Techno mega-club Berghain is renowned not only for its centrality to Berlin’s dance music scene, but also for its ruthless and selective door policy that has seen thousands of revellers denied entry since it opened in 2004. But in 2020, the iconic Brutalist building is re-opening following a lengthy closure with a far less restrictive system in place, as it adapts to cope with ongoing disruption to arts venues across the globe.
From 9 September, Berghain will open its doors to the public not as a nightclub, but as an art gallery. With the dance floor, Panorama bar and darkrooms now displaying the recent works of 85 Berlin artists, including photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and elemental artist Olafur Eliasson, the cavernous venue will offer a fresh artistic perspective of life during lockdown in Berlin. It follows a week-long sound-art installation by artists Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl in the venue’s cavernous Kessel Hall space that took place in early August.
Berlin has been regarded as a creative mecca ever since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 prompted a rapid transformation of the city’s abandoned industrial spaces in the ‘90s. Berghain, a former power plant, remains a beacon of the city’s liberal identity: a collision of the concrete-and-steel world of communist East Germany with the innovative spirit of the city’s vibrant arts community.
Berghain opens to the public on 9 September 2020.