Wednesday, 8:57pm
30 September 2009

Only in Berlin

In the street where no-one steals your shoes, The Devil is a Loser

We arrive deafened by the noise of our cranky bicycles on cobblestones in Kreuzberg to find a pavement littered with hundreds of pairs of shoes, writes Holly Wales, and inside everyone is stepping carefully across a network of Perspex frames on the floor, a mix of socks and pink slippers, everyone is studying all the work with a great deal of curiosity; or perhaps to work out where they should put their feet next.

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Where are we? After too many left turns to remember, we have reached, ‘The Devil is a Loser and He's my Bitch: Devout Sacrilege’, a Friday night exhibition at ‘the only transvestite-run gallery in the world’.

This sort of inventiveness in curation and installation is a hallmark of Berlin openings; anything’s possible. Maybe it doesn’t work, maybe it will never catch on, maybe it’s rubbish, but it feels exciting.

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There is an open invitation to open a gallery and pull this kind of thing off on a quiet leafy residential street. And it’s even better that no one steals your shoes. It’s not so much about the free beer here (although of course that still helps) but about an invitation into something more private, just like Alexis Zavialoff’s ‘Dinner For Friends’ at Appartement in Prenzlauberg, a monthly exhibition at which the hosts provide a free three-course meal on huge banqueting tables for everyone who joins a Facebook group.

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