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Berghain: Arkitekturens ideologi, mytbildning och makt
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Berghain : The ideology of architecture, myth and power (English)
Abstract [en]

Berghain is a techno club in Berlin which has become a popular culture phenomenon due to its selective door policy and the rumour about the decadent parties that takes place every weekend in the old power plant building. Although its popularity, there’s a little scientific research about the club. A lot has to do with the clubs low profile and the photo prohibition inside the club. The purpose of the theses is to investigate the phenomenon about Berghain in terms of mythology and power perspective with the emphasis of the building. The myth perspective is based on Roland Barthes theory about myth as a hidden and ideological message, while the power perspective is based on Mattias Kärrholms theory about architectural territoriality. The method that will be used is a form of architectural field analysis adapted by Åsa Dahlin and Iain Borden and is based on phenomenology. Phenomenology is about using the body and senses to understand its surrounding. As a recurring visitor at Berghain, I have access to the codex and culture and can therefore use previous memories and experience as empire material.

I have initially analysed two texts written by Alexis Waltz about Berghain to understand what kind of myths Berghain reproduces. In the text analysis I found out that the building and the culture created inside Berghain is compared to a religion. The religious is in reality a strong sense of community that is based on subcultural capital, exclusivity and the exclusion of the mainstream culture. As the centrum of the worship are the utmost decadence and the rejection of capitalistic ideals. The shocking and extreme stories that flourish around the internet regarding the activities inside Berghain, function in a religious context, as regulation and morality about the culture. I define the ideology behind the architecture of Berghain as the aesthetic of decadence, which is an opposition to capitalistic ideal of everyday architecture that should produce rested workers. The aesthetic of decadence in the architecture creates discomfort for the visitors through vibrations, loud sounds, darkness and crowded flows, which allows the visitors to reach the point of losing control and to increase the intimacy between the people.

Berghain appropriates values from its own predecessor, Ostgut, as well as techno clubs in Berlin from the early 90’s in Berlin. Even though Berghain is today institutionalized, it still has a temporary aesthetic in the landscape. The building façade also resemblance to an occupied building with it leaking vibrations and noise to the surrounding. The ideology behind Ostgut and the temporary techno clubs in Berlin from early 90’s had the purpos to unify different groups of people in the society, has partly been lost in Berghain due to its door policy that creates exclusivity. The power relation between Berghain and the queuing people are centralized around the visual sight from the Bouncer, which the architecture helps to support. The power relation is stabilized since the same behaviour shows regularly in terms of people separating from each other in the front part of the queue as well as secretly putting beer bottles on the ground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 69
National Category
Art History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371692OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371692DiVA, id: diva2:1273954
Subject / course
Art History
Educational program
Master Programme in Digital Art History
Available from: 2019-02-20 Created: 2018-12-26 Last updated: 2019-02-20Bibliographically approved

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