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Empty cinema auditoriums, theatre stages and galleries. Closed concert halls, museums and clubs. There aren’t many sectors – whether worldwide, in Europe or here in the German capital – that have taken such a hard hit from the coronavirus crisis than the art and culture scene. How amazing would it be to go to a great exhibition again, attend a concert or simply just watching a film at the cinema? Even though we took all those things for granted for so long, we are really missing them now and the gap they have left in our lives is becoming increasingly prevalent. But it is also gradually dawning on us that “normal life” won’t fully resume anytime soon. 

Many members of the art and culture community feel like they have been neglected and cast aside during the COVID crisis because the restrictions coming off the back of the second wave are continuing to have a severe knock-on effect on the art, theatre and club scene. That’s why it’s all the more important to draw attention to the people who are responsible for cultural diversity in our country. This was the idea behind “MISS YOU” – a campaign for the culture community. “MISS YOU” sees itself as a sign of life from the artists and an appeal from the public to the artists, with both sides saying to each other: we are thinking about you and can’t wait to see you again. In short: we miss you. 

With help from BIKINI BERLIN, WallDecaux, the Siemens Culture Foundation, the Klaus Groth Foundation, Visit Berlin and the Culture Senate, a photography exhibition within the public space has been created with around 80 creative forces from all genres. Stars like Lars Eidinger, Max Raabe, Capital Bra, Nina Hoss and the solo oboists from the Berlin State Opera, along with artists from the independent scene, ranging from jazz trombonists to puppeteers, were portrayed by around 20 photographers from the agency OSTKREUZ, in settings far removed from their usual audiences.The result is around 140 photos, which will be exhibited throughout the entire city from 3-16 March, on analogue posters or inside illuminated digital panels. BIKINI BERLIN is also a venue: some of the photography from the “MISS YOU” campaign will be on show until mid-March at the concept shopping mall’s window overlooking the monkey enclosure in Berlin’s Zoo. 

When the cultural institutions closed their doors due to COVID many months ago, artists seemed to disappear out of sight – which is why the exhibition wants to make them visible again. But it also makes it very clear that there is one thing that even the most generous COVID aid package cannot replace: the contact between artists and their audiences.