Reading other reviews of berlin galleries it seems that German gallery attendants have a reputation for being a bit...strict. The bad news is that the examples at hamburger banhof totally reinforce that reputation. One seems to be lurking at every corner, following you with their eyes or shadowing your moves from room to room. Step too close to a painting, even one without any kind of barrier, and a guard will quickly order you to move away. Its intrusive, unnecessary and sometimes a bit creepy. Angela Merkel, if you're reading this, please tell your cultural paramilitary forces to relax and let people enjoy Berlin's many superb art galleries. And hamburger banhof is surely of one of the best. That's the good news. Crisp and white, this cavernous place goes on and on. In one three hour visit I heard delicate music by susan philipsz in the main hall, watched real life wargame videos by harun farocki upstairs, walked amid Warhols and wandered for an age among in the wall works show. By the time I got to the Joseph beuys exhibition, of which the gallery is very proud, I could take no more. The morning had passed into the afternoon. I'd entered the twilight Artzone. Even the shop's great. Face it: the Germans do art well, despite the heavy-handed guard thing.
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