Carolin Saage 25/7
Whoever can remember, was not there
Photography was probably the only thing that was expressly forbidden at Bar 25. And for good reason. Coming together here, season after season, behind the bare wall of an abandoned construction site on the banks of the Spree, was a colorful group of people whose dress and make-up were not expressions of style or coolness, but signs of freedom and vulnerability. Protecting these fragile flowers of the night was a dictate of the highest order, for on the enormous open-air grounds of Bar 25, it was all about the magic of the moment. The holy 25th hour, when shy hearts from all over the world come out of hiding, open up, and become one with each other.The fact that
Carolin Saage was, from the very beginning, the only one chosen to capture the unrestrained goings-on photographically, is no coincidence, but typical for the somnambulistic safety and sensitivity of the bar. For a full seven years, she accompanied the daily, nocturnal launching of the ship of fools. A balancing act in that narrow zone between mise-en-scène and documentation that required clarity to begin with. But also an unconditional love for these people. So that nothing is upended, the shy creaturesgo with the flow, in a shower of confetti, in a storm of foam, in plastic horse races, in water, in mud, in sleep,and always timelessly beautiful. Fragile situations as fleeting as the morning mist over the river, and that’s exactly why they’re so great.
25/7, like the bar itself, is a small miracle: breathtaking natural photography of a secret tribe that celebrates letting go. Deliberately holds on to nothing. For, whoever can remember, was not there. It’s good that Saagehad everyone’s trust. And her affectionate, terrific eye.