Berlin has a plethora of Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) but one market this month offers an alternative to the usual glut of Glühwein stands, Crépes sellers and Christmas gift stalls – so if you’ve had a kitsch overload head to Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding.
The Stattbad is a former public baths (Stadtbad) and the Stattmarkt makes clever use of the building’s past – the tiled walls lend themselves to making the most of colourful artwork and there is a light installation by Markus May and Moritz Arnold in the deep end of the pool.
Climbing the stairs from the ground floor to the first floor, with its balcony overlooking the pool, there is a particularly striking piece – I’m Colors, You Inkdians! by Mein Lieber Prost.
Works by $askia (Saskia Hahn) and Emess also caught my eye.
The gallery represents an impressive roster of artists including: Prost, YZ, BR1, Vermibus and ALIAS.
Descending the stairs, I couldn’t resist stopping to take a snap of a hairdryer, a remnant of the building’s past life.
It was back on the ground floor that I found my favourite part of the exhibition. Entering what seemed to be the bowels of the building, with uneven floors and exposed pipework, I encountered artworks and installations perfectly matched to their surroundings.
And in my final room, I discovered my star of the show – KEN (aka Plotterroboter). His installation, Behind The Mask, and accompanying paintings were all cleverly executed and artfully lit.
If I’ve failed to convince you to visit, check out this trailer by Markus Küpper, which ALIAS posted on his Facebook page and led to my visit:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/54609221 w=500&h=281]
So, this December in Berlin, make the most of the traditional Christmas Markets on offer but take some time to seek out the unusual at the Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding.
Location, Opening Times and Prices
Stattbad Wedding (Gerichtstrasse 65) – nearest station: S + U Wedding.
Fri 7 to Sun 9 December and Thu 13 to Sun 16 December: 1200 – 1900.
€5 (€3 concessions).