Berlin has arrived -- literally. Ten Berlin artists and designers, luggage in hand, will be at the famous New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this Thursday for "Berlin Day." Klaus Wowereit, the city's flamboyant mayor, who is already in town for the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, will be on hand to preside over the festivities, which will mark the opening of the exhibition "Koffer aus Berlin" (Suitcases from Berlin), as well as the debut of a new MoMA product line created by artists from the German capital, called "Destination: Berlin."
Each Berlin artist -- in disciplines from music to fashion design -- will present a suitcase they've filled with items chosen to represent their city as a center of creativity. The aim, event coordinators say, is not just a personal insight into the city, but also to create "a snapshot and a cross section of contemporary Berlin creativity."
Famous Berlin artists in on the suitcase project include Werner Aisslinger, who, before the "Destination: Berlin" line hit MoMA design stores last week, was the only German to have one of his designs, a chair, retailed by the museum. DJ Paul van Dyk and illustrator Olaf Hajek are among the other creative Berliners in on the exhibit, which will be open to the public on May 18, on the 22nd floor of the M Project Gallery.
Europe's 'City of Design'
In November 2005, UNESCO named Berlin the first European "City of Design," highlighting the center of fashion, media and graphic design the city has become in the last few decades. Since then, Create Berlin, a company set up to function as an "ambassador" for the city's design talent, and marketing development firm Berlin Partner have collaborated to further the international reputation of Germany's capital as a beacon for hip young artists.
The two companies, who call their collaboration a "design initiative," are launching Berlin Day in New York as part of their new "I Love Berlin" (iloveberlin.tv) campaign to promote the more than 6,000 Berlin companies active in architecture, advertising, design, photography and the fine arts to a worldwide audience.
In step with this goal, "Destination: Berlin" will be the largest sales exhibition of its kind for the MoMA design stores, which are famous for their quirky yet classic products. More than 80 products from more than 20 artists like Bless, Adam and Harborth, and Roomsafari, will be featured on MoMA's website and in their three stores. MoMA describes the line as a spotlight on Berlin's "young and dynamic" design scene. The sales exhibition was arranged by Create Berlin and one of Germany's foremost contemporary art organisations, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with MoMA, and will continue until November 2007.