Berlin’s Berghain Club Opens Art Venue, Toasts Employees


The Berghain is a popular all-night club in Berlin that has strong, if little known, connections to the visual arts. Many artists work at the club to make a living and others are regular clients. Contemporary artworks hang on the club walls, among them works by fervent club-goer Wolfgang Tillmans.

Now the owners of the Berghain, Norbert Thormann and Michael Teufele, are seeking to formalize that connection with the opening of KUBUS, a huge arts venue that will be dedicated to performances, concerts and collaborations by musicians and visual artists. The official opening is scheduled for spring 2011.

Located in a disused part of the former power station Friedrichshain, where Berghain is situated, KUBUS has a perfect cubic shape, hence the name, which in German means “cube.”

Before renovations begin, KUBUS is hosting a weeklong group show in the entrance hall, opening Aug. 18. Titled “ALLE—Workers’ Pearls,” the exhibition is organized by 26-year-old Neda Sanai, who used to work the door at Berghain, and 51-year-old Peter Knoch, a bartender at the club. They invited everyone who works at the Berghain to participate to the show. (Alle is German for “all.”)

The organizers told A.i.A.: “The aim is to give to our colleagues and us the opportunity to show our art to a wider public.” Nearly half of the workers at the Berghain make art, at different professional levels.

Forty artists will present works ranging from painting, sculpture and photography to installation and music performances. Knoch is showing a new installation made of clay, Magic realism; Penelope Kokott, secretary and bartender, presents a plaster cast of her body, registering various personal traumas; and sculptor and bartender Dennis Kuhlow displays a frozen towel and the drawing of a broken sculpture.