SHE'S A DOLL

Perhaps more than any other contemporary artist, Cindy Sherman has created an oeuvre that attests to the profound power of clothes, hair and makeup to transform and communicate.

This major Sherman retrospective, organized by the Jeu de Paume in Paris in cooperation with the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, presents a comprehensive view of the American photographer's work between 1975 and 2005. As director, sole protagonist (with the exception of the doll series) and photographer of her staged photographs — not to mention the person who hung and curated this and all of her own exhibitions — Sherman is omnipresent yet never present. Her body is merely the canvas, stage or screen on which to project a vast cast of characters that cite and question cultural and social stereotypes.

The exhibition, arranged in a series starting with her five earliest masquerades and ending with the most recent, "Clowns," documents the increasing depth of her work. One of the few documentaries to catch the shy artist, "Cindy Sherman Transformations" is also on view, as is her Super 8 animation "Doll Clothes," in which she plays a dress-up doll that is undressed again and again by a large pair of hands. It was shown only once before, in 1976 at the alternative gallery Hallwalls she cofounded with Robert Longo and Charles Clough during her college days in Buffalo.

"This is the only work I've ever done," she said, "that was consciously autobiographical."

— Melissa Drier

Through Sept. 17.; Martin-Gropius-Bau Niederkirchnerstrasse 7,

10963 Berlin; +49-30-25-486-0; gropiusbau.de. Wednesday-Monday,

10 a.m.-8 p.m.; closed Tuesdays.


BUMPER CROP

If there were any doubts that multilabel retailing is back in fashion in Berlin, Strange Fruit should put them to rest. The latest designer-studded arrival around tony Gendarmenmarkt, the two-level, 4,850-square-foot store for women and men, is the brainchild of Dahlia Roth. Armed with an MBA, an extended stint at Central Saint Martins and the consumer drive of someone who's been "a manic sh opper since the age of five," the 36-year-old native (West) Berliner has created an unusual environment for exceptional clothes."It's not a normal space and not where you'd expect it to be," she said. The concept store is nestled behind smoked glass windows on the ground floor and in the basement of a modern office building.

There's a feeling of discovery as one peruses the racks hung with representative selections from progressive and up-and-coming designers, many of them new to Berlin, such as Jens Laugesen, Richard Nicoll, Anne Valérie Hash, Bernhard Willhelm, Jonathan Saunders, Jain Close/Marc Szwajcer, Zucca, Tsumaori Chisato and Masagon. Accessories, jewelry and sunglasses, many by the aforementioned designers, as well as by Henrik Vibskov, Pauric Sweeney, Jeremy Scott, and Cutler & Gross Vintage, are artfully placed on or in the sculptural yet amorphous elements that cut across the space. The whole environment, especially downstairs, has a luxe spaceship flair.

"I wanted it to be futuristic, a bit Japanese manga style," Roth noted, but with some lush touches like the huge changing rooms behind sumptuous curtains. "Having space to try things on — now that's luxury," she said.

— M.D.

Markgrafenstrasse 33, 10117 Berlin Mitte;

+49-30-20-61-42-51;

strangefruitberlin.com.

Open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


A BLOW FOR FASHION

An exhibition honoring the late style icon and fashion journalist Isabella Blow, who died in May, will open in time for fashion week and run for a month.

It is being organized by "JustMariOt" Berlin designer Mari Otberg. "Isabella was an amazing person, and I have such respect for her energy, talent and individuality. She was always prepared to stand out from the crowd," explained Otberg. "But she was also a very tragic figure, who was trampled on by the fashion world. It was tragic that she never got to share in the success of those she had helped so much."

The exhibition will be made up of a photomontage shot in homage to Blow's style, put together by Otberg and Argentinean photographer Mariano Scopel, one of Blow's many protégés. Berlin store manager Marcel Hertel, one of Blow's friends, will contribute to the show, which will include hand-embroidered artworks, drawings, portraits of Blow and examples of her work from the British paper The Sunday Times.— Damien McGuinness

July 11-July 20; Shoe Store, Alte Schönhauser Strasse 48, Berlin Mitte, and JustMariOt Store, Gipsstrasse 9, Berlin Mitte. Contact: Mari Otberg, +49-30-46-60-45-14

or +49-172-39-013-42; info@justmariot.com.


I'VE GOT MY EYE ON YOU

Berlin eyewear maker Mykita has made a splash worldwide with its award-winning designs. Now it is showing its success in its hometown with its first dedicated shop in the heart of the city's trendy Mitte area.

The shop offers the range of the maker's eyeglasses and sunglasses, including Collection No. 1, which features elegant, ultralight stainless steel frames, and Collection No. 2, which uses acetate for bolder looks, as well as cutting-edge eyewear from other makers.

Mykita's designs, which have been handmade in the company's Berlin workshop since its founding three years ago, have won the Red Dot and iF product design awards.

The shop, created by the brand's four founders, is an exercise in effective design — a sleek, all-white space fronted almost entirely with plate glass.

— Jennifer Sokolowsky

Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 6; +49 (30) 6730 8715; mykita.com.


A REAL TREASURE

The Wall was down, but the mood was up when Tresor opened its doors amid the ruins of Berlin's

No-Man's Land in March 1991.

Hidden in the vault of a former department store, overshadowed by the cranes of the rapidly growing Potsdamer Platz, the club was Berlin's first and most important techno venue. The ravers stubbornly resisted real estate investors pounding on the door until April 2005, when rising prices forced them out.

Now Tresor is back with a vengeance — as, indeed, is the techno scene itself, thanks to nu-rave music and fashion. The new club, housed in a mammoth industrial cathedral of a space in a former power station, opened in May and throws parties Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

— D.M.

Köpenicker Strasse 70; 10179 Berlin; tresorberlin.de
EAT LIGHT

Those expecting to come to Berlin and find beer halls swimming in pork and potatoes may be disappointed; in the trendier parts of the city, it may be easier to find Italian or Asian restaurants than traditional German ones.

The Asian trend is particularly pronounced at the moment, and the new breed of Asian eateries eschews fake bamboo and gaudy surroundings for high design paired with simple, fresh, flavorful food inspired by the staple noodle houses and canteens of Asia. Think of it as East Berlin meets Far East.

Alongside the eternally popular Monsieur Vuong Vietnamese restaurant, newer entrants include Susuru, a Japanese noodle house in a buzzing Mitte neighborhood. Susuru's interiors blend minimalist seating with cherry blossom-imprinted walls and cloudlike light fixtures for a modern, tranquil ambience.

Toca Rouge, set on busy Torstrasse, is more rock 'n' roll, offering modern pan-Asian dishes like Red Black Honey Girl — seared beef served on sweet potatoes — and the Chicken Pimp Roll — water chestnuts, celery and chicken in a wasabi sauce. This eatery is tiny but high-impact, with a stylized drawing of Mao as its emblem, video screens set into the front counter, a red-and-white color scheme and a selection of fashion and lifestyle magazines for patrons to peruse. — J.S.

Monsieur Vuong; Alte Schönhauser Strasse 46; +49 (30) 3087 2643; monsieurvuong.de.

Susuru; Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 17;

+49 (30) 2111 182; susuru.de.

Toca Rouge; Torstrasse 195;

+49 (30) 8471 2142.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus