Arguably the world’s most famous techno club, Berghain in Berlin hasn’t rumbled with 130 beats per minute since March, silenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Come September, it will start welcoming back guests — but to gawk at art, rather than party until sunrise.
Formerly a power station, Berghain will become an extended outpost for the Boros Collection, housed in what is locally known as “the bunker,” a hulking bomb shelter built during the Second World War, and for a few years in the Nineties, a techno club with terrible air circulation (and presumably no noise complaints).
The Boros Collection, which opened in 2008 and offers one of the most unique contemporary art experiences in town, turns out to have had a pandemic-ready concept, welcoming only 12 visitors at a time for guided tours spaced 30 minutes apart.
Reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis, and this will be applied to the Berghain project, making it finally possible for all to enter. (The nightclub has a notoriously difficult door policy.)
Organized by the nonprofit Boros Foundation, the exhibit will feature works by more than 80 Berlin-based artists spread across 3,500 square meters of space, encompassing the main club known as Berghain, the Panorama Bar, Säule and Halle.
Berghain houses many permanent artworks, including giant Wolfgang Tillmans photos that lord over the Panorama Bar, and the collaboration with Boros “aims to offer Berlin artists a public platform to establish a place for dialogue,” according to the partners, who trumpeted the importance of the city’s professional artists.
They note that more than 160,000 people work in the “cultural and creative sector” and have made Berlin one of Europe’s most dynamic capitals for music and art.
Titled “Studio Berlin,” the exhibition includes new works — all made under lockdown — by Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, Carsten Nicolai, Katja Novitskova, Simon Fujiwara and Keto Logua. A word-based piece by Rirkrit Tiravanija will be plastered across the top of the hulking building: “Morgen ist die frage,” it reads. (“Tomorrow is the question,” in English.)
Restricted to those over 16 years old, it opens to the public on Sept. 9. In line with the nightclub’s famous policy, photography is strictly prohibited.