Kunst Non-Stop

Art, Conversations
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“You have to take your time and wait for the right moment to come.

Don’t push and shove too much.
  Patience is the key to success!”   Hans Brückner

November is a dreary month – especially in Berlin! But at least Berliners can look forward to an exciting program of visual and performance art every single evening this coming month. Musicians, authors, actors and visual artists will entertain and amaze the audience with a truly exceptional program during 30 Tage Kunst (30 days of Art) at the orangelab. Station to Station met up with the actor and initiator of 30 Tage Kunst, Hans Brückner. 

You don’t notice the orangelab when you come up the stairs from the subway tunnel. Located on West Berlin’s Ernst-Reuter-Platz 2, a traffic circle close to the Technical University Berlin, it blends in with the other rather gray buildings amongst where it is situated. This former server room of an IBM office in a landmarked building, doesn’t seem like the ideal spot for Berlin’s art and cultural scene.

However, the first superficial impression is blown away when you set foot into the very bright and open space of the orangelab. Looking out of the big window front, sure – you are still surrounded by some unsightly buildings, but the perspective rapidly changes whilst checking out the inside and what it has to offer. Hans Brückner uses Klaus Wowereit’s words: “Arm aber sexy”- “Poor but sexy” to describe this part of the city. He wants to draw attention to Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and bring part of the cultural scene back here. For him it is an affair of the heart hosting “30 Tage Kunst” in West Berlin, as most of Berlin’s creative scene is set in the East. 3o Tage Kunst has found a steady setting at orangelab where it is now for the third time.

“Only six more days to go and the first performances of 30 Tage Kunst will lie behind us.”  Hans Brückner’s eyes light up when he talks about the fourth installment of his festival, a cultural highlight he personally curates.

Hans Brückner with Stefanie Tendler at the orangelab

Born out of a phase in which his acting career was stagnating, Brückner suddenly had a lot of spare time and started pondering what to do with it. A career as a professional criminal or alcoholic was out of the question, so he found inspiration in the idea of Dorin Popa, the organizer of the PopUpStore  “100 Tage Bücher” (100 days of books).  After the success story of this event in Munich, Brückner thought he could read 100 days – “Hans Brückner liest 100 Tage.” But after literally sitting down and counting 100 days in a calendar, he realized three and a half months are quite a long time span.  Hans Brückner couldn’t imagine anyone would seriously be interested in seeing him read for 100 days. So the idea was quickly adjusted and 100 days were snipped to 30.

The next step was to choose the ideal month for such an event. Personally being quite fond of the month in which the days start getting grayer and the trees part themselves from their last leaves,  Hans Brückner came to the conclusion that November would be perfect for some cultural enlightenment.  What should he read, he asked himself- The Bible? The Great Gatsby? The Nibelungen Saga? And then once again, who would come to see him? For the third and last time his idea needed to be modified and “30 Tage Kunst” saw the first light of day.


Putting together a program for his “newborn baby” for the first time in 2009,  Hans Brückner offered artists of all kind to take the stage and be part of his event. He wanted to give them the opportunity to try out something new, to fulfill themselves in letting them present something they had always wanted to, but were just lacking the right kind of environment to do so.

Finding the right setting for his event was the next challenge on Brückner’s determined road to success. Marc Doege opened the gallery POPUP 195 in October 2009 and this real estate was to become the first location for 30 Tage Kunst. With little money, a short preparation phase, but a huge portion of vigor, Brückner manages to launch his event, creating an open house atmosphere for 30 different artists from November 1st-30th presenting a diverse program ranging from literature, theatre, film to music.

After a  successful prelude but an unsuccessful attempt to repeat the event in 2010 based on the lack of the right location,  Hans Brückner keeps his calm which in the end pays off, as he finds the ideal location – the orangelab. He states: “It’s like sitting out in the open water of the ocean, paddling, while waiting for the next big wave to arrive. When you see it coming you have to succeed in getting onto that wave, keeping your balance to ride it and stay on it as long as possible, only to find yourself back in the original waiting position.”

Film poster for “Berlin in November” which will be shown at 30 Tage Kunst on Nov. 30th.

The event has been growing ever since, not only with the audience, which keeps getting larger year by year; but also with the participating artists, who have been absolutely exceptional. In order to keep the high quality of his festival and to reward the hard work of all the participants, Brückner decided to charge an entrance fee of EUR 12.50 for some of the events. He emphasizes that you will not regret a cent. Nevertheless, he hesitates recommending one specific event, as all of them are very special to him. With the opening concert of Demetrios Karamintzas and Galya Kolarova on November 1st , the 30 Tage Kunst festival is ready for its’ fourth very unique and colorful round in a month in Fall that usually is a rather dull one.

Station to Station is especially looking forward to Abigail Dyer & Andrej Hovrin’s performance on November 24th, as we already got a small taste in what we can expect from the New Yorker dramatic soprano, as S2S met up with Abigail to find out more about her true passion and a well-timed meeting that had an influence on the devolvement of her career.

Here is the full event calendar.

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