Curating under Lockdown: Die Balkone, Streets, Lines, Walks, Drips and Drops

Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza in conversation with Elena Sorokina, and Tiago de Abreu Pinto.

Die Balkone 2

Nasan Tur in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza.

Lina Majdalanie and Rabih Mroué in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza

For Die Balkone 1, two Lebanese, Berlin-based artists invited their close neighbours to activate their windows and balconies with their paintings, posters and mini-installations. The whole building stood out and spoke for itself. For their own contribution, Lina and Rabih went to the ground-floor but used the entrance facade for an intimate exhibition made of a selection of black and white photos from their private archives. The photos from various balconies of the world from Dakar, Beirut, Cairo, Athens or Rio, were paired with short quotes from various writers important for their work, such as this one from Rosa Luxemburg: “I have no special place in my heart for the Ghetto, I am at home in the whole world, where there are clouds, birds and human tears.” Lina Majdalanie and Rabih Mroué are performance and visual artists often using the archives in their work.

Ulf Aminde in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza

Ulf Amide has been living in Prenzlauer Berg since the 90 and as a West German investigates the legacy of anti-facist artists of the GDR, "a society
I never belonged to, but which I carry within me through my family history”. Ulf is also a professor at Weissensee Academy of Art, where in 2015,
he co-founded Foundation Class for the new comers after the so-called migration crises. His work for Die Balkone took an inspiration a mosaic “Building the new Republic” of Max Lingner, after whom the street is named. We talk about the district, the anti-genetrifcation movement, the migrant-situated knowledge and his work and life.

This conversation was realised in collaboration with ICI Independent Curators International in NYC in Spring 2020, as an archive of Die Balkone 1

Andrea Pichl in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza

Andrea Pichl is an artist who has lived in Prenzlauer Berg since mid-80, in occupied houses, squats, and various apartments. She was born 3 years after the Berlin wall was built. She was one of those who were disillusioned with GDR from the start seeing the ideas fall apart. Her projects overlap the modernist prefabricated buildings with a gentrified Berlin alt-bau. The conversation takes us on the walk across the history and present
of East Berlin through her work and life.

Ana Prvački & Sam Durant in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza

Ana Prvački & Sam Durant spoke to us about their Sunday and Monday pieces, the use of smell and sound, working from the domestic as a couple as well as unexpected intervention to the sound piece. We spoke about the use of art, the abuse of art and the contingency of art. They are artists with Serbian and Us backgrounds based in Berlin since 2 years. Sam also recreated Die Balkone with his students at the Academy of Fine arts in Hamburg.

 

This conversation was realised in collaboration with ICI Independent Curators International in NYC in Spring 2020, as an archive of Die Balkone 1

Salwa Aleryani and Matheus Rocha-Pita in conversation with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza

On the windowsill sat a bowl full of beads that I slide down the facade of the building—one-by-one—through an abacus-like thread. Salwa Aleryani and Matheus Rocha-Pita’s collaboration was on expanding time and space during quarantine. Roca-Pita’s Untitled was a humble way to address that one doesn’t need a wall to have a home. It refers to a Brazilian children’s song “A Funny House,” a house with no walls, ground, or ceiling, that didn’t exist but is still made with a lot of love. Salwa Aleryani suspended an almost invisible thread from her window, with beads sliding down one bead at a time over Rocha’s “funny house,” and counting time spent in isolation.

This conversation was realised in collaboration with ICI Independent Curators International in NYC in Spring 2020, as an archive of Die Balkone 1.