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What to do this weekend in Berlin: February 20-23

This weekend brings two of this year’s food and cultural highlights: the food festival Eat! Berlin and the Berlin International Film Festival aka Berlinale!

Not to be missed either are the opening of the Umbo photography retrospective at Berlinische Galerie, the Idiothek party at Polygon Club for Griessmuehle im Exil, the performance We Can Do It Moaning about the female copulatory vocalisation, the concerts of Georgia, Digitalism and DJ Shadow, and many, many other international DJs in our favorite venues!

Check out our weekend’s picks below!

Thursday, 20th Feb

Exhibitions Umbo: Otto Umbehr @ Berlinische Galerie
Exhibitions Umbo: Otto Umbehr @ Berlinische Galerie

Eat! Berlin
‘Eat!’ says it all. Even in Berlin. One of the biggest fixtures on the Berlin food calendar is back with a full programme of culinary events. With special talks, dinners and tastings, there’s much to check out  for the whole week.
20, February to1st March at various venues.

Opening: Umbo. Fotograf. Werke 1926–1956
Umbo (Otto Umbehr, 1902 – 1980) symbolises a kind of “big bang” in modern photography of 1920s.
With a selection of about 200 works and numerous documents from the estate of the artist born under the name Otto Maximilian Umbehr, the Berlinische Galerie presents this first major retrospective in 24 years.
20 February. 19:00-22:00. Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, Kreuzberg.

Straight 8 – Best of Super 8 Short Films
Celebrating the art of shooting on film, the Berlin Film Society and The Factory are screening a special programme of the best short films shot on Super 8 (8mm film) from 2019 (including 2 Berlin films), all of which defy definition and genre.
20 February. 19:00-21:00. Factory Berlin. Lohmühlenstrasse 65, Kreuzberg 

Jörg Widmann & Daniel Sepec – Biber, Andre
Mark Andre’s highly spiritual selig sind… (“blessed are”) for clarinet and electronics—its subtitle translates as “Spaces of Disappearance”—was premiered by Jörg Widmann at the 2018 Witten Days for New Chamber Music. This extraordinary piece will come to new life in the unique spatial setting of the Pierre Boulez Saal, paired with a selection from Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s equally enigmatic 17th-century “Mystery” Sonatas.
20 February. 19:30-21:30. Pierre Boulez Saal, Französische Straße 33D, Mitte

Eva Meyer-Keller: Living Matters
Eva Meyer-Keller’s hybrid performances fluctuate between the visual and performing arts. Her stagings invoke elements of workshops, kitchens, laboratories and landscapes where she engages ‘hands-on’ to re-enact complex scientific and abstract phenomena. In “Living Matters” she employs the practices and images of cell research and infects them with the residue of personal crises: organic and inorganic bodies and substances react to and with each other; dividing, multiplying, arranging, self-organizing.
20-23 February. 20:00-21:30. Sophiensaele. Sophienstraße 18, Mitte

Shameless/Limitless: Bad Hammer
As we enter into 2020, aka the year of the Bad Hammer, it only stands to reason that the band break new ground with a hometown show in the north’s celebrated 8MM Bar. And so we’re doing just that.
20, February. 20:20 – 23:55. 8MM Bar, Schönhauser Alle, 177B, Prenzlauer Berg.

Hassina Taalbi: Cosmic Arbeitsamt
The first Pogo Bar gig of the decade invites Hassina Taalbi and Maximilian Thiel to transform the space into a Cosmic Arbeitsamt. The artist’s precarious situation within the German social system serves as a starting point for the creation of a space inspired by Sun Ra’s Outer Space Employment Agency. In individual sessions, questions concerning the future can be discussed. The dimensions of inside and outside – artist and society – will be turned upside down, the boundaries will become blurred.
20, February. 21:00. KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Auguststraße 69

Soundscapes Vol. 6
The 6th edition of Soundscapes starts with a bang. JOCHEN ARBEIT (Einstürzende Neubauten) & KRISTOF HAHN (Swans) are brought together to perform as a guitar duo for the first time. Anat Tuvia adds her voice to the mix as a singer-songwriter who feels most comfortable in the realms of improvisation and poetry. Be prepared to be thrown at sonic thunderstorms within ethereal melody.
20, February. 22:00 Rosenthaler Strasse. 39 – 2nd Hinterhof, Mitte.

Grissmuehle in Exil: Idiothek with Jordan and Kendal
The first Idiothek of the year is taking place at Polygon Club for Griessmuehle im Exil. Coming over from Belfast is dj and producer Jordan. Once his break-beat percussion hits the 80s vocal sample, the dancefloor starts burning. Making his Berlin-debut is French newcomer Kendal with his fusion of Italo and EBM. Idiothek host Bongsy is opening the night with an Italo-infused set, full of classics and secret weapons, so an early arrival will be worth it.
20, February. 23:00 – 8:00. Polygon Club Berlin, Wiesenweg, 1-4, Neulkön.

