One of my favorite memories from our recent trip to Berlin was visiting the Sammlung Boros. The Sammlung Boros is an old Bunker turned private home and gallery. After being built in the early 1940s as a safe house, the building took on many roles – going from a prison, to banana storage, to a rave club in the early 90s – before being purchased in 2003 by art collector Christian Boros. There are still a few bunkers scattered around the city that are now either privately owned or up for sale. It was quite jarring to turn the corner and run into such an intimidating structure amidst the many quaint, surrounding buildings.
After acquiring the bunker, Boros spent four years renovating the inside and constructing a modern home atop the building. Now, Boros lives with his family in the penthouse and uses the stories below to house his insanely major art collection. The private gallery is open for viewing by appointment only. We were lucky enough to get a tour during our visit by our new best friend and manager of the Sammlung Boros, Hans.
The portion of Boros’ collection we saw was curated to compliment and highlight the space. These pieces – primarily sculpture and light installations – have been up for four years and will be taken down this summer to make way for a new group of work from Boros’ collection to be on view. It is exciting to know that during my next visit to Berlin I will be able to see entirely new art on display, however upsetting as a few of the works were created uniquely for the space and thus will be destroyed during the changeover. Oh well, if only I too could hire Anslem Reyle to come paint on my walls only to cover up his work a few years later. Maybe someday…
Christian Boros has the largest, privately-owned Olafur Eliasson collections in the world, so it was quite appropriate that Eliasson’s fabulous disco ball-esq glass piece is the first major work to greet visitors.
I do not recall this artist’s name, however there is an very interesting story behind this piece. The point of the work is to prove how corrupt the art world is. The artist invited individuals to a gallery show in an empty gallery. It turned out very few people realized there was actually no work on display, they just saw the invitation as an excuse to party. The artist then used trash from this ‘party’ – such as the bottles below – to construct works for his show.
This work by Santiago Sierra was another installation made uniquely for the space. Sierra is famous for his ‘permanent’ works often highlighting corruption and poverty, thus it is appropriate that in order to fit the four structures pictured below, Boros needed to modify the physical makeup of the bunker.
This unknown artist did a series of twelve vases all representing twelve of his closest fellow artist friends – the vase below is Elizabeth Peyton. The owner of each vase must sign a contract upon purchasing the work that they will always keep the depicted artist’s favorite flowers fresh in the vase – Peyton’s happen to be Gerbera Daisies.