Temporary Spaces by Martin Eberle

Valerie MacEwan

There is a sense of profound loss in the comments made by the club patrons, of affection for one temporary space now discarded for another.

Temporary Spaces

Publisher: Die Gestalten Verlag
Price: $45 (US) strictly limited edition
US publication date: 2002-04

:. e-mail this article
:. print this article
:. comment on this article

forward ever backward never

"I struggle to be brief, and I become obscure."
-- Horace, Ars Poetica

For ten years Martin Eberle filmed Berlin's infamous club scene. These clubs, known as the "international benchmark for improvised coolness", provide an incredibly rich palate for Eberle's stark and revealing photographs. By reducing the temporary spaces to the bleak reality of their transient existence, the interior and exterior photographs expose the run-down facades and eclectic interiors as they truly were.

Human interaction is illustrated not through the photos but instead, as text, providing a surreal juxtaposition of life and death as the club-goer's animated dialogue contrasts with the pictures of the abandoned spaces.

There is a sense of profound loss in the comments made by the club patrons, of affection for one temporary space now discarded for another. The Berlin club scene still exists, an underground movement of Ecstasy, alcohol, and raves, supported by Internet instant information accessibility. But this book is not a judgment call. It doesn't celebrate or condemn, it documents. And it is an extraordinary documentary of a moment in time.

The descriptions read like obituaries, detailing the birth and death of the club followed by eulogies from its patrons.

"Why are my friends such finks?" New Year's Eve 1998/99 t o November 2000. In the immediate vicinity of the Reichstag, separated only by the river Spree and a train track. Open just one day a week (like many others), in the beginning eve on afternoons. Surprisingly low room between two floor levels, to be reached via an old wooden staircase. On the walls tiny drawings and carefully attached flyers. The courtyard is somehow part of it (barbecues and lounging) as well as the room to the street which is intermittently used as a gallery space.

[comments] Every five minutes a local train passed. You watched the passengers and slowly but surely turned sentimental. Sebastian Sitting in front of the second window (open in the summer and to the right of the entrance) and looking out you could watch the bright trains going past. On the one hand this was very relaxing, on the other it meant you were somehow always moving. And it made you sad when you arrived and the space was already taken. Esther

Those familiar with my reviews know that I am unabashed in my appreciation of Die Gestalten Verlag's publications. Perhaps one day they will create a substandard volume, but I doubt it. Temporary Spaces lives up to their incredibly high publishing standards. This full color volume has a padded cover reminiscent of a high school year book,which struck me as especially significant, because these temporary spaces, these clubs, were as fleeting as high school. It is a thought-provoking visual commentary, an "uneasy declaration of love for the transience and enthusiasm reverberating in the clean, architectonic accuracy of the pictures." Not just a notch in any bibliophile's belt, this one's truly interesting and compelling -- an amazing book.

GALERIE BERLINTOKYO "In those golden days good clubs had shitty toilets. When you wedged yourself behind the garbage bins in the couryard you know how great the berlintokyo had to be. Here we learned to piss while standing, analysed concerts and relationships with our trousers down, made new friends while shouting "it's busy" when too many people tried to squeeze in behind the yellow container. Here we ruined long coats and shoes, drank away embarassment and vanity and always knew that washing your hands is something for lightweights. Imke





The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.


Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.


For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?


Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".


Becky Warren Shares "Good Luck" and Discusses Music and Depression (premiere + interview)

Becky Warren finds slivers of humor while addressing depression for the third time in as many solo concept albums, but now the daring artist is turning the focus on herself in a fight against a frightful foe.


Fleet Foxes Take a Trip to the 'Shore'

On Shore, Fleet Foxes consist mostly of founding member Robin Pecknold. Recording with a band in the age of COVID-19 can be difficult. It was just time to make this record this way.


'We're Not Here to Entertain' Is Not Here to Break the Cycle of Punk's Failures

Even as it irritates me, Kevin Mattson's We're Not Here to Entertain is worth reading because it has so much direct relevance to American punks operating today.


Uncensored 'Native Son' (1951) Is True to Richard Wright's Work

Compared to the two film versions of Native Son in more recent times, the 1951 version more acutely captures the race-driven existential dread at the heart of Richard Wright's masterwork.


3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".


'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.