Feuerle Collection Berlin - a Bunker with a Thousand Treasures
The Feuerle Collection is not a museum for contemporary art like any other.
It is an initiatory journey in search of beauty, a unique synesthetic experience, a walk outside time and space in a phantasmagorical place that is half temple and half bunker.
"I find beauty whether in the first century or in the twenty-first century."
- Désiré Feuerle -
After passing through the concrete walls of the bunker, we are welcomed into a dark corridor where we are presented with the history of the place and the concept of the collection: unique and thousand-year-old pieces displayed between the denatured walls of a bunker that has been renovated by the minimalist architect John Pawson. These works will not be named - a guide will silently accompany us into the hiding place of the Feuerle Collection.
The tour begins in the dark.
The street noise is muffled by the thick walls of the bunker. Some chords from a piece by John Cage are played on the piano while our eyes get used to the darkness. We are invited to continue the tour and walk towards a faint glow that shines at the end of the corridor. The next second, a stunning, magnificent sight.
Perfectly aligned Khmer sculptures of goddesses from the 10th century stand out through the play of light and shadow. These silhouettes with multiple arms seem to dance under the light. Chimeric volumes that echo on the floor, walls and ceilings. Accompanied by this ballet of shadows, we move towards a mirror with smoked glass, which we would be tempted to cross. The silence and serenity emanating from this place reminds us of a temple. The roughness, imperfections and stalactites of the bunker contrast with the smooth surfaces of the chiseled bodies. The entire space is a work of art.
On the left side there is a room filled with water, which is separated by large glass windows. The room, in which water is constantly leaking, could not be dried out. In the end it was left as it was. Next to the main room it runs as a peaceful landscape, a meditative work of art in which the water flows imperturbably.
Next to it is a door which is forbidden to enter outside the rituals organized by the collection. In this small adjoining room, private incense ceremonies take place, led by a master of incense from Taiwan.
The second room mixes the antique wood of imperial Chinese furniture with the naked and distorted bodies of Nobuyoshi Araki's black and white photographs. The erotic images are arranged with great modesty. The subdued lighting and the staging create a perceptible tension.
The particularity of the visit to the Feuerle Collection lies in the presentation of all these pieces and works of art of different styles and periods in a 6000 m² bunker dating from the Second World War. Photographs, statues, pieces of furniture - here regarded as sculptures - and installations are presented without category or label.
With a curious personality and a passion for well-chosen words, writing and discovery are my two passions. Berlin intrigues and fascinates me, with its cultural and artistic richness, its modernity and its ability to constantly renew itself.
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