Join The Art Circus

I meet artist Christopher Sage at the unique venue REH Kunst amidst plentiful bunting and strings of multi-coloured bulbs. Once a GDR extension hall, the (potentially) mobile gallery housed Sage’s latest exhibition “Death at the Sideshow,” which was in part inspired by the bizarre structure of the architecture. He explains, “I was vey intrigued with the space architecturally, and what became apparent with lots of the paintings was how to present them, there was an awkwardness in a space that has no flat walls!” To tackle this issue Sage started to re-evaluate the structure of his work. He elaborates, “It started a research position really of considering the idea of this caravan and the idea of a sideshow, and the different elements that come together in a travelling show; in art and entertainment.”

Abandoned Fairgrounds

One of Berlin’s most infamous abandoned carnivalesque locations is Spree Park, a GDR relic. It is a definite source of inspiration for the artist, “It’s somewhere I’ve kind of come back to several times to explore, I really like this kind of dead fairground atmosphere and it reminds me of Coney Island. I was there not so long ago and was shocked that the big wheel was turning and these very old mechanics were making this sort of screaming sound. It was really an amazing (obviously unintentional) work piece in itself, finding myself there and thinking are these screams of enjoyment or horror?! ”

Sage is also interested in the history of the park – “It starts in a high culture position, very expensive and quite elitist, and then slowly becomes more open and affordable to a larger audience and into a position of dying out and now a rejuvenation.” He feels that this relates to his profession as a painter, “Even when I studied at Reading and graduated in 1998 the whole topic of painting being dead was around, it’s very interesting this idea of how painting is difficult to define and this afterlife, what lives on.”

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