Sven Marquardt and Robert Lippok take Vancouverites into Berlin's avant-garde art and music scene

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      You won't need to hop the next plane to Germany to get a taste of Berlin's avant-garde music and art scene: some of its biggest players are coming to Vancouver.

      The Polygon Gallery and the Goethe-Institut are bringing photographer and notorious Berghain nightclub doorman Sven Marquardt and visual artist/experimental musician Robert Lippok here for a series of free events. All take place at the new gallery at Lonsdale Quay and all are free.

      Things kick off on Friday (January 12) with a show called Black Box by Marquardt—an "immersive chamber" of the East German-born artist's photography, all set to the techno of Berghain regular DJ-producer Marcel Dettman. In his images, Marquardt, a key figure in his home city's thriving punk and new-wave scenes since before the fall of the Wall, captures the evolving, ever-storied nightlife of Berlin.

      Before the installation opens, Vancouver painter and longtime Berlin resident Attila Richard Lucacs will host a talk with Marquardt at 8 p.m. You can enter the world of Berlin's underground club scene at 9 p.m.

      (The Black Box then moves to the fitting setting of Celebrities Underground for a week, on display from 2 to 8 p.m. daily at 1022 Davie Street. Admission is free.)

      Lippok heads up the next event on January 27, with a workshop and performance at the Polygon. The artist, from the post-rock band To Rococo Rot, will lead amateurs and professionals alike in creating sounds with laptops and voices starting at 5 p.m., those pieces combining into a performance at 9 p.m. Lippok will then perform himself at 10 p.m.

      These events are part of Germany@Canada2017, a program to celebrate German-Canadian friendship and produced by the marketing and events agency AFM INC.