'Balconies, life, art': Berlin's locked-in artists display their work

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'Balconies, life, art': Berlin's locked-in artists display their work
An art installation featuring a video screen, part of the "Balconies, Life, Art, Pandemic, and Proximity" exhibition, is seen in Berlin on April 12th. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

Berlin's art galleries are closed, but the art scene is rising to the occasion as around 50 artists join a community exhibition from their balconies.


"At a time when our freedom of movement is suspended, (balconies) have
become unique performance sites," organisers said as they launched the project in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district of east Berlin.

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Balconies are "for getting a breath of fresh air, spending some time in the sun or smoking", said Ovul Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza, whose project "Balconies, Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity" gives artists a 48-hour showcase for their work.

The rules of isolation in the face of the coronavirus pandemic are less strict in Berlin than elsewhere in Germany, allowing people a chance to admire the works while out for a stroll.


One installation presents ribbons of toilet paper cascading down a building's facade, a reference to Germans' rush to stock up on the must-have commodity as soon as the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Europe.

Artists have unfurled toilet paper as part of the exhibit. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

One artist displayed black and white photographs of people on their balconies in Athens and Cordoba, while another hung a ladder made from rope and sticks.

The project with "zero budget, no preview, no crowds" aims to provide "an intimate walk in search of signs of life and art", the organisers said.

The 48 hours ended on Monday evening, when the artists retracted their works and returned to their usual solitary endeavours.



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