MisplacedWomen?

Posts Tagged ‘Berlin-Weißensee’

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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Misplaced Women? Contribution by LADY GABY in Berlin-Weißensee

In Berlin, Stories, Workshops on December 27, 2018 at 11:31 pm

In the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s Misplaced Women? workshop, January 22–24, 2018, hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz and Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, the following performance interventions have been developed and performed for the first time:

On Janaury 23.2018 in and around the neighbourhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee:

LADY GABY, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Were feeling placed within misplacement, creating a range of public space performance interventions:

We went around for 2 hours looking for places and things we felt comfortable with and a longing for, marking them with pink wool and intervening as displaced female characters: statue of liberty, maid, queen and the migrant. Site specific sounds and recorded conversations have been added too as well as a whole array of misplaced found objects.

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Misplaced Women?

Written Contribution by Gaby Bila-Günther aka LADY GABY

My whole life I have felt misplaced and displaced, as I migrated from one continent to another to find a new home and a new nationality. As a child, I grew up in Transylvania, in Romania during the communist regime. As my father defected to Australia in 1980, my mother and I followed him two years later. Thats when my history of misplacement began, first with my fathers defection, as I felt I didn’t belong in that society any longer. My mother who was born in Greece due to the civil war there in the 1950’s was forced as a child to live as a refugee in Romania, being a noncitizen, and I felt like one too, after my father defected and we prepared to follow him. I was kicked out of the pioneers organisation and our phones and home were under surveillance.

Marked Bench
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.

As a young teenager in Australia, in the 80s, I felt more misplaced than ever, as most of the people there had no idea where or what Romania was. I felt like I didn’t belong there neither as nobody could find my country of origin on the map. I felt insignificant, invisible, most of my time as a teenager; however I wanted to belong and be noticed.

When I came to Berlin, in 1989 at the time of the Wall falling down, my displacement manifested itself in the fact that I was illegal for three years and couldn’t speak the language either, however as an artist I began to find my feet and work with the theme of misplacement and identity. Berlin, the city where I found MY feet, MY words and made up MY mind about the world around ME.

Since 1994, my work has been about misplacement, identity, gender relations, social decline and domestic mapping. I often perform in spaces where as an artist or as a woman I am not supposed to be: men’s toilets, elevators, laundrettes, public spaces, public transport, etc. Through my performances in those spaces, I belong, I show that I exist and I demand attention and recognition.. I HAVE A VOICE!

During the Misplaced Women? interventions in the frame of the Berlin workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić, I chose to walk around the area of Weißenssee, as I felt misplaced inside the village-like atmosphere of that neighbourhood. However the streets, the houses and that environment gave me a familiar sense, as it reminded me of communist Romania where I GREW UP and reminiscent of the old post Wall East Berlin. So I looked for places I felt were displaced and marked them with a strand of pink wool, and did a whole range of public interventions at those places. Old communist statues, old bike wheels, an old fountain in the middle of a busy round-about, gallery and on a boat sculpture outside the Brotfabrik. During our walk some of us from the workshop including Mad Kate, Sajan Mani and Tatiana Bogacheva recorded sounds that we detected as misplaced on the streets of the neighbourhood such as construction sites on a quiet small street. The whole time I carried a suitcase with me containing misplaced objects for no reason inside, which I opened and displayed during the interventions. I transformed into several misplaced FEMAIL and FEMINIST characters besides myself: The ARTIST, The CLEANING MAID and The STATUE OF LIBERTY, all identities I can relate to as a woman, illegal worker, migrant and a refugee.

“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018. Photo: Sajan Mani
with sajan, liberty
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.

Through those actions of marking misplaced objects, recording of the misplaced sounds, and doing public interventions around sculptures and objects that reminded me of home, gave me a sense of belonging, comfort and familiarity, reminiscing the times and moments in my life when I felt secure and grounded. The places reminded me of my family migration that was carried out along side with the lack of identity and legality of living in a strange land, as well as my transformation from a young woman into a confident present artist.

Participation in the Misplaced Women? workshop really helped me strengthened my public intervention performances and try out new ways of domestic mapping. The interactions with the other participating performers and artists helped me indeed to achieve this as well and push new boundaries regarding performing in public. The walks in the neighbourhood of Berlin-Weißenssee, opened my eyes and inspired new ideas and concepts for the projects. New collaborations where born, for instance I performed with mirrors on the Berlin trains together with 5 other women artists from the project. That intervention, holding mirrors, empowered me and my presence. 

Text written by Gaby Bila-Günther

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

Photos of the public interventions and marking of the misplaced objects by Sajan Mani, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva

This series of interventions by Lady Gaby have been developed and realised in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić hosted by Kunsthalle Berlin Weißenssee, January 2018.

marked fountain1

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About the author:

Gaby Bila-Günther aka LADY GABY, originally from Romania, arrived to Berlin via Melbourne where she would regularly perform in public. She published her spoken-word, poetry, short stories and nonfiction articles online, on CD compilations, in journals, magazines and literature anthologies internationally.

She has performed, curated and showed text based, collages and video works internationally. In 2000 in Melbourne, Australia, she launched her self-published book Validate & Travel on a ‘moving tram’ and in 2002 her own spoken word filled with ambient techno beats debut CD, Off the Main, with music producer ZOG. In 2003 in Berlin together with fellow writer Jessica Falzoi she formed the Poets’ Party while in Melbourne she was part of Urban ART and Flush artist groups. In Melbourne together with her partner Teo Gunther they ran the performance and live music warehouse space, CBI PRODS, where underground techno parties, CD launches and various performance art events took place from 1995 till 2002.

For more information please visit:

Spoken word and sounds by various musicians

Spoken word and performance show

Word Bank Radioshow

Spoken word and beats with guest musicians

Lady Gaby’s artist run space

with statue1
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.
marked lady

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

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

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 in Berlin, January 24, 2018

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