Berlin, you drive me crazy! My visit last year was hard, but I thought I had understand simple directions how to get from X to Y, by foot or public transport. Wrong! This is 2018 and everything has changed again. Entrances and exits, traffic lights, zebra crossings – not to be found at the expected places. Yesterdays gaps between buildings closed by architectural uglynesses and bare shells and construction sites with a veritable thicket of construction cranes everywhere. No trespassing for pedestrians, sorry for any inconvenience. That is what you want to hear as a stranger. You might have the idea to avoid all that trouble by public transport. I have to warn you! A number of busses have alternative routes, due to the Fan Mile around Potsdamer Platz. It’s World Cup time and you cannot escape. Every restaurant, bar, beer garden and even the takeaways have big plasma screens to the joy of a football enthused public. HELP!
I didn’t think it would be as hard to find my way to the hotel and so I dropped my luggage down a bit later than anticipated. The first item on the agenda of my first day in Berlin wasn’t that far away at Washington Platz, where the installation #FREIHEITBERLIN is situated, which is a statement of liberty in a city with an eventful history. „Freedom has many faces“; with this installation Berlin sets up a monument to freedom with designs from local, national and international artists. The 15 letters of #FREIHEITBERLIN show 15 perspectives on freedom. Then I made my way to the transplanted „Worldtree“ of Ben Wagin at Lehrter Straße 30. The original painting, situated at the station Tiergarten S, has been painted 1975 and is probably the oldest mural in Berlin. It is due to disappear behind a new building at Bachstraße. Ben Wagin, Size Two, Kobe Eins, Ria Wank, Kera1, Quintessenz, Icke_art, TXNK, YAT, dyneart and The Dixons couldn’t accept that and found a new home for the tree at Kulturfabrik Moabit. A short walk brought me to Nordhafen and Heidestraße 20c. To find my way to the next wall became a challenge, as Heidestraße 20, the immense space of a former trans shipment point of the German railway, is a huge construction site for a new living quarter now. The hunt for the old grain storehouse was worth it, as the new mural was designed by ONE TRUTH. The exhibition „Sorry!“, which shows the development of Berlin graffiti from 1980 to today, was a complete surprise, as it wasn’t announced. More than 40 years of Berlin graffiti writing in an exhibition – amazing! The late afternoon brought me to the end of this days walk at Stromstraße, where the neighbourhood is characterized by a mainly Turkish population. House 36 is in the vicinity to Ayasofya Mosque. I was absolutely delighted by the new work of HERAKUT, WES21 and ONUR, who turned a handicap to advantage. I was told by a friend that the artists had the wrong measure of that wall. During the working process they noticed, that the elephant’s tusks doesn’t fit on that wall. That is why the elephant has got a 3D installation for it’s tusks. The artists just move on, and it is totally natural, so natural that people assume that it simply has to be like that. Well done!