CLOUD CITIES IN BERLIN

By kristin

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There’s something innately creepy about a room full of spherical plant life enclosed in plastic bubbles and suspended in the air. On a recent trip to Berlin, I meandered to an empty pocket of the city to visit the Hamburger Bahnhof – a former railway station converted into a modern art museum – where the massive central hall currently houses Tomas Saraceno‘s “Cloud Cities.” Drawing inspiration from spiderwebs, astrophysics, and the architectural work of Buckminster Fuller, the artist created a series of cell-like structures that appear to float in space and time.

Some “biospheres” contain a single aerial plant positioned in the center of a clear cell, receiving water through a network of tubes, as if on life support. Others are reminiscent of soap bubbles clumped together like a pack of atoms. In each scenario, the spheres are constrained by an intricate system of black rope netting with intriguing precision. And, as with many large European art exhibitions these days, there are also a few large-scale interactive works where visitors can sit inside or crawl around the multiple layers inside the sphere. If you find yourself in that corner of the globe, I highly recommend going!

“Cloud Cities” represents the first time Saraceno’s works are united into a single installation. It will be on view at the Hamburger Bahnhof until February 19, 2012.

 

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