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Art

120,000 Ribbons Wave Across the Former Footprint of the Berlin Wall in an Installation Marking 30 Years Since the Peaceful Revolution

November 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

On November 9, 1989, German officials decided to allow residents of Communist East Germany to cross over and visit the Western, democratic half of the divided country. Though the complex process of physically and ideologically reunifying the country took about a year in total, November 9th is considered a landmark day. To celebrate 30 years since the Berlin Wall began to break down, artist Patrick Shearn (previously) was commissioned to create a large-scale installation that integrated the reflections and hopes of 30,000 people.

Visions in Motion was on view November 4th through 10th in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a location that had previously been a demarcation of division. A statement from Poetic Kinetics explained, “the artwork’s rectangular shape conjures the form of the wall; but instead of a heavy, impenetrable border, the form takes flight.” The massive installation spanned 20,000 square feet and was comprised of 120,000 fabric streamers, a quarter of which featured hand-written messages that were collected in the months leading up to the display.

Shearn is a resident of Los Angeles, Berlin’s sister city, and is renowned for his large-scale kinetic installations, which he calls “Skynets”. Tying the German installation to its sister city, the Los Angeles-area Wende Museum, which houses Cold War artifacts, invited Los Angelenos to contribute messages to Visions in Motion as well.

Shearn and his team at Poetic Kinetics are prolific creators. You can explore much more of their archive on the Poetic Kinetics website, and follow them on Instagram to keep up with their latest projects around the world.

 

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Art

Ai Weiwei Wraps the Columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with 14,000 Salvaged Refugee Life Vests

February 16, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

Image via Markus Winninghoff

Image via Markus Winninghoff

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Image via Oliver Lang / Konzerthaus Berlin

Ai Weiwei has produced a five-column installation on the facade of Berlin’s Konzerthaus, a collection of 14,000 life vests from refugees who landed on the Greek Island of Lesbos after battling the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey. Ai hopes the bright orange installation draws attention to the hundreds of refugees that are trying to reach Europe each day, over 400 of whom have died attempting the same journey since the beginning of the year.

Although thousands of the life jackets can now be seen in Berlin, this does not begin to account for the thousands of jackets that remain on the shores of the Greek island, pointing to the number of refugees who have passed through the island. Since last December Ai has shared dozens of images of refugees who have come to Lesbos on his personal Instagram account, including this image of a mass of life vests left behind.

The temporary art installation was created for the Cinema for Peace gala which took place February 15, 2016. Ai was the honorary president of this year’s jury. (via Designboom)

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Image via Oliver Lang / Konzerthaus Berlin

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Image via Oliver Lang / Konzerthaus Berlin

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Image via Oliver Lang / Konzerthaus Berlin

Image via Markus Winninghoff

Image via Markus Winninghoff

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Image via Frank Löschner / Konzerthaus Berlin

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Image via Frank Löschner / Konzerthaus Berlin

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Image via Frank Löschner / Konzerthaus Berlin

 

 



Art

A Daring Street Art Escape by Daan Botlek

May 29, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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While poking around a condemned building in Berlin, street artist Daan Botlek (previously) dreamed up the idea of his white shilhouette figures executing a daring escape. The series of pieces here, Escape from Wuhlheide, was the result. (via Lustik)

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Sailing Ship Kite