Last weekend saw the unfolding of Reference Berlin, a 24 hour festival orchestrated by Mumi Haiati's Reference Studios. Held in a Berlin car park, the event centred on the theme of 'working out loud' – a process of sharing ideas. Curator of the Serpentine Gallery, Hans-Ulrich Obrist played a key role in organising the Neukölln initiative. In his words, 'To address the big themes of the 21st century we have to go beyond the fear of pooling knowledge.' It seems at its core, Reference Berlin was about collaboration.
Reference Berlin delivered. Comprising installations (filmic, aural and floral), performances and panel discussions, the day long-occurrence saw 2,000-something attendees pass by. The highlights? Ikebana by Haruka Hirata to accompany the launch of ALYX's A/W 19 book Preparations, a panel featuring long-time SHOWstudio collaborators Fecal Matter, and fashion DJ Michel Gaubert's Stanley Kubrick inspired installation.
Pertinent to the ethos of SHOWstudio and Nick Knight were Wolfgang Tillmans' 'Vote Together' placards. Peppering the Reference Berlin space, the posters encouraged UK citizens to be heard, and to vote in the upcoming European elections. Featuring archive imagery from Nick Knight, and text translated by Tillmans, the campaign mirrored the festival's sentiments of sharing, diversity and inclusion.