As soon as I posted yesterday Hellwag arrived with my supplies. Check out the page “My Work” to see the progress of what’s going on in the studio.
Category Archives: Berlin
Today we were given access to our studio space. It is an old grocery store that has been hollowed out and turned into a show space/work space for artists. Can’t not wait to start making art for 10 hours each day minus weekends.. More posts of pictures to follow under “myWork” soon to follow.
Located between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Peter Eisenman, the designer of this memorial, created a plan that would consists of the Field of Stelae standing on 4.7-acre site. This Field of Stalae, consist of 2,711 concrete slabs, which are 7’10” long and 3’1” wide but vary in height (8” to 15’9”). Eisenman wanted to create a design that would produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere aiming to “represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason”. As the viewer begins to move through the piece, they begin to see that these tall structures are placed on a sloping ground. The combination of the growing evenly placed slabs on a slopping field certainly contributes to the an anxious feeling one can get when entering this site.
** I had a video of me walking through it but am having trouble uploading it. Sorry
For more information on this memorial: http://www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en/memorials/the-memorial-to-the-murdered-jews-of-
Inside of the Jewish museum was a collection of work by the artist Bedřich Fritta. Bedřich Fritta was a Jewish artist trained in Paris who was later taken to the Theresienstadt ghetto during the second War. Here Fritta supervised the drawing studio of the Jewish technical department. There were up to 20 imprisoned artists working to produce construction plans and illustrations for reports that had to be sent to the SS commandant’s office. The illustrations that they were produced were to show the ghetto as a smoothly functioning, self governed model settlement. They were to hide the truth that was the misery and horror this “model” concentration camp was really.
The drawings that were on display were not this officially commissioned works but the unofficial drawings Fritta hid depicting the truth of the Theresienstadt ghetto. These works he created in inks and pen, later hiding in the walls of this place. The strongly contrasted drawings evoke the pain and ghastliness that Fritta must have felt each day. They depict the malnourished inhabitants and paint a truly dreadful picture of life for the victims of this war. In a few works it even illustrates how those running this ghetto would embellish the area when visitors came, hiding bodies and “fixing up” the model Jewish inhabitants.
I find it this work to be a true testimony of how strong this artist was during this trying time. Despite knowing the amount of trouble he could encounter, the hardships and injustice he saw pushed him to create this work. There was one piece that really touched me. It was a small movie that was made of a book he drew or his son Tomas for his third birthday. Unfortunately, these unofficial drawings were found, sending Fritta and his family to a Gestapo jail. Later Fritta was sent to Auschwitz where he died of exhaustion.
Boros Collection Bunker
Inside a massive 5 story solid concrete building on Reinhardstrasse in Berlin, lays the Boros Collection Bunker. The collection is not housed inside any normal building but in a semi-renovated old bunker from WW2. The building was first intended to be an air-raid shelter for the civilian population built by forced labor. The history of the building is pretty interesting: shelter turned prison, turned fruit warehouse, turned rave club, and finally into a huge art shape. The entire building is 38 meters (125 feet) long and 16 meters (52 feet) and has concrete walls that are 2 meters thick. Obviously, this building would have withstood an air raid without any problems.
While the building and its history are definitely impressive, the artwork that is exhibited inside is also of a high caliber. The 3,000-square-meter interior space, which once sheltered 2,000 people from flying bombs, now holds contemporary works by a variety of artists. Currently the aritsts Ai Weiwei, Awst & Walther, Dirk Bell, Cosima von Bonin, Marieta Chirulescu, Thea Djordjadze, Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, Klara Lidén, Florian Meisenberg, Roman Ondák, Stephen G. Rhodes, Thomas Ruff, Michael Sailstorfer, Tomás Saraceno, Thomas Scheibitz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Danh Vo, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thomas Zipp are showing at the collection.
The current exhibition installed by these artists is only the second show (ever) the Boros Collection has had. Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures inside the bunker but it was diffidently a great experience. While the space had been somewhat renovated it still is clearly a bunker and is not the typical “gallery” look we are used to. Seeing the artwork intertwine and utilize the design of the old bunker was really inspiring.
This Wednesday, I had the pleasure of going to the studio of Tobias Sternberg. While in his studio Sternberg did not simply want to talk about his work, but give more of a lecture on making it as an artist. He discussed the ‘ripple effect’ in the art world. How putting your work out there, entering shows, and going to events (shows your in) can lead to more in the future. Sternberg also discussed 3 necessities he felt artist should remember and do:
1) Keep your faith: in your work and self.
2) Meet people: go to the shows you get into when possible; offer your help to install your work. Give people a person/face to put toward your name
3) Work hard: Be in your studio working and creating. The amount of time you put into your work will pay off in the end.
Tobias Sternberg is a multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, collage, video, and installation. http://www.tobiassternberg.com/
On a walk back from the U-bahn found this on the ground. Bricks and a plaque laid to show where the Berlin Wall stood.
I arrived in Berlin early saturday and spent the weekend exploring the city blind. Blind in the sense that I was not familiar with the exact historical location of exactly where I was. I knew I was close to where the wall stood, but little did I know how close I was.
On monday, the other participants of the program and I were given a guided tour of the city. On this tour we were show the locations of a few spots we could buy supplies andfabricate some of our work. More so on this walk around the city, we were enlightened to exactly where we were staying. We would stay for the next 6 weeks were within a few yards of the wall. I could have gone out on my balcony and without have to strain my eyes see the wall. Had I been saying here 40 years ago, I would have been in East Berlin.
We stood on a bridge between what was the diving point for East and West Berlin. Looking toward my left and my right, there was one site that showed the differences between the two locations. It was not loud and had it not been pointed out it would have gone unnoticed possibly forever by me. There was no loud sign, no graffiti demonstrating opposition. Instead the difference between the two sides were shown through the street lights. The lights of the west were much like the street lights we’ve would more likely see US. A sign of western culture most likely put in by an american company. The street lights of the East we simple in their design, a box light on top of a pole.
I found it interesting how through the subtle differences of something so simple laid a much more complex story. The more I found out about where I was and the history it held, the more I saw the subtle differences of the opposing sides. This began to make me more curious about the other silents signs of the cities recovery and history I was missing.