Five years on, the Heidestraße Gallery Mile has become a high point of the Berlin art scene. Although big names have come and gone – Haunch of Venison shut its doors last year and Nolan Judin is on its way to Potsdamer Straße – the independent compound continues to thrive. But the gallery mile isn’t all Moabit has to offer.
Before the eastern edge of Moabit began its art boom, Galerie Nord, under the leadership of Ralf Hartmann, established itself as the center of Moabit’s art scene. Taking on the mantel of ‘Kunstverein Tiergarten’, Galerie Nord extended its exhibition space to 350 sqm by nabbing the entire ground floor at Turmstraße 75 after the city abandoned the area’s youth library.
The gallery’s commitment to the area remains constant; they took the helm of the Moabiter Kulturtage and injected the event with social (and local) relevance.
On the leafy Waldenserstraße, one block north of Turmstraße, Majla Zeneli takes a broader approach. Her two-year-old gallery and workshop Manière Noire rotates exhibitions from international printers every two months and is booked until 2013. “I want to create a center for printing in Berlin,” she says. In Moabit? “Of course. Why not?”
Galerie ZK on Emdener Straße is unapologetically tiny, with intermittent opening hours (call ahead, if there isn’t a scheduled event). The gallery exhibits an innovative program of what they term ‘anticipatory contemporary art’. If that sounds vague, last year’s Kika Thorne show should clarify things. The gallery installed the Canadian artist’s Lycra sculpture Singularity, an hourglass-like form that engulfed the entire space. Visitors gazed through the glass door, wowed as much by the physics-defying feat of setting up the work as by the work itself.