Tage der offenen Tür: three days of free art

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Art, Roomies

So I live with a bunch of artists. Well, ok, three artists to be exact, but that’s three more than I’ve ever lived with before.  Jonathan ist Mitglied einer Band aus Berlin – Tonträger – which has some real talent. Check out their stuff here: http://www.tontraegerberlin.de/hoeren_musik.html.  Jonathan has an interesting approach to writing lyrics: he feels not enough artists write in their mother tongue, but gravitate toward English; his goal is to continue writing awesome songs in German (keep up the good work!).

Hahaha so I just realized that I started writing in German without even noticing until I went to reread for the third time, geez…I guess I’ve already immersed myself.  So yeah, aside from living with a cool musician, I also live with the cool musician’s girlfriend, who studies fashion design.  I haven’t met one of my roommates yet, Jan, because he is on vacation in Switzerland (lucky bastard), but I am staying in his room for the moment, so that’s ok by me. Jan is a photographer, so I am definitely looking forward to meeting him in the near future.

Then there is Nina.  Nina studies Art and History at the Universität der Künste and wants to become a teacher (well probably, we’ve all been there though). I save Nina for last because she introduced me to the wonderful event I’ll be attending over the next few days: Tage der offenen Tür – three days of open exhibits by students and faculty of the University of the Arts, Berlin.  Last night I made dinner (thinking my three roommates would be home, didn’t happen), and Nina came home just as everything was finished cooking.  We had a good three-hour conversation (some seriously good therapy for my German), and afterward she invited me to go out to the opening party for this three-day event.  So, at 22:45 (that’s 10:45 pm if you still haven’t caught on to the military time), we headed out, grabbed some beer for the road (it’s pretty friggin’ sweet to buy a beer and have the clerk open it for you as you go about your business, even when I’ve experienced it now for the umpteenth time), and went to one of the university buildings.  What an atmosphere!   Even before we walked in, there were people all over the street, streams of people leaving and going.  We ran into a few of Nina’s friends (not so tipsy) as they were leaving, which was no surprise because they were complaining about the number of people and the loud music (it was pretty much a HUGE party, I really don’t know what they were expecting).  So then we proceeded inward, and once inside, I truly felt as if I was experiencing some authentic Berliner culture.  All kinds of people running and hanging around everywhere, ALL kinds of art each and every way the head turns.  Two people in particular set the mood in the first minute – a punkish type man and an alternative-like girl caught eyes and just started jumping up and down, flailing limbs and screaming “KUNST, KUNST, KUNST, KUNST!!!” (art, art, art, art).  They truly looked mad, but it definitely set the mood; people everywhere where excited for friends and art, socializing and sharing a moment, enjoying the creativity and achievements of a generation’s artistic abilities.

So Nina and I continued our journey through the many rooms, looking at some pretty awesome work, confusing work, and some different pieces, such as a darkened room with dirt on the floor and a white blob-thing in it.  Some art isn’t meant to be understood, but it certainly is provocative (getting dirt in your shoes when your on the 2nd floor inside of a building?).  One of my favorite pieces, can’t explain why, was a model ship out of raw meat.  Maybe it was my recent switch to veeg (short for vegan, thanks for that term Hannah 😛 ok so it’s only two letters shorter), but seeing it was…I don’t even know, strange.  I think it was the flies covering the meat that made me glad that I haven’t put anything like that in my body recently.  No hate on meat-eaters!  Seriously though, it’s tasty, can’t deny that.

For me, there was a frightening part of the evening.  If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo (or any body art, really) in the US, you know that you have to sign a waiver clearly stating that you are sober and well aware of your decision.  In the midst of the drunken debauchery (I’m using that word light here, because it truly was fun and not that wild), there was a tent set up for tattoos.  All I could think of were the poor saps who’d wake up the next day, hungover beyond all belief, and see the ink in their skin that they’d be regretting for the rest of their lives.  Hopefully they don’t live life with regrets!

That’s pretty much the gist of the evening. I plan on attending the next two and a half days of Tage der offenen Tür, which includes all kinds of art, music, theater, performance, even architectural design.  Next time though I will be taking a camera and have some pictures to show! Until then, hau rein!

Update: Ok so I have some pictures (awesome pictures) of some of the artwork, HOWEVER, I don’t want to get into any legal trouble, so I won’t be posting any on this blog.  BUT, if you are curious, shoot me an email at degarman@gmail.com, and I will share these awesome glimpses at some great artwork with you (as long as you promise to not share it or steal, that’s bad, mmkay. 😛 )



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