Carlijn Potma chats to Nico Zeh, creative orchestrator and founder of acclaimed Berlin art space, MADE…
Over a year ago, Berlin was enriched with a new conceptual art space: MADE. ‘Yet another art venue..’, many would think. But this art center – 420 m2 , located on the 9th floor of a former office building at Alexanderplatz and designed by the architect Alexis Dornier – seems more ambitious.
Fully supported by Absolut Vodka, this all-white creative space programs a wide range of activities: four or five projects a year, from interdisciplinary workshops to private film screenings, symposia or ‘Gesamtkunstwerke’…
Could you describe the concept or modus operandi of MADE?
MADE is an extraordinary venue and artistic collective in the heart of Berlin, a creative spot where ideas can come to life in an outstanding fashion. It was invented and created by pop artist tadiROCK, who is the spirit and founder of MADE, myself and a core team of specialists.The space functions as a platform for artists from all walks of life, from contemporary art to film, music, design or any other artistic disciplines. We give them a place to realize their ideas and to make things happen – they all have absolute freedom and ownership of their projects. The concept is simple: various creative minds come together to create and realize something they have never done before in a collective endeavor. MADE offers room for creation at it´s finest – it can be a gallery, workspace, studio, stage or laboratory, but most of all it is a venue that invites you to be inspired.
What sets MADE apart from other multi-disciplinary art spaces in Berlin?
MADE is a space of great interest because it has this certain idea of creativity that stands above all projects, but still undergoes continuous change. Every day at MADE is different, like every project has a different focus. Here you can find actors, art students, musicians or designers, all together. MADE doesn’t find itself in rigid borders, but is a playground for all forms of creativity and art.
What kind of function or position does MADE have today within the art scene of the city? It’s refreshing, inspiring and shows the zeitgeist of our decade. People enjoy to visit our space because it reflects the diversity of their own creative fields and interests.
How do you select the projects/artists that will be featured by MADE?
It´s all about the idea. It often happens that the artists find us, sometimes its us who finds them. Practically, everybody that has a new and interesting idea is welcome. In a city full of creativity like Berlin one can imagine how hard it can be to decide which project will be featured next at MADE!
What have been the highlights of MADE so far, from your perspective?
My number one is the ‘Typographic Ballet’ project [which comprises a combination of dance performance, sculpture and typography, coordinated by the artist Ebon Heath]. Number two would be the project ‘Moments with Aloe Blacc, Mihalj “Miki” Kekenj & Jaybo’. This because creating moments is the driving force behind MADE. One such moment occurred with the culmination of a creative journey that involved singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc, violinist and composer Mihalj “Miki” Kekenj and painter Jaybo, who came together -each armed with talent and experience from their respective creative discipline – to create…a moment. My last pick would be the ‘Valse Automatique’ project [a collaboration between product designer Hermann August Weizenegger and the violinist /composer Mihalj Kekenj].
What makes Berlin the right place for something like MADE?
Its massive creative energy. Berlin is a vibrant city in a special time.
How do you perceive the city’s art scene today? Is it growing, shrinking, improving, decaying?
The Berlin art scene is growing and changing directions every day. We love it.
Which other galleries or art spaces would you recommend in the city?
One day passes quickly in Berlin, walking through the galleries or museums. Choosing which ones can be quite tricky though. At the moment there is a Nina Canell exhibition at the ‘Konrad Fischer’ gallery and Galerie Wien Lukatsch, which I would recommend. The ‘Museum für Gestaltung’ is interesting as well, with its Bauhaus-Archive . Or visit the Neue Nationalgalerie, always a good one, where you can see art pieces from the early 20th century.
MADE’s official website provides a complete overview of all past MADE projects and events, including extensive photo galleries, video recaps of each project and in-depth interviews – titled “Visions or Visionaries” – with key figures in the local and international creative arts scene. Interviewees so far include photographer David LaChapelle, singer Aloe Blacc and German photographer Frank Thiel. Check the videos out here.
All images courtesy of www.made-blog.com