Riding on Opium?

In the final days of Frauke Boggasch’s exhibition (showing until Jun 30th) at the gallery Cruise & Callas, we had a chat with the German artist to find out more about her love for Berlin. Filled with curiosity regarding her self-portrayal, scattered through her latest works and the mind from which such beautiful abstract forms were born we spoke about her soft spot for the up and coming Berlin district of Neukölln and she told  us all about the plans for her closing party, complete with Japanese ghost films and deep and dirty house music. 

BAPS: What brought you to Berlin? Why do you choose to live and create artwork here?
FB: Well, for me Berlin is still the only city within Germany, where I find all the “conditions” I need for myself to work and live. After coming back from a research stay in Tokyo – at that time I had to come back to Nuremberg  – I felt like moving at least to Berlin, especially as there are certain kind of connections between Tokyo and Berlin,  and I still have some family roots here, so it was also kind of “home coming”…

BAPS: What is your favorite Berlin district and why?

FB: Well, it is Neukölln, as I live here. When I moved to Berlin, there was nothing around my neighborhood, it even sounded strange to live in Neukölln…

But there are so many curious places here, still things to discover. I also like Frohnau, maybe quite opposite, due to childhood remembrance.

BAPS: If you’re ever craving something sweet, where do you satisfy this craving?

FB: I am not much of a cake/sweets fan and would rather go for pickles, but if, then I love the crazy vegan cakes from VUX. I do love japanese sweet mochi which can be found in this tiny green tea café Mamecha, along with delicious Yuzu cake, a japanese citrus fruit that I am somehow addicted to.

BAPS: “That sunny dome, those caves of ice” is the title of your current exhibit… what does this title mean for the exhibit and your artwork?

FB: I have chosen that title as it quotes a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and started after a night under the influence of opium and therefore remembering a strange dream – and it is still an impressing (dark) romantic scripture featuring different realities.

For me, the title’s dichotomy reflects the united extremes that you will notice when you enter the exhibit. The gallery itself is a special place, a former motorcycle workshop, and facilitates somehow the dramaturgy of the shown works, starting with the paintings, followed by two self-portraits and leading into the huge cellar, where the circle closes with a projected film.

BAPS: Berlin is quite a busy city, but there is a lot of green area where one can escape to and feel somewhat outside of the “city life.” Is there any outdoor area of Berlin that motivates your work in particular?

FB: No, I am not that kind of person to sit somewhere outside to think about my work, this is a somehow important and intimate part of the painting process, occurring either sitting in my studio or at home. So if I go to some favorite places like Hasenheide or Von-der-Schulenburg-Park, it is more like doing some sociological studies of the outside world…

BAPS: In a few words, what can gallery visitors expect from your closing?

FB: For the closing or finissage party two of my favourite DJs will play. I love their work as it is mainly deep and dirty house which seems to be perfect for being played in that huge and somehow  ghostly cellar.  And instead of showing the film that had been projected there for the time of the exhibition, some excerpts of influential classical (also traditional) Japanese ghost films will be shown.