Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kid Congo Powers in the Reading Room - photos

On Monday evening the reading room was amass with guests wanting to listen to the wonderful and humorous 'road' tales of the marvellous Kid Congo Powers, which included fabulous anecdotes of tours, drive-in movie theatres and an especially memorable one about Jeffrey Lee Pierce's reaction to Stevie Nick's legs protruding from a car... RATS!

Kid was accompanied by Berlin-based musician Fred Bigot and the audience went on to enjoy a 45-minute exclusive story-telling session against the ever-moving backdrop of Snoring in the USA, the sound and video installation by Kristina Leko and David Smithson currently on show at the NGBK until April 13th 2011.

Michiel Brand kindly made video documentation of the event which can be viewed on his Vimeo site.

Here is a selection of photographs from the event:

Report about Eva Khachatryan, NGBK and Kombiticket in Deutsche Welle!

This article is in German

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Kid Congo Powers in the Reading Room, Monday 28th March 2011

Putting up Poetic Puzzles while sweepin the Streets with Joy

Gaby Bila Günther's creative writing and spoken word performance workshop went very well the last couple of days. 6 very concentrated participants joined in over the 3 hours per day sitting in the reading room.

Amy went out on the street with Gaby and put her poems up on the wall

whilst other participants practiced performing their pieces in the space against the backdrop of snoring sounds

Friday, 25 March 2011

Kombicar, Sunday 20th March

Sunday was a stunningly beautiful day, really indicated the start of Spring. And of course the perfect day for a run in the Kombicar. Along with the artists David Smithson and Kristina Leko, Katja Jedermann from the AG Ausstellungsübernahme as a kind of Berliner ExpertIn and myself as chauffeur, a total of 20 inquisitive guests waited at their designated posts to take a ride in the car. David and Kristina had devised a kind of reenactment of their work on show at the NGBK and new passengers were handed a script on entry into the vehicle.

 David greeted guests with a script

 each guest was allocated a part in the script

whilst another one was handed a camera by Kristina to film the proceedings

Needless to say, the dulcet sounds of SNORING were also to be heard, this time coming from the car radio itself! Each stretch would pass by a relic of American occupancy in the city - we went past the obvious ones including Tempelhof Airport, Checkpoint Charlie and Haus der Kulturen der Welt but also past a few anomalies such as a drive in Burger King in Charlottenburg that 'occupies' an important piece of 1960s architecture and the Amerikahaus which during its inception was intended as an information centre about the USA but quickly became a hub for demos in the late 60s.

On returning to the NGBK, David and Kristina gave an hour long artists's talk, explaining the premise behind the work, discussing the activities in the car, and talking about finding out who snores the loudest, amongst other things.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Third edition of the Kombiquiz, this time with the quizmasters Pauline Curnier Jardin and Catriona Shaw!

Kid Congo Powers in the Reading Room, 28. March 2011

Monday 28.03.2011, 18:00 - Kid Congo Powers in the Reading Room.
A spoken word performance by Kid Congo Powers with musical accompaniment at the NGBK.

Legendary Mexican-American musician Kid Congo Powers, founding member of The Gun Club and guitarist for The Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and even former president of the Ramones Fan Club will be gracing the NGBK with his particular charisma and charm to give a spoken word performance, mixed with guitar accompaniment.

No stranger to being ‘On the Road’ (along with its many hazards), his performance promises to be a glorious insight into the more underground aspects of American culture and the very different type of American dream associated with this.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Upcoming events at the NGBK: Snoring in the USA

Yet another exciting event coming up next week at the Reading Room!
Please scroll down for info about Kombicar this coming Sunday...

Gaby Bila-Günther, aka Lady Gaby, is a Berlin-based Romanian/Australian writer & spoken word performer who has been refered to as ‘the Peaches of Poetry’, ‘oddly poetic’ and ‘flamboyant and upbeat’. She has performed, curated and showed text based, photos and video works internationally and hosts monthly poetry and performance show Fuel and Movin’ Along with VERSES in a number of venues in Berlin. Her private studio/salon is called Wonderbar where she organises workshops, exhibitions and readings.

