“Einkaufsbahnhöfe” for Light Art
The Shopping Stations
Imagine you’re going to travel by train and you’re late. There wasn’t enough time for breakfast and you left your reading material at home in a hurry. Don’t panic, there is a solution for your problem!
Deutsche Bahn shopping stations are more than departure and arrival points for 20 million daily travellers in Germany. Because you can shop and feast on the spot before and after your journey or when changing trains. The 50 large railway stations under the “Mein Einkaufsbahnhof” brand, nine of them in Berlin, with over 3,000 shops 365 days a year, ensure the well-being of travellers and customers.
In these stations you can also go shopping on Sundays, because the Sunday rest prescribed in Germany does not apply there. It’s no wonder that the supermarkets, specialist shops, pharmacies and drugstores in the station on Sundays are a popular destination for Berliners who don’t want to travel but just stop by for shopping.
If Berlin’s shopping stations could talk, they would have great stories to tell, about tearful farewells and happy reunions, about culinary discoveries, huge selection and real bargains. Railway stations connect people and overcome borders, railway stations are the gateway to the world – and that is exactly the right material for the moving light stories of the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. Everybody loves it!
Shopping Stations as Festival Stations
The station Zoologischer Garten, built at the end of the 19th century, was extended for tourism for the 1936 Olympic Games. In the years of division it was the station for the journey through the zone into the free world, and after thorough renovation it shines today again in new splendour. Under the motto “Lights of Freedom”, Bahnhof Zoo 2019 will become the backdrop for extraordinary biographical highlights. Berliners from all over the world will illuminate their individual stories of freedom here.
The interplay of steel and glass of the station with the colours and forms of light art creates a moving work of art. The genre: pop art, the picture technique: stop motion.
Next stop: Bahnhof Friedrichstraße
One of Berlin’s most historic railway stations is the Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. During the Berlin Wall it was the last eastern station and a border crossing to West Berlin. Even today the “Tränenpalast”, the former departure hall to the west, reminds of thousands of tearful farewells. In the autumn of 2019, a light production turns the Friedrichstraße into a border station again and tells stories of farewell and reunion.
Last stop: Ostbahnhof
No other station has changed its name so often. First Frankfurter Bahnhof, then Schlesischer Bahnhof. In GDR times the Ostbahnhof was the main station for East Berlin. In the neighbourhood, the East Side Gallery still reminds us of the time when Berlin was divided. During the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, a well-known light artist erected “The Wall of Light” at the Ostbahnhof to mark the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a transparent, radiant curtain that dissolves the Wall into light and sets a sign for freedom.
Another station that will light up during the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS is Savignyplatz, where a sea of dancing flowers enchants visitors to the station. At Hackescher Markt station, guests experience a fascinating pop art puzzle between facades, colours and shapes. And Alexanderplatz station shines in the light of freedom. At Alex, a new generation of light art talents presents their interpretation of freedom with shrill neon tape art, framed by a stylishly harmonious lighting of the station building.
Since Berlin has many more railway stations, a lot is going on. With the mobile campaign “Festival on tour”, the festival is staging ten more stations for one evening each from 11 to 20 October 2019. Which ones? Have a look here, then a light will come on!
Picture 1: Deutsche Bahn AG © Oliver Lang | Picture 2: Frank Herrmann | Picture 2: Frank Herrmann