This past week I traveled to Berlin and visited art museums, galleries, book and magazine shops, etc. On my first day in the city, bleary eyed from jet-lag, I went to the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, to Motto Berlin. Motto is a distributor of art magazines based in Switzerland and they recently opened this shop in Berlin. It is located in this great space:
At Motto, I purchased the latest issue of Cabinet. The subject was Shame. Later in the week, after drinking some wine in a cafe and reading about sleep patterns and sleep depravation, I am ashamed to say I left the issue on the table. I hope whoever found it is enjoying it as much as I was.
Above is a photograph of Dexter Sinister’s bookshelf for issues of Dot Dot Dot. At the New York Artist’s Book Conference, David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey gave a nice slideshow of their work and spoke about these bookshelves. In each space where Dot Dot Dot is exhibited/sold, a bookshelf is erected to house copies of the journal using the same specifications for measurements and made out of wood. But, depending on the place, the wood is often different, and they showed photographs of various bookshelves made out of new wood or salvaged wood, etc. It’s a nice gesture, and at Motto Berlin it looks so nice against the hazelnut color of the built in wooden bookshelves and panels of the room.
On the table in the photograph above is an issue of Kilimanjaro Magazine. I had never heard of this publication before, but I look foreword to seeing it in the future. Motto Berlin also hosted a series of presentations given by Kilimanjaro, Gagarin, Piktogram, Spike, and Mono.kultur. Unfortunately these all took place before my trip.
I returned to Motto on my last day in the city to find a magazine for my plane ride back. This time I purchased Apartamento, which is a great new magazine. It was the perfect thing to read as I left Europe. The articles are all written in English, but many read as English as a second language, with spelling and grammatical errors. I didn’t mind this at all, in fact it seemed appropriate given that I had been trying to communicate with people in Berlin all week – speaking fragments of German to people who then responded to me in perfect English. Anyway, the magazine has a great mix of articles about people living in different kinds of places around the world from Argentina to London to the United States. It’s augmented with colorful photographs of the interiors and exteriors of peoples homes: their gardens, plants, bookshelves, desks, record collections, their piles and messes, and neatly arranged objects, etc.
Later in the week on my way to Kunst Werk, I passed by a magazine shop called do you read me?!. They had a great selection of art, fashion, and design magazines.
In New York City we have some great independent bookstores, and many of them have a good selection of magazines, but there isn’t a place that compares to either Motto or do you read me?! It was fun to find such places in Berlin.
I was hoping to find the Magazine Room at Kunst Werk, but was told that it no longer existed. But, I did see a great performance piece by Tino Seghal.
And, on my last day in Berlin I tried to find the e-flux reading room, but got so cold wandering around in the ice and snow that I never found it. Instead I went over to a friend’s apartment overlooking a cobblestone courtyard and ate fresh olives from his parent’s home in Italy.
Until next time!