Before Berlin starts into the summer holidays, the weekend before the start of the holidays traditionally belongs to contemporary art in the Oberschöneweide district. From June 12th to 16th 2019, transformart invites art enthusiasts to visit the site of the former Oberschöneweide transformer factory (Rathenauhallen), which is located directly on the banks of the Spree River, to view and enjoy art in its studios and spacious halls.
Image above: transformart 2017, Photo: Michael Koch
This year transformart takes place for the third time and brings visual arts and related disciplines to the impressive old industrial halls at the Spree. The exhibition, which covers several of the large halls, is even open for five days this year. It shows international contemporary art. From the opening on Wednesday, June 12th 2019 at 7 pm until the closing on Sunday, June 16th 2019 (end of the event at 7 pm), visitors can view more than 500 works of art in the exhibition halls and studio buildings on the grounds of the Rathenauhallen and be entertained at concerts.
The art exhibition, which comprises several parts of the hall, is organized by artists from the XTRO Ateliers Berlin, who have their studios there in the Rathenauhallen. Over 3000 square metres of exhibition space will show works by over 60 selected artists from genres such as painting, drawing, sculpture, installation art, photography, sound and video art. Usually, the artists are on site with their works, so that visitors can seek direct dialogue to learn more about the work and the artists.
Steffen Blunk, curator of the entire exhibition and one of the jurors: “Last year, it was mainly painters who applied. This year there are many artists with installations and often expansive works. That was a pleasant surprise, because the halls offer very good conditions for large works.” And so it was no easy task for the jury to limit itself to 60 artists in view of the large number of interesting applications (over 200 in total). “Over 3000 m² of exhibition space – that sounds a lot. However, we would have needed twice as much exhibition space to be able to exhibit all the interesting works and concepts,” confirms Michael Koch, who is also a member of the permanent team of organisers and jurors.
The name “transformart” refers on the one hand to the great past of the site as an industrial location (the historic industrial halls of the former AEG), which is made visible and impressively experienceable through the opening of some of the most impressive halls. On the other hand, the name “transformart” already implies an expanded concept of art in which the interfaces between classical and new genres of visual and performing arts and music are consciously explored. As co-organisers, the owners of the Rathenauhallen, Toruro GmbH & Co. KG could be won. This year, Toruro GmbH & Co. KG again made the areas of the Rathenauhallen available to the artists free of charge. However, as the location is about to be sold, it remains to be seen whether the new owners want to continue the generosity that has already become a tradition next year.
AOK Art Prize 2019
Another highlight of transformart 2019 will be the awarding of the AOK Art Prize. This year’s art award will be presented at transformart. Some of the prizewinner’s works will also be exhibited. The presentation of the art prize will take place on Friday, 14.06.2019 at 6 pm in one of the main exhibition halls and will be handed over personally by Daniela Teichert, member of the management board of AOK Nordost.
Since 2012, the AOK Northeast has been organizing an exhibition series in which works from the field of fine arts are made accessible to a broad public. Professional artists can apply and will be selected by a jury of experts for the exhibition series. More than 120 artists from Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have already been able to present their works in this way. In cooperation with the Künstlerhaus Lukas, one of the selected artists receives an annual scholarship. A note for interested artists: You can still apply for the exhibition series 2020 until September 30 of this year. Application documents and all information on the art project can be found at www.aok.de/nordost/kunstprojekt (removed link).
Music and art flowed together much more than in the years before. And so Transformart starts with a musical highlight. Immediately after the opening at 6:30 pm, The Jungle Jazz Band with six international musicians will open the musical round dance. Six international musicians share their passion for the oldest jazz in the world, which was born in New Orleans at the beginning of the last century. They bring the original raw and powerful sound to life with fresh interpretations and exciting arrangements.
On Thursday, June 13th 2019 we will continue with the questions: What is art? What is music? Two questions – two challenges. Visitors can explore the art question in the works of almost 100 exhibiting artists. On the second day of the exhibition, Joe Smith and Ganna Gryniva will pursue the question “What is music and how does a sound become music? “Does a sound have a meaning in itself or does it only mean something in a context? And: what is the context? JOGA is the name of the unusual sound experience with an unusual artistic cast. Here two sounds, singing and drums, come together and become one piece of music. The concert begins on Thursday at 6 pm.
On Friday the visitors can expect three programme offers. In addition to the guided tours, which are offered daily through the exhibition, this year’s AOK Art Prize will be presented on Friday at 6 pm. The classical tones will be played directly after the tour. Shasta Ellbogen will celebrate Bach’s cello suites on her viola. The Canadian musician, who has lived in Berlin since 2005, works not only as a soloist and chamber musician but also with popular music groups. She has won several international prizes and performs a solo programme in Schöneweide. The concert begins on Friday at 6:15 pm.
Friends of the blues in particular will look forward to the following salon concert. Jürgen Postel, a veteran of the former East German blues scene, will give a concert in Anett Münnich’s studio / Atelierhaus 79. He plays his blues with guitar, accordion and harmonica, which is lived and felt from deepest soul and promises a pleasure for belly and ears. The salon concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Hover Trout, a Berlin-based trio consisting of Canadian saxophonist Jonathan Lindhorst, his compatriot Sly Juhas on drums and American bassist Matt Adomeit, will surprise visitors to the exhibition on Saturday with musical improvisations. As a band they celebrate the balance on the middle ridge between familiarity and strangeness. Their use of recognizable elements manifests itself in melodic and groovy music reminiscent of past epochs, from jazz of the 20s to singer-songwriter and indie-rock of the 90s. The concert begins at 6 pm.
transformart 2019 | Halle 70 as 360° Tour
To increase curiosity and as an appetiser, we have captured Hall 70 of transformart 2019 for you in a 360° tour before the official opening:
Our recommendation: Due to the spaciousness of the terrain and the number of stairs, comfortable and reasonably solid footwear is recommended. On the banks of the Spree behind the halls, a street food trolley provides food for hungry and thirsty visitors.
at former Transformatorenwerk Oberschöneweide
Wed, 7 – 10 pm (Opening) / Thu, Fri, Sat each 2 – 10 pm / Sun 2 – 7 p.m.
Wilhelminenhofstraße 83- 85
Admission: 5,- EUR for a day ticket, all places, all concerts | children up to 15 years free of charge