The “Beyond Seeing” Project in Berlin : Day 2

Hi, how are you ?

I am back to tell you the end of my story in Berlin (I was there on 11th and 12th October). Here is a little reminder of the first day.

I woke up in the Regenbogen Fabrik Hostel. I had a breakfast in the “breakfast room”. There was coffee and tea and I selected a pepper mint green tea. There was dark or white bread, cheese, marmelade, meat or chocolate. I picked some white bread with a slice of cheese. After giving back the keys and sheets and letting my luggage in the reception room, I met Lydia, Typhaine and Katharina in the yard and we took the bus to the Berlinische Galerie, where we were invited to visit a modern painting exhibition accessible to visually impaired and blind people. Reiner Delgado, who actually works for the DBSV, the German association for Blind People, was our guide.

This is only a part of an artwork made of five paintings. A woman is painted, naked, levitating above leaves. Her face is hidden by her arms. Behind her, a sort of flame lights up the scene.

As I said, we took a bus and I would like to underline that bus stops are announced by a voice and that is great. Could be better if that voice was a bit more audible… We met Timo, Reiner and Sonja in the entrance. It seems that the Galerie has just been renovated and I find the place very nice. It is modern but not too much. I felt quite good in there. Tactile signs on the floor allow visually impaired and blind people to locate themselves in the building, guided by a mobile app named “Berliniche Galerie” which indicates the right direction between the rooms and the (seven, I thinl) paintings made accessible to them. The app also works as an audio-guide for normally seeing people, describing all the artworks of the exhibition. It was impossible to adapt all of them, you know… ?

Tactile signs on the ground for visually impaired and blind people

When I say “adapt”, I actually mean paintings that are originally part of the exhibition that have been reproduced, horizontally (except for one of them) and in relief, allowing people to explore them by touching them. Sometimes, it if possible to feel fabrics or carboard among other materials. Somethimes, it is just one hard material. I loved it, it is a really good work. Reiner speaks with a lot of passion and the “seeing” people of the group are blindfolded to discover the paintings. They are quite surprised to realize, when they take the fold off, that they were picturing something far far away from reality. Time ran very fast, I learned a lot and the artworks that were not adapted were attracting as well.

Reiner Delgado describes a painting to blindfolded Katharina Scriba

My co-blogger Typhaine explores a painting with her fingers. The original hangs behind her.

Original and adapted paintings are side by side.

After a good lunch at the Galerie’s restaurant (I had some chicken with a coconut milk and lemon sauce and some potatoes, if you want to know), we went to a very special shop. At the Pick&Weight Kilo Store, you can buy second hand clothes in kilograms. One kilo of t-shirts has a price, not one single t-shirt. Clothes are sorted by color or print. There are also shoes, belts, bags and earrings, for example.

This sign can be found in the entrance of the store. It says that they are selling vintage clothing (womenswear and menswear), magazines, vinyls, fair coffee and art.

After discussing a little about choosing clothes and accessories when you’re visually impaired (what matters most ? The color that can sometimes be seen ? The texture ? the shape of the clothing ? I can write a post about that if you want), we were allowed to do some shopping in that shop. Honestly, I haven’t bought anything because, as clothes were sorted by color, I wasn’t able to find something special. No love at first sight.

Then, we said goodbye to each other. Some of us had to take a bus or a plane to go home, others had a plane but in two different airports. My plane back home was a bit delayed, but it went fine eventually.

Once again, a huge thanks to the Goethe institute in Paris. If everything is fine, I will be in Paris to attend the opening of the Beyond Seeing Project’s exhibition, in January 2018. Stay tuned !

Hope you liked this post !

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