Berlin Berlin: Day 2

As part of a Young Curator’s Programme sponsored by the Goethe Institut, Delhi, we have been invited to come and visit the Berlin Biennale. So here I am, and here are my daily adventures!

So basically what has happened is that I have lost track of time in Berlin. In a city like Berlin, you just dont want to waste time sitting in front of a laptop, and with so much to see and do, in such a limited time, I just wanted to make the most of it! So basically this is my 5th day here – actually its my 6th day, but I am still writing about my 2nd!

The 2nd day was about getting down to business, and therefore after an informal orientation, where we got to know who is who, we headed off to our first stop of the day – and the first venue of the Biennale – Museen Dahlem – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Lansstraße 8, 14195 Berlin. 



I had read a bit about the Museum and how it has been incorporated into the Biennale. The Curators aim here seems to be to have the maximum amount of engagement with the permanent exhibits which are soon to be shifted to the Museum Island in the Centre of Berlin. This apparently has led to an entire new debate within the circle of concerned Berliners! Despite the fact that the permanent exhibit and the exhibit for the Biennale have not been mixed (the display for the Biennale is only in spaces that have already been vacated for the shift) – there still remains some confusion and more than once one does need to rely on others to guide them around the Museum. There were many many works that stood out for me!



Work by Goshka Macuga


Glenn Ligon


Glenn Ligon

The next stop of the day was KW Centre for Contemporary Art. It is also the same Institute which hosts the Biennale and has been an important factor in putting the show on the road every other year! Again while the exhibits here differed considerably from that at the first venue, they seemed to work in their own little space where they had been carved out.


Maryam Sohail

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And then it was time for food! It is so interesting in Berlin how each turn can lead you to discover something completely new! Go inside a courtyard, and then take a turn, and another turn and all of a sudden you are in a different world altogether!


A way to honor and remember! Plaques outside the houses from where the Jews were thrown out!

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And then it was time to just walk through Germany and take in the sights!

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Safe to say I was exhausted and just came and crashed!


Berlin Berlin: Day 1 – In Transit: Hammad International Airport, Qatar, 1:40 PST

As part of a Young Curator’s Programme sponsored by the Goethe Institut, Delhi, we have been invited to come and visit the Berlin Biennale. So here I am, and here are my daily adventures! 

This was my first time flying Qatar Airways for International Travels, where in other time (read: two times) I have taken Emirates. And while I am comfortable with the Emirates and with all that which goes in adding to the image of Dubai as the melting pot of various nationalities, my impression of Doha and Qatar were completely opposite. In my mind, it was to be a make shift airport constructed of Palm Trees and Sand. And yes, despite the fear of being considered narrow minded, I am going to acknowledge truthfully that these were my impression.

And lets not forget that it seemed that the entire week everything was going against me! First the attack on Karachi Airport, then my own visa problems, and then rain! Out of all the days that I prayed for rain in Karachi, it had to happen on the day of my flight!

The view definitely helped!

The view definitely helped!


Lands the flight.. and my first thought is.. Not so shabby! The building is beautiful, functional, not as gigantic as the Dubai Airport (Bless you for that – my legs are grateful to you) and only 15 days old! I don’t think I have ever visited a baby even that young!!!!!

My first worry was – since I had not realized how convenient the design is – to find my gate! After finding it easily and realizing that I have well over an hour, I decided to roam around the new building and take it in! What else am I suppose to do for an hour anyways?

And Behold! There is this sight!


Work by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, titled "untitled (Lamp/Bear)"

Work by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, titled “untitled (Lamp/Bear)”

I remembered instantly reading about the Public Art Acquisition program adopted by the concerned Qatar Authorities. It was undoubtedly nice to finally see something about Art which I had read recently and was able to recall at the right time. Reading helps, people!

And after taking in the sights, it was time to head to the loo!

Now let me tell you something airport people around the world! If you want to score it with the South Asians, and the Middle Easterns, and the whole Muslim World, just give them Muslim Showers! That’s the only thing that you need to do, and you my friend, automatically have a buddy for life! What a great sigh of relief it was to find MUSLIM SHOWERS! I cant tell you the immense joy of discovering that thing right next to me as I went about my business! It really are the Simple things in life that count!

Then was the trip that lasted 6 hours before finally landing in Tegal Airport (reminds me of Islamabad Airport) and then there it was! Berlin! Right in front of me and in my reach! So after checking in to this very nice hotel (recommended: Mercure Hotel), I decided to take a walk! Before calling it a night! These are my first impressions of Berlin!






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