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  • Angels over Neukölln: Artist Maria Kossak celebrates Karl-Marx-Straße

48h Neukölln

Angels over Neukölln: Artist Maria Kossak celebrates Karl-Marx-Straße

Ahead of her shadowplay performance at 48h Neukölln, artist Maria Kossak visits the district's main drag.

From no-go zone to expat ground zero, Karl-Marx-Straße has come a long way over the last two decades. Thirty-five years after the release of Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire, Maria Kossak revisits the artist’s paradise and spreads her creative wings once more.

“Berlin taught me to never give up looking out for angels. Driving toward Hermannplatz through Karl-Marx-Straße, I rarely see a happy face. People rushing to work, shoppers, hipsters, tourists, migrants, refugees, lost souls, rich and poor roaming the streets. Homeless people sleeping in the dirt. I am slowly approaching Neukölln Town Hall and passing the old Post Office building, when I spot a creature sitting right above the pigeon shit and the craziness of the street. It’s an angel who has somehow become caught up in the barbed wire of a megalithic billboard, and now it can’t escape my gaze. Another lucky day. Today the Karl-Marx- Straße jungle looks like heaven.” — R. Linzer, Neukölln taxi driver.

Maria Kossak is a German multimedia and performance artist of Polish descent. She was born in 1982 in Warsaw, into an aristocratic family of artists and writers. After her mother fled with her to West Berlin in 1984, the experience of the divided city would shape not only her personal, but also artistic identity. Today she explores aspects of personal and collective iconography, modes of female representation and the influences of Eastern and Western mythology on popular culture, particularly in film and photography. Her art has been exhibited and collected across the world.