Obscure Avant Garde Review by Nina Martinelli
I arrived early at the scene – by Berlin standards anyway, content in not really knowing what to expect. Making my way around the dimly lit Arena Glashaus venue, it quickly became apparent that I was in for something dark, artsy and experimental. Seeing other “similar” artistic events as redundant, the international Extreme Creative Disorder crew created the Obscure Avant Garde event whereby over 100 artists had the opportunity to expose a selection of their projects in a plethora of artistic fields from 18:00 on June 23rd until the early hours of the morning.
Many of the artworks explored contemporary themes of death, metamorphosis and the fight between nature and machine
My attention was first drawn to the gallery that lined the interior wall space of the locale. Through the imaginative use of a range of artistic media, from intricate and detailed pen and pencil works, digital, sculpture, paint and more; many of the artworks explored contemporary themes of death, metamorphosis and the fight between nature and machine in a post apocalyptic world. Strong graphic elements and dark, muted colours also appeared to be common themes among the collection of works. The gallery as a whole was eerie yet beautiful, not unlike the profusion of smoke fumes that drifted slowly above the guests throughout the night.
Innovative costumes and makeup combined with fascinating and sometimes disturbing performances
As darkness fell, and array of live performances began. Fashion shows, dances, contortionist acts, live music, installations, bondage and body piercing – to name just a few. Innovative costumes and makeup combined with fascinating and sometimes disturbing performances to captivate the audience and bind their eyes to the spectacle.
Strong techno beats layered with neo-tribalist and chilling insect-like ambient sounds
The strong techno beats layered with neo-tribalist and chilling insect-like ambient sounds mirrored the art and other performances contributing to the twisted, psychedelic atmosphere of the event. The alienesque DJ sets served to blend the art, performances, incense and food to enrich the multi-sensory experience.
The intensely textured exhibition served to heighten my connection to the concept of Obscure Avant Garde. Despite the event running until the early hours of the morning, the impressive display of creativity continuously imbued the guests with inspiration and a sense of intrigue.
Obscure? Certainly. Avant Garde? Absolutely. Eerily Fascinating? Definitely.
By Nina Martinelli
All photos by Krousky Peutebatre
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.