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Neu West Berlin

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Last Updated: 30 November 2020

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Neu West Berlin


On one recent evening at Neu West Berlin, new artist-run restaurant, exhibition space, club, studio and chefs residency in the heart of the citys Kreuzberg creative scene, red and green lasers dash across walls as noise-music group SFX tinker with cassette players, pedals and mixers, filling space with a moody soundscape. One musician, Cem Oral, stood on a chair and duct-taped audio recorder to a wartime fuel tank hanging from the ceiling. This is jam, says co-founder Patrice Lux, sit in candlelight. It different kind of music night. It was a typical night inasmuch as such things exist in space. It is a big living room for our network, say Neu West Berlins other co-founder, Matthias Crause, of space, which will officially open this weekend. Neu West Berlin took shape this year when its founders stumbled upon an abandoned grocery store, signed a two-year lease and pulled out aisles. The cozy venue is now filled with enough vintage and curious items that it feels like a museum unto itself: artwork and wooden sculptures, colored lights and glass Wall, plus mismatched chairs and white porcelain teapots from the Rosenthal porcelain factory. Institute for Urban Decay, music venue curated by multimedia collective Liquid Sky Berlin, is house downstairs; upstairs are four apartments that will host artists and chefs from abroad. We do do this for the Berlin crowd, Lux say, but for the international community. Former West Berlin had Paris Bar in the 1970s, art-scene hot spot which saw regulars like Iggy Pop and David Bowie; Neu West Berlin brought its ethos into the 21st century. For those who live in old West Berlin, they miss it, Lux say. It was a small island with punk, glamour and history. It was all over with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The art collective responsible for space was founded in 2005, when its members began hosting exhibitions and dinner parties in abandoned spaces, which led to gigs hosting Berlinale afterparties, launch of Maurizio Cattelans Toiletpaper magazine and visit from Ai Weiwei. To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, and grand opening of the new space, Neu West Berlin is throwing a dinner party on Saturday night, where chefs from Berlins Barkin Kitchen will create Twisted Christmas, dinner with traditional ingredients goose and dumplings served in a new way. It deconstructed Christmas dinner, Crause say. Paris Bar was known for its art trades. Martin Kippenberger would pay his Bar tabs with paintings and Neu West Berlin would offer the same deal. We trade food for artwork, Lux say. It is the best opportunity for both: artists do go hungry and we get some nice artwork for our collection. That collection, though, will have to be relatively mobile. Collective plans to change venues every two years, Lux say: Its important to keep moving.

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