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Even though Berlin Art Week concluded on September 16, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy contemporary works throughout the city during a tour of Germany. Galleries like the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art put on thought-provoking shows all year long. During this year's event, international artists banded together to create a unique installation at Berlin's former women's prison, Kantstrasse 79.
A sordid history
During World War II and into the 1980s, Kantstrasse 79 served as a jailhouse for women protesting against the oppressive regime. Since the gates closed in 1985, the prison has served as a melancholic reminder of how these women pioneered a mass movement and represented how people can rise together to instigate change.
Platform 79 installation
Julia Vogl and Steve Rosenthal are only a couple of the contemporary artists who participated in the prison's pop-up installation for Berlin Art Week. While you can see their work at other galleries in the city during your tour of Germany, the pieces on display during the art event were created with the women prisoners in mind.
Vogl's Climbing a Broken Brown to Hot Pink is an abstract painting that stretched from a hallway's floor to an open window, as if the piece was looking for a way out. Rosenthal's Exist, on the other hand, was a little more obvious in its meaning: the green neon light reading "EXIST" looks almost exactly like the typically red "Exit" signs people are so used to seeing, providing a commentary on what the prisoners may have been thinking of when they were sitting in their cells: a way out.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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