EBM, techno, goth, synth night with Human Performance Lab, X-IMG, Sabotage9999, LGHTWGHT, Disorder and Xhib. The duo Human Performance Lab will present their second vinyl “Impact Situation”. Past & future dystopias collide in a visceral blend of techno & body music inspired by early progenitors of industrial music, Dada & Futurism.
20, February. 23:00-6:00. Diskothek Melancholie 2, Brünckenstrasse, 1, Mitte.

Friday, 21st Feb

ABA NAIA: We can do it moaning. Credit photo: Mari Vass

Opening: A Year without the Southern Sun
“A Year Without the Southern Sun” has gathered 9 artists to investigate the relationship between decolonization and climate change. At the core of the exhibition is the ambivalence that surrounds the Anthropocene – the confrontation of nature and human-made creations, which can be both violent and beautiful.
Opening 21 February. 18:00-22:00. Until April 4th. XC.HuA Gallery. Potsdamer Strasse 81b. 

Opening: Tobias Hoffknecht I Dummy
In the exhibition Dummy, Hoffknecht translates his sculptural art into two-dimensional wall works for the first time. For this purpose, he developed a modular system consisting of three square “tiles” in which he takes up the basic elements of his steel sculptures: the straight line, the curve, and the pure, empty surface. The “tiles” are produced as screen prints in unlimited numbers.
21 February. 19:00-21:00. CRONE. Fasanenstrasse 29.

ABA NAIA presents We Can Do It Moaning
A lecture performance about the female copulatory vocalisation that turns into a moaning acoustic experience. Do you want to know what lies behind the anatomy of our mouths? ABA NAIA transforms sounds into spoken language. They build their rebellion against the patriarchy with the foundation of human voices. It gets dirty. It gets messy. It gets hilarious. It gets awkward. It gets physical. It gets sexual. It stays complicated. You are invited to a dialogue taking place at the meeting point between science and a new post porn soundscape when the seductive power of female tones takes over and makes things move.
21 and 22, February at 20:00. English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstrasse, 40

A Winged Victory for the Sullen (live)
A Winged Victory for the Sullen have nurtured a cult status over the past decade. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have carved out a grand, stirring sound amongst the so-called neoclassical and ambient world – tags which they don’t use themselves but with which they’ve inevitably become associated.
21, February. 18:30 – 23:59 (the show starts at 20h). Funkhaus, Nalepastrasse, 18. 

Synthicide is a monthly party that has nurtured dark synth-driven music in Brooklyn/New York, delivering a cacophony of industrial, EBM, anything else dark & synthetic – often with an emphasis on the 1980s.
21, February. From 20:00. Dream Baby Dream. Greifswalder Str., 218. Prenzlauer Berg.

Jolly Goods
Jolly Goods are a well-established sisters dream team. On their new album Slowlife, they create an opulent, expansive cosmos of sound created from band and orchestral music. Tanno Pippi and Angy Lord twist the curse out of power structures, pressure to perform and seemingly endless anger, in order to savour the slow life.
21 February, 21:00. Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

Griessmuehle with François X & Henning Baer
Griessmuehle is going into exile and has found a temporary home at Alte Münze. The line-up for this Friday is must-see with François X, Henning Baer and Casual Gabberz.
21, February. 22:00-14:00. Alte Münze, Molkenmarket, 2.

She Lost Kontrol
She Lost Kontrol is back at OHM Berlin for the first night of its extended residency for 2020. Synthwave, Industrial and Noise are melting in a new modern aestethic in which She Lost Kontrol sinks the roots.
21, February. 23:59 – 08:00. OHM, Köpenicker Str. 70

This is not Buttons
Under the spell of Japanese techno DJ Haruka, Buttons is about to get psychedelic.
21-22, February. 23:59 – 22:00. ://about blank, Markgrafendamm 24c.

Saturday, 22nd Feb

Georgia Barnes

MONOM: Ambient 002 ft. Robert Rich’s ‘Somnium’ & Cosmic Compositions
Robert Rich is an ambient musician and composer based in California. With a discography spanning over 30 years and 40 albums, he’s a figure whose sound has greatly influenced today’s ambient, new-age, and even IDM. For the day session, the event will present selected works in sound sculpture installation form in 4DSOUND. For the long-form live element, they will host a hybrid set by C O S M I C | C O M P O S I T I O N S label co-founders and Cynthia / Aporia. They will be joined by Ross Alexander to perform for 7-hours in 4DSOUND.
22-23, February. 14:00 – 8:00. MONOM, Nalepastrasse, 18.

Opening: How beautiful you are!
With the group exhibition “How beautiful you are!”, the Kosmetiksalon Babette will be a guest for two weeks in the Maschinenhaus M0 of the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art. In various forms of artistic expression, the exhibition examines the concept of beauty in the art world and directs its focus towards art and artists in equal measure.
Opening 22 February. 17:00-21:00. Until March 8th. KINDL Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst. Am Sudhaus 3, Neulkön.

Opening: Laboratorium Fragilitas
The young artists Fábio M  Silva, Frank Peroni, Nastia Eliseeva, Pablo Diserens, Vincenzo Forino will be showing analog as well as digital film and photography, sound, sculpture and painting. Opening performance by Ōtone & Fábio M Silva.
22, February. 18:30 – 22:00. Laboratorium Fragilitas, Gräfestrasse, 76, Kreuzberg.

