Artbase is a festival of urban art moving in a vivid kaleidoscope between painting and party on deserted grounds. The first issue took place in 2011 at the former pulmonary hospital Grabowsee. During the last weekend of August 2019 it was realized again in the former and now abandoned lunatic asylum Domjüch close to Neustrelitz (80 kms north of Berlin). Nearly 150 international urban artists transformed these ruins into a wild, romantic and very alive place.
A smooth wind blows through the long abandoned houses‘ empty corridors, while a warm and friendly summer sun gleams through the ailing cracks. Inside the ruins, a conglomeration of fading colors and amazing street art works decorate the walls.
A place where nature has slowly recaptured the old walls. Deserted, long hallways, abandoned rooms with only faint memories.
But suddenly a soft hissing of a spray can sounds. Someone presses a button. Suddenly sounds are coming through the empty rooms. Loud voices echo through the old walls and the place awakens.
After WW II the buildings were used for military purposes by the Soviet Red Army which left the site in 1993, the start of a long and deep slumber which was interrupted abruptly now by all kinds of colors, visions and phantastic dreams painted on the crumbling walls of this remote place.
And last but not least on the premises you will find also the namegiver of the site, a beautiful forest lake called Domjüchsee.
Jo’s Monday walk : Alvor & the Estuary
Bavaria is one of the richest German regions lying in the very South of the country. Hence, cities and villages usually look just perfectly arranged and very tidy. So I was really happy to find in direct neighbourhood of such proper order in the old city of Dingolfing at Lower Bavaria something else: an amazing rotten site simply forgotten by the course of time and modern history.
You are crazy, my child.
You must go to Berlin.
Franz von Suppé, 1800
Especially in spring an irresistible desire for yet another unknown land emerges suddenly at dusk somewhere in the nowhere. Time for a small picture story of Berlin through enigmatic shallows and at multiple urban shores.
Can you hear me?
Word War II and the later division of Berlin have led to a lot of unused infrastructure, railways, empty factories and abandoned places till today. So there are really many possibilities getting lost in the labyrinth of the town.
Looking for enlightenment in a deserted factory at Treptow
Kitsch in an allotment garden at Charlottenburg
The city is changing quickly every day, but the spirit used to be indeed much more rebellious here in former times. Some wild street art reflects these eternal inflammatory ambitions sprouting from undergrounds.
Mural at Kreuzberg near Moritzplatz
Former railway tunnel at natural park Südgelände-Gleisdreieck
Large urban areas are covered with lakes and endless woods on sandy soil left by glaciers of the last ice age. Here the approaching predatory and brutal gentrification of many city districts does not play any role so far.
Krossinsee at Köpenick in early April
The journey is not yet over here – just a short excursion of my homeland today, thanks for reading.
Painting at Bernauer Str. reminding to Berlin’s division (1961-1989)
In the desert nearly everywhere you easily risk to loose your way in a more or less forbidden zone vanished in the unpredictable stream of time. Here or there does not really matter distinctively because a lost place like this offers a special poetry of past developments and decay, sometimes a bit dangerous but in any case thrilling and amazing.
Since the times of the Romantic people are fascinated by such forgotten locations like old church ruins or dilapidated castles scattered over the countries. Certainly these are objects and artefacts without use, hence not useless at all while this confrontation with the past opens a wide space for dreams of another future.
The deindustrialization of modern metropoles has nowadays created a lot of postmodern ruins like closed factories from the 19th century or no longer required railway facilities. But nature covers again very quickly also former military installations with impenetrable thickets and trees. Legacies of former inhabitants and colorful tags of passers-by can there be found anyway.
By first glance such places seem to be a dead-end leading to nowhere and it takes some energy to find a secure path sometimes, however astonishingly people leave even here professions of profound love in a wild maze of pure neglection.
Thanks for following this short expedition to the contemporary abysmal maelstroms of daily life – to be continued.