Last saturday was no unusual day in Berlin. Loads of vibrant, interesting events only waited to be explored. One event, however, stuck out from the mass. Neukölln’s heart, the Boddingstraße, was thriving with excitement. It was the third day of Artconnect presenting Florian Reischauer’s project “Pieces of Berlin”. Artfully draped around the walls of Artconnects headquarters, charismatic pictures of real Berliners drew on crowds of art and Berlin loving friends. Whilst enjoying the most scrumptious handmade Pizza and sipping on refreshing beer, one moved from one picture to another, grinning with amusement over the photos and the touchingly written character descriptions that came with each picture.
Captured with a medium format analog camera, Florian had managed not only to catch great images of individuals but also to build up a relationship to these men and women. By continuously asking them the same questions, regarding their lives, their interests and Berlin, Florian lets us – the onlookers – dive into these people’s lives. The portrayed people are all from different backgrounds and thus resemble individuals that we might not engage with ususally.
Gülsum is one of these individuals. Gülsüm, the 42-year old turkish mother, lives in Neukölln and reveals to Florian – and us subsequently – how she’s always very busy and that if she’d have more time she’d spend it on reading. This little confession, coming right from the heart, is part of an intimate portrait that shows us how colorful, lively and true the ‘real’ face of Berlin is.
The vibe resulting from these pieces of art, these Pieces of Berlin, at our little Artconnect spaces was therefore very lovely. The crowd, we counted more than 600 art enthusiasts visiting the exhibition, was lively engaged in a joyful chitchat. Laughter and voices filled the rooms and ensured the great atmosphere, which left everyone smiling as they walked from the warm rooms out into the crisp, autumnally air.
Many went wondering off to the gallery next door; Idrawalot, or to other places of fun and inspiration: Closed down warehouse parties or simply home. What a great festival! We are looking forward to next year! Thank you to Nacht und Nebel Festival, Pieces of Berlin and our great team helping out during that weekend! Special Thanks going to Lebenshilfe Neukölln for lending us a wheel chair ramp!
For more information and visual inspiration visit http://www.piecesofberlin.com/. You can purchase limited edition c-prints of the pictures here or get in touch with the artist himself.