Georgia (UK) will be presenting your new album Seeking Thrills, packed with injections of lightness and fun paired with rich, bubbling melodies. Georgia is reminding you of the altitude of your last real thrill, and when we turn the record on, we’re there again, aching for more. You’ll like her if you’re Robyn’s fan.
22, February. 19:00 – 23:59. Musik & Frienden, Falckensteinstr., 48

In the repetition, emphasis shifts from “someday” to “not today” and back, leaving the listener in a space of uncertainty. It’s in this space that SANDY Alex G lingers throughout the album’s thirteen songs: between backwards and forwards, past and future, one voice and another. On “House of Sugar”, his third full-length for Domino and ninth overall, Alex inhabits a diverse range of musical and emotional points-of-view, in turn illuminating the tension that hides in the shadow of desire.
22, February. 19:00 – 23:00. Lido, Cuvrystrasse, 7.

Digitalism – Tour.jpeg 
Let’s come back to 2007 with Pogo and have some fun? Maybe not this time. The German electro duo Digitalism will present their new album Tour.jpeg. French touch, electro and indie rock are all there.
22, February. 20:00 -23:00. Festsaal Kreuzberg. Am Flutgraben, 2.

UM:LAUT – múm plays “Menschen am Sonntag”
Film Concert: After almost ten years, the UM:LAUT series comes to an end. To bring it to a close, múm now returns to the venue. This time these crossover artists set to music “Menschen am Sonntag”, (“People on Sunday”), a masterpiece of the German silent film era. The percussionist Samuli Kosminen, múm founders Gunnar Tynes and Örvar Smárason provide a live soundtrack to the film classic – a timeless and lively portrait of Berlin at the end of the 1920s.
22 February 20.00 Radialsystem Holzmarktstraße, 33

Too Slow Disco Berlinale Party
Special Berlinale night with DJ Supermakt and the best yacht rock compilation that you can find. He will takes you on a long smooth and sunny ride of danceable slow nite-disco. From Westcoast inspired Yacht Disco Edits to modern, lazy daytime disco.
22, February. 21:00 – 4:00. MOKA EFTI Bar. James Simon Park Stadtbahnbogen 159, Mitte

Queer party for eclectic music lovers with Ady Toledano, Charlotte Bendiks, Elissa SuckDog, Victor Kubin and Younger Than Me.
22, February. 23:55 – 12:55. IPSE. Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 2b.

Booka Shade pres. Blaufield 
Night with the best veterans of electronic music: Booka Shade (live), Rodrigues Jr., Animal Trainer and others.
22, February. 23:59 – 10:00. Ritter Butzke, Ritterstrasse 26, Kreuzberg

Sunday, 23rd Feb

Carnaval – Baile da Bossa. Foto: @pedropezinho

Draggy Brunch
PANSY and SELIG are serving you breakfast this Sunday! Delicious food, drink specials, DJs, and drag shows every half hour. Invite your friends, because what’s better than drag queens and pancakes on a Sunday morning?
23 February. 10:00-16:00. Selig. Herrfurthplatz 14, Neukölln

Semla Sunday #1

The Semla is the carb-packed national indulgence of Sweden. It’s a cardamom wheat bun filled with whipped cream and almond paste and was originally only eaten on ‘Fat Tuesday’, the last Tuesday before the traditional easter fasting. But at Okay Café you will find not only during Carnival, this Sunday 23rd and Tuesday 25th, but also on March 1st!

23 February. 14:00-19:00. Okay Café. Pflügerstrasse 68.

Carnaval: Baile da BOSSA
This year BOSSA FM presents the event that will take you into a journey from the carnaval blocks of Rio de Janeiro, crossing the micaretas of Salvador to the streets of frevo, coco and maracatu of Pernambuco.
23 February. 12:00-24:00. Festsaal Kreuzberg.


DJ Shadow
The legendary DJ Shadow deconstructs and re-constructs his tracks live on turntables, samplers and effects devices and spectacularly frames the whole thing with opulent visuals.
Monday, 24th, February. 20:00 – 23:00. Metropol Berlin.

Save the date

Psicotrópicos Brazilian Arts Festival: 22 March 2020 @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Underworld: 21 March 2020 @ Tempodrom
März Festival: 20-29 March 2020 @ Various Venues
Gal Costa: 28 Mar 2020 @ HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Piano Day: Joep Beving: 29 Mar 2020 @ Silent Green
Jon Hopkins – Polarity Tour: 2 April 2020 @ Philharmonie Berlin
Steve Reich –  6 Pianos: 15 April 2020 @ Philharmonie Berlin
Thundercat: 17 April 2020 @ Astra Kulturhaus
James Blake: 23 April 2020 @ Verti Music Hall
Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin: 8-9 May 2020 @ Tempodrom
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: 27 May 2020 @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
XJazz Festival: 8-10 may 2020 @ Various Venues
Nicola Cruz and Fidel Eljui 18 jun 2020 @ Funkhaus
Four Tet live with lighting by Squidsoup: 17 oct 2020 @ Velodrom

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