A Tribute to David Bowie HAUPTSTRASSE The Berlin Years 1976 - 1978
On January 8th 2013, his 66th birthday, David Bowie surprised the whole world by publishing on the Internet a video with the new song Where Are We Now, a touching wistful retrospect of his Berlin years, and on top of that announced his first new album since ten years The Next Day – released this week. We immediately decided to change the spring program of the gallery and to organize an homage to this exceptional artist and performer.
The fact that David Bowie lived in former West-Berlin at Hauptstrasse 155 in the borough Schöneberg is notorious. But the literal translation of the German street name Hauptstrasse means main road. David Bowie in mid-1976 was in many respects completely burned out. In Berlin he found his way back on the main road of his life, back to David Bowie. David Jones alias David Bowie alias Ziggy Stardust alias Thin White Duke had to escape a situation in life, that threatened to devour him – he needed tranquility and anonymity, the freedom to follow his intentions. This he found in the divided city. Hugo Wilcken wrote: "Berlin was an island, cut off from the world, but big enough to get lost in as well. Each layer of the Berlin myth seemed to reflect something in the Bowie persona – the Expressionist artists; the cabaret decadence; the Nazi megalomania; the cataclysmic destruction; the isolation behind the Wall; the Cold War depression; the ghosts who never depart. Above all, Berlin wasn't quite real." Or, as Bowie sings in Where Are We Now: "A man lost in time near KaDeWe…"
In Berlin Bowie recovered, and he succeeded to create something artistically valuable and of seminal impact: The Berlin Trilogy, the three albums Low, 'Heroes' and Lodger as well as the two Iggy-Pop-albums The Idiot and Lust for Life produced by Bowie still belong to the best Rock-records of all time.
With our exhibition we attempt – with works of Abetz & Drescher, Claus Feldmann, Rainer Fetting, K. H. Hödicke, Ivar Kaasik, Wolfgang Neumann, Tim Plamper, Joachim Seinfeld and Snapple, with paintings, drawings, photography and some notes – to trace Bowie's time in Berlin, to approach the phenomenon Bowie, and to suggest the ambience of Berlin in the 1970s.