06 Jul Traveling to Europe this summer – the Boros Bunker in Berlin is must for your bucket list.
The Boros Bunker: A Reflection
by Robin Rosenberg
Recently, I was privileged to visit the Boros Collection, a hidden gem in Berlin Mitte, Germany that houses an impressive collection of contemporary art. Built in 1942 with the initial purpose to serve as an air raid bunker for civilians in the Nazi-era, the five story, virtually windowless concrete structure was acquired by Christian Boros in 2003. Boros converted the space to display his vast art collection.
Despite Boros’ refashioning of the obscure structure, viewers can discern historical traces from its previous functions as a shelter as well as a techno club in the early 1990s in the form of bullet holes and fluorescent paint. These remnants preserve the structure’s rich and varied history, as Boros has stated his conservation measures “makes the bunker into a vessel of history.”
The large structure houses a variety of works including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, multimedia and video. What is truly unique about the collection is that artists are invited to view the space and create their works specifically for the venue itself, fostering a rare, intrinsic relationship between artist, artwork and space. Klara Liden’s ‘Teenage Room’, for instance, is an installation that takes up an entire room that features a bunk bed structure and a hatch through which visitors must crawl in order proceed to the next gallery.
Another work includes Michael Sailstofer’s ‘1:43 – 47’ that consists of a popcorn machine that ceaselessly runs resulting in a surge of popcorn. This work challenges the boundaries of traditional sculpture, as elements of smell are involved and the dimensions of the work are in flux due to the constantly growing amount of popcorn the machine produces.
The Boros collection offers an unorthodox and highly intimate art viewing experience that transcends a conventional museum visit and, therefore, is a must-see for contemporary art admirers.