Fotografiska, a contemporary photography museum with outposts in Stockholm, Tallinn and New York City, has just opened the doors of its new Berlin gallery.
The grand opening was held last week on September 14, during Berlin Art Week. At its new Berlin-Mitte property, the gallery launched its inaugural exhibitions, which were accompanied by talks, DJ sets and live music, as well as a performance from iconic electro-punk musician Peaches.
An offshoot of the original Swedish photography museum, the Fotografiska team says Berlin’s latest gallery will showcase ‘world-class photography, eclectic programming, elevated dining and surprising new perspectives,’ while seeking to champion artistic talent from diverse backgrounds, both locally and internationally.
The exhibitions form part of a wider complex in the former Berlin department store, whose facilities include a bakery, bars and fine dining, and exhibition rooms across its six floors.
Current exhibitions include ‘Whiteface’ by South African artist Candice Breitz (until December 4), ‘NUDE’, a photographic series by female-identifying artists (until January 14), and ‘USSYPHILIA’, a solo show from American visual artists and DJ Juliana Huxtable (until January 21).
But the opening of the Mitte gallery has not been without controversy, sparking debate on art-washing in a rapidly gentrifying city. The building that now hosts Fotografiska was once a squat and artist residence known as Kunsthaus Tacheles or Art House Tacheles, which ran from soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall to the early 2010s. However, the artists were evicted from the building in 2012.
It’s an experience that has left a sour taste for some. ‘You’re talking about that [sic] you want to be a palace for the exchange of communities and cultures,’ wrote one user on the official Fotografiska Berlin Instagram account. ‘Which ones do you mean? Those displaced by the gentrification of the Tacheles?’
You can read more about Fotografiska Berlin on the Fotografiska website.
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