Fries and public pools are tightly connected in Berlin – when you’re spending a day at one of the city’s pools, it’s inevitable to eat fries at one point during the day. It’s a Berlin summer ritual. And one that one of my closest friends, Nele Heinevetter, has been following meticulously for years, until she had the opportunity to become the master of the ritual herself and take over the Imbiss at the pool inside of Humboldthain park, where she now serves fries with a side of contemporary art.
As long as I’ve known her, Nele has been addicted to swimming. She’s one of those friends asking you to meet her at 6am to spend the first hours of the day poolside (a request I, admittedly, never followed, I am more of a sunset lake-kinda-gal). So when she heard that the kiosk inside of one of her favourite public pools was up for grabs, it was probably a no-brainer, that she’d go for it. In that spirit was the idea to combine her pool kiosk business with contemporary art, her passion besides swimming. Nele is one third of Berlin based Niche, a female-run art and architecture tours business, that is known for guiding interested parties to artist studios, hidden exhibition spaces, and unknown buildings.
Finding unconventional spaces to fill with contemporary art is somehow her thing: three years ago, Nele discovered an abandoned flower shop inside of a cemetery in Wedding and decided to turn it into Niche’s first exhibition space, called „Hinter den Vögeln“. Until the cemetery managers decided the certainly well behaved, yet still very hip art crowds made them too uncomfortable and cancelled the contract. An outcome one can’t be disappointed about, considering her new playground is the Kiosk inside of a public pool.
How does it work, then? Well, for one it really is a poolside kiosk, where Nele and her team are serving fries, capri eis, fanta, centershock chewing gums, water guns in the shape of dinosaurs, clear plastic bags filled with candy, and inflatable water balls. And on the other hand the space works as a site for contemporary art exhibition with an extensive program of performances and screenings.
The pieces of this summer’s instalment called Pool features pieces dealing with water by Zoë Claire Miller, Kris Lemsalu, Michael Kleine, and more. In addition, you can enjoy a summer program with Creamcake, who’re hosting a panel on »Europe’s Identity and Aesthetics in 2017« (plus music), Martin Ebner’s screening series, and Broken Dimanche Press, who are doing a reading series. Find the full program on Tropez’ website, it’s going on every second weekend until the pool closes beginning of September.
What about the fries, you ask? Well, they’re really, really good. Coming from someone who spent too much money on “gourmet fries” these last weeks, only to be disappointed with a serving of bland, partially raw pieces of formerly frozen potatoes.