Sunday, March 04, 2007

Brrrrlin! Art for art's sake.

So I moved to Germany.
Berlin is fantastic, everywhere you look, every street you go down there's something amazing to see. It's incredible.
Artwork is really for the public and away from the stuffiness of "scene" or "business" or "celebrity" like in London. Space is utilised and scrawled graffiti and murals cover hundreds of walls all around the city. Plus it's a real juxtaposition of artworks because Europeans have all gravitated towards this cultural city hub so you never know what you're going to get.
Last night for example, we found a little log cabin with some models of a kind of twisted version of a Nativity scene in miniature lit by a neon blue strip lights. Next to the little log cabin was an open fire with people clustered around it and another, bigger cabin where we drank some mulled wine and thought about Christmas before warming our faces in front of the fire.
This place was tucked away on Auguststrasse and we were lucky to stumble across it.
Sitting by the fire my housemate and I met another American boy who was travelling around Europe and gushing with enthusiasm about Berlin.

Later on in the evening we all went to a squat-come-cinema-gallery by our house, which was amazing. Large metal letters and debris were scattered seemingly at random on the sand covered foor outside the building and inside was a labyrinth of workshops, installations and a rooftop bar where we watched short movies projected onto the wall of a building opposite us. The artists there were incredibly talented and a general social concern of anti-globalisation and more personal concerns about division and alienation were important recurrent themes. A lot of artists here are exploring how the ideal image of childhood can be corrupted; of course, given Berlin's political history, the need to express freely sentiments of alienation resulting from oppression is still an important topic. Its interesting to hear people talk about their memories of the GDR and the wall. Insane to think this was such a recent event.

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