Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Overall, this week was pretty exciting and eventful; here are some pictures of the things I saw:

These are pictures of: The Brandenburger Gate (as a whole, the top piece known as the Quadriga, and from the side next to the US embassy); front and rear of the Bundestag, German Parliament; a shot down the Street of the 17th of June/Tiergarten; and a picture of the Memorial of the Jewish Victims of WWII.

 A (bear) statue of the Statue of Liberty right inside of the US embassy – looks an awful lot like a pig, which seems rather fitting…

Pictures from Prenzlauerberg – I should have taken more, but, meh.  The left picture is funny: someone painted over and reworded the sign to say, instead of “designer closing sale” to “designer shit failed/fucked up”

These are three photos of the former Anhalter Bahnhof (Anhalter train station), where over 9,000 Jews were deported out of Berlin during WWII.  It was kind of a chilling sight, of course nothing like any of the concentration camps.

This is the Jewish Museum, my first stop of today’s adventures.  I spent about three hours in here, didn’t even see everything, and could easily have spent another three…

Pictures from Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg! What a happenin’ place.  I went to my first imbiss since coming back to Germany (mostly to avoid the temptation of eating döner), and had this amazing vegan dish. The imbiss was called Habibi, and the food was urughi – basically fried veggie-patties with salad, hummus, a pita. Simply delicious. The guy who served was super awesome, too, as he made sure to not use the sauce made with yogurt, what a guy.

 Some pictures of some pretty sweet graffiti in Kreuzberg.The mosque my friend Janet frequented during her stay in Berlin

 Some other pictures of Kreuzberg – this was such a cool place! Full of people and liveliness, loved it there!

Well, that’s most of the interesting pictures, hope you enjoyed them!

I guess I don’t need much of an intro to explain why I’m writing a blog post at 1:15 in the morning.

A brief recap of my weekend:

Friday I visited the Tag der offenen Tür again, as mentioned before.  I couldn’t help but get the feeling I had quasi-met some well-known people (let it be known that I did not speak a word to them, nor they to me, so I guess it was more like observed and was in the presence of). As I was flying from London to Berlin, there were identical twins, males in their late 50’s, who had quite an eclectic look to them, so eclectic that you just know there’s something about them.  Being in England, I assumed they were British and didn’t really think twice (this may be a great time to mention that, despite my previous post, I have NOTHING against British people, truly.).  However, as I was sitting in this dark room, watching this super eclectic film about these grotesque bird-like humanoid things traversing Berlin and confusing the hell out of people (big emphasis on the word eclectic there, it was quite entertaining though), I turned my head to see them both in the room.  The Germans who were hosting the video seemed to pay particular attention to them, directing all comments at them with a sense of dignation.  So, I haven’t given it another second of attention until this very moment, and I am astonished to report that I identified them in 2.3 seconds (who would have thought the search ‘famous identical twin males art’ would be successful…damn, the internet sure is scary).  You can read about them here:  Quay Brothers (they are actually American, go figure. And if you’ve already heard of them, please excuse my ignorance).  And after you’ve read up on them, it should be pretty clear why they had a private viewing of this video (and how I managed to be one of seven in the room is still beyond me).

Saturday I walked for about 9 hours straight, which was good because I did not go for a run (mostly because my muscles were bitterly protesting my renewed sense of needing to move frequently…being a student is great for being lazy.), workout achieved anyway.  I went and bought a few things that I reluctantly did not pack…I really need to use my brain next time I travel.  After a few hours of scouring the Kurfürstendamm area, I walked to the next Tage der offenen Tür event I was anticipating: a free classical concert.  This was a real treat, as any musical show is.  Immediately after leaving the concert, I proceeded to a concert of a different kind: the Germanic Studies student body was hosting their annual faculty party (not faculty in the sense of instructors, but faculty in the sense of all Germanistik students), as all German students and their respective disciplines do (word on the street in Bonn was that the Agrarians throw the best parties…I went to it on my birthday in 2010…it’s a night I’ll never forget, but at the same time I have a real hard time remembering it).  The only reason I knew of this party was because my housemate Jonathan and his band were playing there.  I arrived just in time to drink a tequila sunrise (I’m pretty sure the girl forgot the tequila), and catch their show – one word: awesome!  Only so many people go from classical to rock n’ roll in a matter of hours, I’m proud to be one of them.

Today was a great day of reading for my thesis!  I got another chapter under my belt, which seems like so little, but if you had to read this stuff you’d be happy with those results, too. I also managed to cook a delicious vegan meal for Jonathan and his girlfriend Fredericka (Jonathan’s initial reaction was “you can stay!”, gotta love hearing that) – coconut rice with sauteed potatoes, green beans, and mung sprouts, yum!  I made fish for Jonathan, too, because if I cook it isn’t necessarily fair I force others to adhere to my dietary choices…I don’t think they would’ve complained though really.  If you’re curious for the recipe, drop a line! (it was easy to make, promise).

Now I’m just sitting here waiting for the caffeine to finish coursing its way through my veins…soon enough, I feel exhaustion creeping up on me.  The week ahead is full of reading, planing, more reading, hopefully some writing (the ultimate goal at this point!), some more reading, and delicious vegan eats (homemade hummus turned out pretty good, next is to experiment with kidney and white beans).  And I’m always open to suggestions if you have any.

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. 😛 )