My Per­fect Day

Dr. Matthias Harder

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS - Jebensstr. 2, www.hel­mut-new­

The chief cu­ra­tor of the Hel­mut New­ton Foun­da­tion dis­cusses the Ber­lin art scene.

You've worked as a cu­ra­tor with a wide va­ri­ety of Ber­lin gal­leries and in­sti­tu­tions. How would you char­ac­ter­ize this city's art scene in gen­eral?

I got to know Ber­lin when it was still di­vided, when I moved from Kiel to the neigh­bor­hood of Neukölln in 1987. Back then, it was hard to imag­ine that the city could de­velop as it has. The art scene has since be­come in­cred­i­bly lively and di­verse, span­ning ev­ery­thing from trash to high-end art. To­day there are so many art spa­ces en­gag­ing both within

and be­yond the art mar­ket.

Be­sides the Hel­mut New­ton Foun­da­tion, which other places in the city do you like to visit to ex­pe­ri­ence art or cul­ture?

As a clas­si­cally trained art his­to­rian and ar­chae­ol­o­gist, I love most of Mu­seum Is­land and much of the Kul­tur­fo­rum. And I find it fan­tas­tic that C/O Ber­lin, one of the most ex­cit­ing photo in­sti­tu­tions in all of Ger­many, has moved into the for­mer Amerika Haus, which is right next door to the foun­da­tion.

The foun­da­tion is lo­cated across from the Bahn­hof Zoo sta­tion, a pretty iconic part of the city. What are some gems to dis­cover in this neigh­bor­hood?

The en­tire area has un­der­gone a bit of a trans­for­ma­tion in re­cent years. The “good old West” is back, em­body­ing a spirit that is both tra­di­tional and in­no­va­tive. The UdK (Univer­sity of the Arts) is around the cor­ner, while Fasa­nen­straße and the area around Sav­i­gny­platz con­tinue to have no­table gal­leries. The Zoo Palast cine­mas and BikiniHaus are also quite cool.

What are the most in­spir­ing or ex­cit­ing places in Ber­lin for you?

Mag­i­cal mo­ments can oc­cur prac­ti­cally any­where: dur­ing a morn­ing walk through Tier­garten, or strolling down Kantstraße af­ter din­ner with old friends at the Paris Bar.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I spend time with my son, in­dulge in a game of ten­nis, or en­joy a more in­ten­sive visit to one of the many art shows in the city. For lunch, I of­ten go from work to Sch­leusenkrug in Tier­garten (Müller-Bres­lau-Str.) or Kuchi (Kantstr. 30). If I’m in Mitte, I’ll go to Them­roc ( Torstr. 183) for din­ner or grab a pas­trami sand­wich at Mogg & Melzer (Au­gust­str. 11–13) dur­ing the day. I also like Sale e Tabac­chi in Kreuzberg (Rudi-Dutschke-Str. 25).

When you have friends vis­it­ing you in Ber­lin, where do you take them?

The Mon­key Bar in the 25hours Ho­tel is nice for drinks, or a pizza at the Café am Neuen See in Tier­garten. Many of my friends are cul­ture geeks like my­self, so in the evening we’ll go from art open­ing to art open­ing and then to the movies.

Could you share a spe­cial lit­tle spot in the neigh­bor­hood where you live?

Pankow is one of Ber­lin’s fastest-grow­ing dis­tricts, mainly due to the in­flux of young fam­i­lies. I rec­om­mend the Schloß­park and the Schön­hausen Palace next to it, where the East Ger­man gov­ern­ment re­ceived state guests and where the “Round Ta­ble Talks” were held af­ter the fall of the Ber­lin Wall. A visit there will take you on a crazy jour­ney through time, from the Baroque pe­riod to Ger­man re­uni­fi­ca­tion.

Hel­mut New­ton Foun­da­tion

Dr. Matthias Harder

[ Cu­ra­tor]


C/O Ber­lin Gallery at Amerika Haus

Zoo Palast movie theater

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