Location · Kraftwerk Berlin
Change in urban environment is constantly visible in Berlin, where many artists and entrepreneurs renovate empty industrial facilities. Buildings from the Cold War are being restored and patched, so they could host both alternative and mainstream art spaces. One of the largest art and entertainment centers is Kraftwerk Berlin, formerly a large power plant which eventually got abandoned. The building of Kraftwerk symbolizes different times, a time of industrial age and Berlin Wall, and now plays a major role in Berlin art scene. Located in the Mitte neighborhood, Kraftwerk Berlin welcomes many parties, events, fairs, and hosts a large number of people, giving them a unique experience. The architecture is typically industrial, since the building was designed and projected as a heating power station. It is full of vaults, halls, levels on high volume, and at some spots even 20m of ceiling height. The building was mostly known for the famous pioneering techno club Tresor which is, along Berghain, the most popular music venue in Europe, and worldwide. Kraftwerk Berlin is considered a culture center often flooded with a dynamic mix of German and international visitors. It is the iconic symbol of freedom, peace, and innovative ideas, a relic of a reunification of the East and West culture. This year, in September 2016, Kraftwerk Berlin will be home for Berliner Liste events and artistic collectives. There will be gallery boxes, spaces, screening rooms, a place for workshops and lectures and plenty of resting areas for visitors to wind down and enjoy the creative atmosphere.
Did you know: An exciting documentary called Tresor: The Vault and the Electronic Frontier was released in 2004 and it represents a tribute to Kraftwerk Berlin
Kraftwerk Berlin · The Melting Pot of Contemporary German Art, Performance and Music
Industrial heritage is a distinct kind of communal heritage that has emerged as a product of mechanical and industrial revolution. Many abandoned buildings may rot, but not in Berlin, because this city has a special history of deindustrialization and reinvention. As all of the objects lost their initial function, many businessmen and visionaries redesigned these public places for artistic and cultural purposes. The best thing about this situation is the preservation of the historical significance and employment of local forces. The renovations also contribute to city’s image of creative and artistic capital. In the last couple of decades, Kraftwerk contributed to the local development and as a renewed industrial heritage it emerged into renewed cultural center. Kraftwerk emerged from its rusty construction and broken windows to a place of music, art and partying, earning a title that suits it – the cradle of culture. It hosts modern, edgy, experimental art shows, then the classical ones, before it transforms into the philharmonic auditorium. Possibilities are endless, and the whole purpose of the renovation was making the urban culture point in Berlin. A venue like Kraftwerk contributes to the global image of the cultural meeting point. The building represents a very important trend of reusing an old space because space is limited, but the activities are not. Constant growth in raising social awareness of recycling and sustainability has a positive impact on the economy and the city image among locals and tourists. Cultural preservation of historical buildings is an important factor in postmodern society.
Did you know: Kraftwerk Berlin was constructed around the same time as the Berlin Wall – between 1960 and 1964
A Touch of Dimitri Hegemann · The Spirit of Detroit in Kraftwerk Berlin
Dimitri Hegemann, a famous German entrepreneur, has refurbished Kraftwerk into one of the largest music clubs in Europe. It was certainly the most famous one, as it hosted legends of electronic music and thousands of visitors. Starting in 1981, Hegemann organized a festival called Atonal, which played early, experimental electronic acts such as 808 State and Die Haut. The night time in Kraftwerk was extremely dynamic and Hegemann made sure that regular visitors of Tresor could obtain tickets for the best, most popular musical acts. After renovations, the repurposed space of Kraftwerk Berlin became an epicenter of all things techno. The club became famous for its interior and it set out the blueprints for every other factory-turned-club in the country, and abroad. The formative style had not changed much, because Dimitri Hegemann wanted to give the visitors a unique experience of dense steam carrying the music, resonating from the ceilings, tightly being pushed between bank safes. Tresor was a symbol for successful social and political changes. The Tresor owner was directly inspired by Detroit culture and music. Detroit techno sound was the very source of German music at the time and the German producers and DJ’s continued in a similar manner, but establishing their own significant style. The interior was directly connected to abandoned factories in Detroit. It is fascinating how one building from the 1960’s became an international center of culture and music. The hearing plant was working properly until 1997 when a new plant in the neighborhood took over. Then it was empty for years before Hegemann renovated its labyrinth rooms and concrete corridors. After Tresor moved to a new location, the factory was left empty, before new renovations occurred in 2010. The main reconstructions were done at the 100-meter-long turbine hall, creating perfect conditions for exhibiting contemporary art. The first art show in the Kraftwerk was an architectural exhibition, held in the year of renovations, 2010, called Real city – Wishes Knocking on Reality. Since then, this place hosted many art, architecture and design shows and fairs. Hegemann’s brilliant organizational skills and his ability to engage in utterly new and unpredictable projects demonstrate his insightful visions as a curator. His project Atonal is in the midst of a revival — in 2015, this festival was held for the first time in more than two decades at Kraftwerk venue in Berlin and in September this venue will host Berliner Liste 2016. The essence of the building and its artistic flair perfectly complement the image of Berliner Liste – an adventurous, contemporary, vibrant and creative event, which gathers all enthusiasts, professional and amateur art collectors, and art lovers. The dramatic spaces between rooms and floors constantly present new vistas and perspectives, creating an ideal atmosphere for the staging of modern, contemporary art. Visitors and exhibitors like the dynamic atmosphere of Kraftwerk Berlin, which is representative of the city’s industrial culture and unique urban flair.
Did you know: Starting in 1981, Dimitri Hegemann organized a festival called Atonal, which played early, experimental electronic acts at Krafwerk Venue
Kraftwerk Venue as a Perfect Bridge Between Rich History and Contemporary Art
It more than evident that Krafwerk Berlin has an incredibly rich and eventful history, which made it the perfect environment for a variety of exciting cultural events. It is hard to imagine more functional and more welcoming venue for massive art fairs, concerts, performances and experimental art events. The very location of Berliner Liste air fair is one of the most important factors of its success. In 2016, it will be the 13th time that a large number of art enthusiasts will gather at Kraftwerk Berlin to showcase their art as well as make friends and business partners. Our diligent organizers have worked hard to divide the enormous Kraftwerk Berlin venue into a number of separate units. This means that photographers, urban artists and fine artists will all have carefully designed space where they will have a chance show the best of their artworks and initiate collaborations with art galleries and collectors.
If you are an international exhibitor, make sure to check out all the online resources about the history and development of Kraftwerk Berlin, such as websites and facebook page, while our German exhibitors are more than welcome to visit this versatile venue even before the formal opening of 2016 Berliner Liste.