As part of the outreach program for Snoring in the USA, Lady Gaby will give a two day creative writing and spoken word workshop based on the topic and texts found in the reading room of the exhibition, culminating in a poetry-trail from NGBK to Wonderbar with performances along the way!

When: 24 & 25th March 2011
Where: NGBK Events Room with final presentations in the Reading Room at the NGBK and Wonderbar respectively
Who: Workshop for up to max. 8 persons, free of charge

Snoring in the USA UPCOMING events!

Kombicar / Snoring in Berlin, Sonntag 20. März 2011 ab 14 Uhr


Im Rahmen des NGBK-Kunstvermittlungsprogramms KOMBITICKET* möchten wir Sie wieder zu einer Fahrt im Kombicar einladen:

Snoring in the USA ist eine Video und Sounddokumentation einer 7 Tagige und 7 Nächtige Auto-Reise durch den USA. Aber wo findet man den USA in Berlin? Steigen Sie ins Kombicar mit den KünstlerInnen Kristina Leko und David Smithson um einer 'Reenactment' deren Reise zu erleben, nur diesmal im 'wilden Westen' Berlins!

Begeben Sie sich auf eine ca. 15-minütige Spurensuche der USA in Berlin, sowie ein ganz besonderen Art des Road Movies! Stadtinformation, Gespräche und weitere Überaschungen erwarten Sie als Kurzzeit-Passagier im Kombicar. Steigen Sie ein!

Die Teilnahme ist KOSTENLOS
Wenn Sie teilnehmen möchten, müssen Sie sich ANMELDEN an einer der folgenden Stationen abgeholt zu werden. Die Anmeldung funktioniert nach dem Wer-zuerst-anruft-Prinzip. Sollte eine Fahrt schon ausgebucht sein, wird Ihnen ggf. eine andere angeboten.

Es gibt jeweils platz fuer bis zu 4 Leute!


1. NGBK 14:00

2. Platz der Luftbrücke 14:25

3. Hallesches Tor 14:45

4. Stadtmitte 15:05

5. Ernst Reuter Platz 15:30

6. Stadtmitte 15:55

7. Prinzenstrasse 16:15

Drop-off und Wiedertreffen: 16:30 at NGBK

Bitte melden Sie sich in der NGBK an - persönlich oder per Telefon: 030-616 513 -0
oder auch per email:

*Kombicar ist Teil des Kunstvermittlungsprogramms KOMBITICKET der Künstlerin Catriona Shaw in der NGBK.
KOMBITICKET funktioniert wie ein Club und umfasst viele Aktivitäten, Diskussionen und Veranstaltungen, einige davon sind partizipativ angelegt. Sie können Mitglied werden (kostenlos) und, es wird angestrebt, dass daraus ein dauerhaftes Netzwerk entsteht. Dem Club beizutreten ist einfach: senden Sie einfach eine Email an

Friday, 4 March 2011

Kombiticket & Kingston University Sound Workshop

As a starting collaboration and inspired by the sound features of the current exhibition at the NGBK 'Snoring in the USA' by Kristina Leko and David Smithson, which opens tonight, I organised a preview of the show and a discussion with David for a group of visiting students from the graphic design and illustration department of Kingston University, who were over with their tutor Cathy Gale
We met up on Wednesday and had an informal chat with the artists about their work and I then invited them back the following day to participate in a workshop looking at sounds of the city and how to recreate them using their voices. A total of 12 students went out in three separate groups to investigate the immediate vicinity of the NGBK, north Kreuzberg, and took notes, recordings and made sketches of sounds that struck a chord (no pun intended) with them and somehow related to them as being very indicitive of the surroundings. They then returned to the events room upstairs at the NGBK and worked on a kind of timeline of sounds and 'character sounds' for each of them to have a go at imitating vocally.

We placed a zoom recorder on the table, distributed the roles and away we went!

We managed 3 sets of recordings, each circa 50 seconds long, including such wild and wonderous sounds as trams starting up, buses coming to a halt, "woof woof pooch" and "cow little cow", 'clinging' keys and so on and so forth

The students will take home the recordings and develop a short film based on the sounds they have created. This will be sent back to Berlin to the NGBK and screened sometime in May! Exciting!!

Thanks to Cathy Gale and her colleagues and all the participating students from Kingston.