Hamburger Bahnhof

It’s way too hot here. Today we sought refuge in a contemporary art museum: Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Here’s a mix to listen to while you read 😀

In the cavernous ex-railway station main hall is Eva FàbregasDevouring Lovers. Definitely the spectacle, it’s good that it subtly jiggles occasionally.

After exploring that we exited back to the ticket desk and wondered how to get to the rest of the exhibit. Surely. Twelve euros?

We figured it out, there were arrows – but no one was going up the stairs.

Next up Zineb Sedira‘s Dreams Have No Titles. First up – great title. Second – an engrossing tango through a unique viewpoint, connecting Algiers to France and London. Also a lovely cool spot to take in the film that tied together the installation.

Plus you can also sit in her (recreated) (presumably) old flat lounge room on comfy retro couch / seats. There’s also a diorama-sized version of this interior too. Loved it.

Fred Sandback draws in space with yarn. If you like minimalism then this work will speak to you.

The experience was marred somewhat by the overbearing security guards in each room. The yarn marks out phantom walls, which most observers (who aren’t security guards) respect (walk around), or perhaps playfully disregard. Normally galleries seem to have quiet, demure students “guarding” the work. Not so here.

The permanent exhibit was really good, and curated really well. The work all had some connection or something to say about Berlin. Useful for us as we still are figuring out the history and meaning of this place.

A highlight for me was (spoiler alert) The Interrogation by Ignas Krunglevicius. It’s a two-screen audiovisual piece. The sonics are very Berlin – dark, amorphous techno. The visuals are dialogue projected on two screens joined by a corner, with each line/word punctuated by a “ding” in the soundtrack (panned left or right to match the visuals of course).

I walked in at about a third of the way through, when it sounds like a therapy session or just a friend trying to help. Then it becomes clear it’s an interrogation. So I recommend not reading the title of this (or any of what I’ve written here) before you experience it.

It’s interesting experiencing human dialogue in this way – depersonalised, and almost gameified by the audio soundtrack. Very effective and quite disturbing if you think about it, or whimsical and fun if you don’t.

Now it’s time for pasta, schnitzel, beer, aperol, cheesecake, and a boat ride! 😅