus – Am Krögel 2, 10179 Berlin
  • Admission: 4€
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bjorn braun

Still of a video installation by artist Björn Braun exhibited at the Meyer Riegger Gallery in Berlin (Credit: artatberlin)

This last Thursday I had the pleasure of being toured around several art exhibition openings by the artist Shila Khatami, who I am interning for as a part of Bard College Berlin’s Internship Seminar. After a long bike ride through the suburban haze of Pankow, I finally reached Kreuzberg. I met with Shila at a café  across from her studio on Oranienstr. We had a coffee before entering into her studio, located behind a Turkish mosque and two clubs.

The first show we went to was Achim Riethmann’s opening at the Gallerie Russi on Luckauer Str. The small gallery was filled with both young gallery-goers and older, seasoned patrons. Most people were congregated on the street in front of the gallery.

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Budapest

View over the Danube river in Budapest (Credit: Tanya Sharma).

Sunday, 8:00 pm, On our Way to Budapest
The train is quiet save the steady rumble of any old-fashioned locomotive. The noise laps gently at my ears, rising and falling with the heave of pistons. Night has laid its thick blanket over the window, replacing cityscape and countryside with the eerily distorted reflection of compartment’s innards. Bursts of unsuccessfully stifled laughter from two compartments over, where the rest of the BCBers are seated, are met by our own smiles of sleepy excitement.
I look up from my scribbling to Alona (BA 2019). She is curled like a contented cat in the seat across my own. The words that have been running, screaming through both our minds for the past 4 hours or so have finally settled into a rumbling hum.
We exchange a grin. I see the same words that have been at the tips of our tongues for so many weeks now hanging on the edges of her smile: “We’re going to Budapest”, she says.

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PaulFesta

Paul Fest performing an impromptu concert for students (Credit: Acacia Mays).

Along with a flurry of new smiles and voices to acquaint oneself with, a sprinkle of tentatively sunny days, and the usual buzz of post-vacation excitement, the start of the Spring Semester at BCB brings with it a unique opportunity for new and returning students to explore the ultimately unknowable city that unfolds beyond our campus borders. This opportunity, offered to BCBers at the beginning of every semester under the innocent and unassuming name “The Berlin Weekend”, features some of the the city’s ever-changing and multifarious attractions — with a BCB twist.

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Last weekend, members of the junior core course Berlin: Experiment in Modernity, and City for Citizens, took a trip to the historic town of Weimar. Though Weimar was small enough to wander and easily find our way back to the hostel, it was rich with more than 15 museums, with special attention paid to former residents Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. The trip was packed with tours and paid-for meals, but there was plenty of room to eat ice cream and be playful on top of that.

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Students on a guided tour of the Bauhaus University, where Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus movement in 1919. The buildings on campus were specially constructed to maximize the potential of student-art; indirect light sprinkles into the classrooms of painters, as direct light fills the classrooms of sculptors to promote more dynamic pieces. 

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The Student Action & Youth Leadership Conference in Istanbul, Turkey brought together people from all over the world to the only city in the world that stretches on two continents – Europe and Asia. Although the busy schedule at the conference left us with little time to go out and explore the city, I had firmly decided to take advantage of our last day there, as well as the guided tour, to bring some snippets of Istanbul back to Berlin. Without further ado, here are some glimpses of Istanbul in one day, March 18:

Eye-shaped amulets in Turkey (better known as “nazar”) are believed to protect against “the evil eye” (ill intentions). They can be found everywhere – at bazaars, local gift shops, people’s homes… It would be almost heretic to leave Turkey without purchasing one. Beware though: the amulet only works its magical properties if given to you as a present! Photo: Inasa Bibic

Eye-shaped amulets in Turkey (better known as “nazar”) are believed to protect against “the evil eye” (ill intentions). They can be found everywhere – at bazaars, local gift shops, people’s homes… It would be almost heretic to leave Turkey without purchasing one. Beware though: the amulet only works its magical properties if given to you as a present! (Photo: Inasa Bibic)

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