MisplacedWomen?

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

In Berlin, Workshops on February 5, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Group Interventions of Mapping around the neighborhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee, 23.01.2018.

A contribution by Mad Kate

Participants: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

It was important to me to begin our interventions by understanding some answers to the question: “Where am I?” (politically, socially, economically)

Since I have lived in Berlin for 14 years, I am familiar with many neighborhoods, but never with this neighborhood in detail. I have performed at the Delphi Theater down the road, but this is my only interaction with the neighborhood. The Delphi is a very old “peoples theater” in Berlin and so I knew that this neighborhood had a history of an art scene, but at the same time is not a very busy or gentrified area. I know simply by being inside the Kunsthalle that this kind of large space for experimental workshops such as these one — “Misplaced Women?” By Tanja Ostojić — is increasingly rare. Many recent events at Kunsthalle have been committed to postcolonial discourse and bringing attention to the works of nonwhite artists—the kind of work that is not typically given spaces in more commercial areas of Berlin or at larger galleries. This already gives me a clue that the neighborhood is still affordable enough for a place like this to exist, while at the same time hints that the art scene may again be growing around here. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani

As a general practice before performing, I have been trying to get into the habit of understanding my sociopolitical context. This means “mapping” the area, using the “stage” (the venue) as my centering point, and working my way directionally around the center space, taking in sights, subtle changes, reading clues about the demographics of businesses and people on the streets. I also try to talk to people as much as possible to find out a bit more about the neighborhood and who is living there. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

Gaby, Tanya, Sajan, and myself all decided to go about mapping the area. I took along my sound recorder and gave it to Tanya for most of our journey so she could experience being immersed in the sounds around us. She told me that it was an extremely psychedelic experience to her! Gaby and I took photos, made sounds, made “found instruments” and marked different areas with string. We also sometimes mirrored physical shapes with our bodies. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, 2018.

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

I noted down a “map” of our walk and noticed places of new development, abandoned buildings, the types of businesses, and a conversation I had with one artisan who had recently moved there. She was a paper maker who had also found a place to rent in the neighborhood. She has a small handmade paper business on a quiet side street. There were other “new artists” living in the area who had opened up a DIY gallery, an artist performance space, and other businesses that I saw as related, ie a yoga studio and a mobile burrito van. The residences appeared to be either very old buildings, presumably with residents on old contracts, and very new loft-style developments, and one van, that appeared to be someones home. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

We walked over towards Caligara Platz, which had a historical marker noting that this used to be called “Little Hollywood”. So the area has historically had the mark of artists, theater and film navigating and weaving in with the rest of the residents. It made me wonder a lot about how the art school students integrate or do not integrate with the rest of the neighborhood, as one student who was part of the said they felt some antagonism or “difference” from the people around who sometimes resented their presence doing public art. Given the fact that artists and others are being pushed out of the central neighborhoods of Berlin, however, I suspect that Weißensee will see an increasing amount of new and diverse communities moving in and I’m curious to see how these changes will take shape in the next five to 10 years.  

It was encouraging and supportive to be in a group of artists who were committed to doing these kinds of public work. In this group context it was wonderful to explore the surrounding area of our workshop.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate
Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate


Text by Mad Kate

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate is a polyhomefull US-American sound and performance artist based in Berlin, interested in interrogating the politics of borders within and between bodies.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by Nati Canto

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Open Call for participants for the Misplaced Women? performance art workshop with Tanja Ostojić in Berlin, January 22-24 2018, hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

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Older posts Berlin 2009:

Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport on November 21, 2009, 11 p.m,

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

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  1. […] Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz […]

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  2. […] Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz […]

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  3. Reblogged this on Misplaced Women? and commented:

    I am very pleased to share a Group Interventions of Mapping around the Neighbourhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee, 23.01.2018. With new vesion of the wonderful soundscape and a written contribution by Mad Kate to the Berlin iteration of the “Misplaced Women?” Project. + Please visit as well 10 more links at the bottom of this blog post with other valuable contributions and posts from the same workshop. Thanks to Sajan Mani, Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Kathryn Fischer. #centeringpraxis, #contextualmapping, #performanceart, #misplacedwomen, #performanceaspraxis, #MadKate #KathrynFischer, #FIELDRECORDING

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