The "dissolution" of Piotr Nathan's 82-foot wide artwork will allow for the reconstruction of the Berlin club's entrance area.
Piotr Nathan's Rituals Of Disappearance mural, which stands 16 feet high and 82 feet wide, has been part of the Berlin nightclub since it opened in October of 2004. The mural has been taken down to allow for the reconstruction of the entrance area, and each of the 171 square aluminium panels that make the full artwork will be available to buy. As Nathan explains, the mural "has been carefully disassembled and will be offered for sale exclusively through a website, conceived by me, provided by the club."
The club is turning this reconstruction into an art project in its own right, running from March 17th through April 17th. "Rituals Of Disappearance is only to be fully understood in the context of the music at the club, the people who celebrate there, and the unique aura of the space," Nathan explains. "To me it is therefore conclusive to dissolve the work and distribute it primarily among the people who have a connection with the Berghain. The work as a whole is constructed of single plates and will be dissolved and sold in fragments."
Nathan adds: "It is my wish for the panels to find their places in the homes of the guests who have celebrated in the club. After all, this massive mural, although conceived in form and content for a museum, was ultimately designed and realized in this extraordinary club. I compare partying at Berghain to cultic celebrations of indigenous tribes.
"I believe it is not too farfetched to describe this form of celebration as a ritual, a mystery in the sense of a cultic officiating, during which the innermost element remains a secret. In the context of the music and aura of Berghain, the terms cult and secret receive a nonverbal reading. The mural Rituals Of Disappearance provides the first visual impression, appearing as a gateway to the entrance area of the club. It is inviting to enter the mystical ambiguity, to marvel at the enigmatic nature and explore the secret behind this massive mural."
Find out more about Rituals Of Disappearance on the Berghain website.
A new floor, called Säule, is opening at Berghain this month. Its exact location has not been disclosed.
Artwork: Rituals Of Disappearance, Piotr Nathan, permanent installation, Berghain, Berlin 2004
Photo credit: Christine Frenzl