You’re in Berghain, the German capital’s most infamous dance den, blissfully two stepping to the ebb and flow of a perfectly pulsating techno beat. After sweating out the same water volume as the tepid, reality-hardening bath you’ll be having when you eventually get home, you decided to exit the club, fervently vowing never to return (until next week).
As your slowly simmering and soon-to-be apocalyptic hangover starts to take hold, you congratulate yourself on the truly stellar party effort you’ve put in, safe in the deluded assumption that the impending comedown “won’t even be that bad”. Putting trust in your now thoroughly beer-soaked sneakers, you casually stride down the bleak, industrial thoroughfare that flanks Berghain’s exit route, the crunch of sand under foot soundtracking your steps.
You’re tired but jovial, scattered by triumphant, you’re killing it and nothing (save Xanax) can bring you down. When suddenly out of nowhere, like spotting an ex-lover across the room at a house party, a horrifying, belly-flipping sight comes lurching into focus.
Who, on God’s earth, would do this to you? Wild and completely unfounded explanations start to rebound around your brain. Have your parents hired a private investigator? Is this some kind of ludicrous, badly timed police sting? Or even worse, are Mixmag ACTUALLY taking social snaps!?
No, it’s none of those things. This, my friends, is art.
Nachtgestalten (“Creatures of the night”) is an image series by photographer Vincent Voignier that focuses on post-party portraits of visitors to Berlin’s very own “Techno Temple”. Together with project partner Barbara Bernardi, Vincent asked a slew of eclectic guests to pose on the famed Berghain fence, along which revellers must queue to enter the venue. The mix of characters is as weird, substance-soaked and straight up wonderful as you could imagine, giving us faith that Berghain might still be the underground electronic paradise it once was.
Scary and kind of glorious, the thought of having a photo snapped straight out of Berghain is enough to make anyone’s mouth go dry. On the plus side, we’re assured this jaunt was strictly a one off-affair, but stay sharp techno fans – you’ve been warned.