When I moved into the Midland Junction Studios about a year and half ago, I thought I was moving into the ghetto. It took about 2 days to clean up and make a 20 sqm space look decent enough to call it an art studio.
But I have taken a rain check on Titling the Midland Junction studios a Ghetto after visiting the Tacheles art centre in the centre of Berlin. Everywhere I walked in these studios I got a wiff of old urine. Along the hallway and entrance to the studio was covered in graffitti. Artist who worked in the spaces had taken a bit more effort in cleaning up there spaces, but the whole place had a bit of a grungy, dirty vibe.
The building used to be a part of a Jewish quarter in the city. In WWII the space was overtaken by Nazi administration. The derelict building was overtaken by artist in 1999, there are 20 + artists working from the space.
The studios had a bit of a strange vibe, each artists set there own rules, some charged to enter to have a look at there work, others charged if you took a photograph, and some artists were just happy to have wonder in an check out your work. It seemed like they all needed to make a consensus decision on payment and sit one person at the front of the art centre if they wanted to charge an entry fee. Anyway, I felt like a bit of a tight arse squirming over a couple of Euro when i had been forking out 10 odd Euro for every gallery i entered in Berlin.
As for the artwork, I wasn't totally impressed, maybe the commercialisation of the studios made me a bit weary. But if you are kicking around Berlin it is worth a look.