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(c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann
(c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann
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Where to Find The Best Performance Art In Berlin

Picture of Sophie Fenella
Updated: 28 December 2016
Berlin is known worldwide as a city rich with artists from all walks of life, who make exciting artwork and take creative risks. Walking through the streets of Kreuzberg and Neukölln you will see many bars and cafés hosting live music events, exhibitions and happenings, where artists present new work to an eager and attentive audience. If you want to see something different and enjoy art that challenges boundaries and reinvents art forms, then Berlin is the city for you.
Who Ya Gonna Call Schlossbusters, Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann
Who Ya Gonna Call? Schlossbusters!, Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann
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Copy and Waste Collective

This collective is supported by The English Theatre, and it is the forefront location for experimental theatre in Berlin. Politically minded and artistically bold, the productions are fun, interactive and well-worth seeing. This month head to Ballhaus Ost in Eberswalder Staße and see their new immersive performance, ‘Who Ya Gonna Call? Schlossbusters!’ This performance is part homage to the iconic film Ghostbusters and part supernatural theme park. In this performance, the collective challenges the gentrification of Berlin and asks the audience members to explore their imaginations.

The crux of the performance/installation is a political, and satirical comment on the redevelopment Stadtschloss in Berlin. The Berliner Stadtschloss (Berliner City Palace) used to be a royal and imperial palace, and it was the winter residence of the kings of Prussia and the German emperors. The palace was heavily bombed in the war and is currently being rebuilt, with plans for completion in 2019. The collective ask, ‘why does Berlin need the revenant of a Prussian castle? Why not leave the palace empty? What if we blew up the Stadtschloss to rebuild a Palace of the Republic’, challenging the gentrification of Berlin through a truly unique artistic method that uses immersive performance as a device to bring social issues to the audience’s attention.

Who Ya Gonna Call Schlossbusters from Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann

Who Ya Gonna Call? Schlossbusters! from Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann

As you enter the courtyard in front of Ballhaus Ost, the first thing you will see is a Ghostbusters van, complete with a green ghost sitting in the front seat, which will excite any Ghostbusters fan and sets the tone for what proves to be a truly immersive experience. In the main hall actors dressed head to toe in white occupy the space; they are the ghosts of the building, and each has his or her own unique story to tell. These ghosts show that the building is not empty, perhaps a comment on the history which lives in many of the buildings in Berlin that are being sold for development.

Experiencing this performance is like being a child in a playground, as you are free to wander where you please, speak to the characters, write your nominations for an Oscar on the wall, and even partake in a short yoga class. Upstairs you will find a bar, where you will be offered bright green jelly shots and marshmallows. All of the actors give an incredible performance, and the costumes and set design are stunning. So if you feel like spending one evening this April doing a something a little different, take a trip to the Stadtschloss and let the ghosts take you on a ride you won’t forget.

Ballhaus Ost Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin +030 44049250

Who Ya Gonna Call Schlossbusters from Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann

Who Ya Gonna Call? Schlossbusters! from Copy & Waste (c)Amelie Kahn-Ackermann

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MeinBlau

Another great place to find experimental theater and performance art is MeinBlau in Mitte. Home to the city’s young and radical artists, this is a venue that proves that Berlin is a wonderful city for artists. This spring, check out their event Buffet d’art, a showcase by an array of artists who display buffet-sized artworks on a plinth for the audience to enjoy while listening to music by Brendan Lynch. This event is somewhere between an exhibition and a performance, reflecting the style of much of the performance art that takes place at this venue because it bridges the gap between visual art and theater.

Meinblau Projektraum, Christinenstraße 18-19, Berlin, Germany +49 30 4496457

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Funkhaus Studios

Originally East Germany’s central radio station which was built in 1953 by the architect Franz Ehrlich, Funkhaus Studios holds the largest studio complex in the world. These days it is a studio and event space, which hosts open studio events where the public is invited to see the artists’ work, witness performance art and meet the many creative people who make exciting and radical art in the building. As well as performance art and exhibitions, there are often music events at the studios, which showcase some of Berlin’s best musicians. Follow their Facebook page to keep up to date with upcoming events.

Funkhaus Studios, Nalepastraße 18, Berlin, Germany +49 30 5380 5401

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APAB e.v

If you are eager to discover more performance artists and venues in Berlin then the Association for Performance Art in Berlin e.v (APAB e.v) should definitely be on your list. Founded in 2013, this association supports performance artists and projects in Berlin. Their website is a good place to find upcoming performance art projects, learn more about performance artists based in Berlin, and it will keep any eager performance art fan happy.

Association for Performance Art in Berlin e.v., Dunckerstraße 17, Berlin, Germany