Germany’s famous porta-rave Love Parade ended last year following a deadly trampling incident that killed 21 and injured hundreds. But even before its official demise, Love Parade suffered a gradual artistic decline that betrayed the event’s original mission, which had been shaped in part by Danielle de Picciotto. The American-born artist, long a fixture of Berlin’s avant-garde art scene (not that there’s only one), conceived the dance party with ex-partner Matthias Roeingh before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Intended as a kind of peace protest, Love Parade eventually fell into a Woodstockian crisis of misappropriation. Nonetheless, de Picciotto remains an authority on club culture in the world capital of dance music. Her book The Beauty of Transgression documents the creative underground of Berlin, from other figures’ perspectives as well as her own as a musician, visual artist, fashion designer, film director, and all-around fount of creativity. During this book event, her equally intriguing husband, Alexander Hacke, a longtime member of German industrial group Einstürzende Neubauten, will perform a sound track to her reading. To scholars of dark electronic music, attending their dual appearance will be like hearing two symphonic warhorses in one evening—except for the total absence of tradition.
Danielle de Picciotto discusses her book at 6 p.m. at Civilian Art Projects, 1019 7th St. NW. $5.