Compared to many big European cities, including Paris, Berlin is attracting more and more artists from all over the world. Besides the affordable cost of living, there is also something else that brings them here: the many chances offred to creative people to work, including by offering them cheap or even free workshop places and the many opportunities to sell and exhibit their work. An example of institutional interest for the arts is the fact that many borrough city halls do have interesting exhibition spaces presenting regular exhibitions and used as meeting points of the artists. This week, I visited the Kommunale Gallerie of Wilmersdorfer City Hall, close to Fehrbelliner Platz U-Bahn station. The entrance is free and there is a huge 1-storey exhibition place, hosting right now two exhibitions, workshops and a big room with various work of artists on sale or that can be loaned for a couple of days.
The exhibitions that I've seen here before feature usually Berlin artists, some of them living in the area, focused on contemporary arts and photography. Group exhibitions are also common, some of the artists being locally supported.
The hall was quiet, with the three people employed by the gallery moving slowly near the reception desk, ready to welcome the visitors or to give explanations, if needed. Also at the entrance, there are plenty of leaflets introducing various local cultural events as well as other exhibitions at the other city hall galleries.
The enormous space of the first floor is dedicated to feature the post-war Berlin artists and the recreation of the new art institutions. The exhibition, open till 24 of May, has interesting artistic insights, but also information about the artists and their personal histories and efforts to reconsider the artistic life.
The visit at the Wilmersdorf Kommunale Gallerie was intense and taught me a lot about Berlin and its artists. it also made me curious to explore the other galleries hosted by the other city halls. As the spring seems to finally settle down in the city for a while, I can't wait to see more samples of cultural life in one of the hottest cultural cities of Europe right now.