In the late 1980s and early 1990s, artists began to seek out new modes of creating and living in Berlin. Some flocked to the city to work without the economic and physical constraints felt elsewhere, while others founded artist communities and engaged in activities that attracted people from all over the world.
To speak about this period, one that frames the fall of the Berlin Wall, Andreas Rost and Piotr Nathan will join Dr. Candice M. Hamelin, art historian and curator of the exhibition Berlin, 1945–2000: A Photographic Subject, at the Reinbeckhallen once the exhibition reopens.
Andreas Rost (b. 1966 in Weimar)
Following the events of 1989/90, Andreas Rost occupied the Friedrichstraßepassagen, a five-storey building in the Scheunenviertel that was heavily damaged during the Second World War and abandoned at the time. There, in the midst of its crumbling walls and infrastructure, he co-founded the artists’ community Tacheles. During its initial years, Rost photographed its members and their surroundings. He also asked Annette Gries to interview artists and included transcribed passages in Tacheles: Alltag im Chaos (Tacheles: Every day in Chaos, 1990–1993). The latter, a series that dovetails portraits, architectural photographs, and texts, and that underscores the opportunities that Berlin’s voids offered, is shown alongside never-before-seen images of the Love Parade, an event photographed by Rost in the 1990s, in the Reinbeckhallen.
Rost studied photography under Arno Fischer and Evelyn Richter at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig between 1988 and 1993. Since the early 1990s, he has worked as a freelance photographer, curator, and lecturer. He has been the recipient of numerous grants, including the Stiftung Kunstfonds Berlin, and has recently published Das Jahr 1990 freilegen (The Year 1990: Uncovered, 2019) and 3. Oktober 90 (October 3, 1990, 2020). Rost lives and works in Berlin.
Piotr Nathan (b. 1956 in Gdansk)
Piotr Nathan became a central figure in the Berlin arts scene and close friends with Nan Goldin in the mid-1980s; the latter travelled to West Berlin from the United States in 1984 and then again in 1986 to show The Ballad of Sexual Dependency at the Arsenal Cinema and the Berlin Film Festival. Like countless others, the American photographer was drawn to the city, and returned with the support of a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellowship in 1991. Over the course of the next few years, she photographed Nathan in intimate and everyday situations: while on road trips, resting in a hotel bed, holding his lover, and sitting at his kitchen table, either looking directly at her camera or preparing to inject a needle filled with medication. These portraits are found opposite the work of Rost in the Reinbeckhallen.
Piotr studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, taking painting classes with Sigmar Polke and theatrical scenery classes with K.E. Herrmann. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Kunstfonds in Bonn and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York City. Since 2006, he has worked as a professor of drawing and printmaking at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Kiel. Nathan has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions around the world, and currently lives in Berlin.