Bar Babette

Elymus Repens
A proposal by Lucile Bouvard


Silva Agostini, Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld (Very) — Kathrin Sonntag
Benjamin Busch, Lorenzo Sandoval ( — Alice Morey
Susanne Kriemann (Air Berlin Alexanderplatz) — Graham Kelly
Adrien Missika (Belo Campo) — Saâdane Afif
Lin May Saeed (Center) — Emmanuelle Castellan
Maik Schierloh (Autocenter) — Marie Reinert
Hagen Schümann (Åplus) — Philip Newcombe

At the end of September 2018, the iconic Bar Babette will vacate its historic building on Berlin’s Karl Marx Allee. Its closure is a sign of our times and an echo of the city’s gentrification and radical economic evolution. Over the bar’s fifteen years of existence, it has become both a gathering place and an ad hoc institution for the many communities of Berlin’s art scene, which have contributed in their own ways to the city’s cultural richness and attractiveness. For many artists, curators, gallerists, the bar has been a welcoming place to share, meet, and present all kinds of projects.

During this current phase of transition at Babette, a series of exhibitions will be hosted in the emptied bar. These last shows constitute a statement, if not several, of a sort of punk melody melting the discordant and complementary notes of a DIY ethos with the necessity to occupy any remaining space with art—and, of course, the call for loud celebration! Titled “Elymus Repens” the second exhibition of the series aims to pay homage to Babette’s relentless artistic activism and, beyond it, to the vivacity and diversity of Berlin’s off-space flora. Like proliferating weeds, these kinds of spaces keep growing in the available interstices of the city, sometimes dying only to regrow again.

“Elymus Repens” gathers Berlin-based artists who have created off spaces in order to initiate dialogue and give visibility to the works of other artists. It focuses on their works as well as on their roles as curators, initiators, or art activists. The artists have each been solicited to invite another artist, who they have previously shown or want to show.

Reflecting the city’s dynamic art scene as well as a subjective point of view, the selection of spaces and initiatives presented include new and long-established, currently operating off spaces, but also those no longer existing that have played an integral role in the city’s artistic landscape.

* Elymus repens is the botanical name of quack grass or witchgrass. It is a common perennial species of grass that proliferates quickly, thanks to its creeping rhizomes and seeds. Often considered an invasive weed, it has as well several medicinal properties, but remains commonly known for its resistance to eradication.

Elymus Repens.
Elymus Repens.
Elymus Repens.
Elymus Repens.
Elymus Repens.