Berlin has long been a refuge for artists and those of a more creative nature. If you look in the right spots you can find groups of trendy types clustered in bohemian coffee shops discussing everything from contemporary art to existentialism. During Biennale though the arty population get to take over the city and art and culture seems to ooze from every street.
The Biennale brings together a range of work from artists local to Berlin and Germany, mixed in with international pieces and often the dialog between artist and viewer is brought into focus. The juxtaposition of larger historical events and the minutiae of individuals come to the fore in this, the 8th Berlin Biennale.
There are several venues filled with installations, sculpture and more. The Haus am Waldsee is a home for contemporary art in Berlin and many local artists who have started out there to go on to enjoy international acclaim.
The KW Institute for Contemporary Art houses the Crash Pad by Andreas Angelidakis. This is his first commissioned work and presents a multi-purpose room carpeted with ancient, handmade rugs from Greece. This work is like a little appetiser for the Biennale and the Institute will have much more going on later.
Once you have had your fill of contemporary art why not try Balzac, a suitably trendy cafe in which to discuss what you have seen and drink some pretty lovely coffee too. Or try Espresso-Ambulanz who also do a top notch coffee but have a delicious range of bagels, croissants and pastries too.
The Kreuzberg area of Berlin is home to many arty types so head here for some intellectual conversation over dinner. A popular vegetarian place is Seerose on Mehringdamm. For something a bit meatier try Knofi on Bergmannstraße – although it does get crowded the food is well worth the wait at busy times.