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Visions of the future on the Berlin Cathedral

Projection artists presented their thoughts

How do artists interpret the festival motto “Creating Tomorrow”? What are their thoughts on the future? What wishes are in their heads and hearts? With these questions in mind, Birgit Zander – director and artistic director of the festival – asked internationally renowned and festival-proven projection artists to interpret the theme. The result has been eight very expressive projections that can be seen on the façade of the Berlin Cathedral on all days of the festival.

Daniel Margraf is in great demand by the festival team and of course the audience*, for many years he has been creating colorful projections on Berlin buildings. In his works, technology and feeling play together. Atmosphere is created with flair and sensitivity. He is fascinated by the calm, analog light, which he directs with meticulous precision onto the respective buildings. His still images challenge the eye and yet are a counterpoint to fast-moving times and hectic video images.

The artists of MP Studio from Bulgaria are also old acquaintances at the festival. “We make ideas play!” they say of themselves, meaning that in addition to their technical skills, they are also wonderful storytellers, inventors and strategists. And these talents are essential when creating such emotional, eye-catching and large-scale works. Their projection on the Brandenburg Gate last year featured the Berlin Bear as well as the greeting “From Berlin with love” – a motif that was particularly popular on social media.

French painter Thierry Noir is known to Berliners as the one who painted his colorful heads with protruding noses, giant lips and googly eyes on the Berlin Wall in 1991. The art can still be admired today at the East Side Galery. He was also present at the festival several times, his colorful heads could be seen on the Brandenburg Gate, for example.

Long-time festival-goers will surely remember the wonderful stagings of historic church windows on the Nikolaikirche. Or the mosaic-like interwoven garden on the Hotel de Rome. Both are from the studio of Englishmen Ross Ashton and Karen Monid. The artists have specialized in large-scale projections since 1992.

The trademark of the Chilean Otto Schade are the interwoven bands of color, which he shapes into figures with often ironic statements. His colorful, larger-than-life tiger on the “P5” at Potsdamer Platz, for example, is worth remembering.

Berlin-based Archan Nair specializes in mixed media, illustration and digital art. He taught himself his artistic skills. Mysteries of existence and the fact that every action triggers a universal chain reaction influence his works. For the Festival of Lights he staged the Humboldt University with an imaginative, very colorful projection.