NYTimes: 'In Berlin, You Never Have to Stop'

19 posts in this topic

Posted

Interesting article at the NY Times about the creative class in Berlin. The author, an Australian musician that lived for a period in Berlin, argues that many artists flock to the city, attracted by its hedonism, non-stop partying and cheap rent, end up just not producing anything.

"(...) it seemed that everyone we met was creative-minded and drawn to Berlin for the same reasons we were: to pursue their art. Except that very few of them seemed to have any coming exhibitions or book launches or gigs. “I spent a lot of time talking about the arts over beer or coffee, or at 4 a.m. over a mirror,” Pat ruminated recently, “but I didn’t see a whole lot actually being created.” I found it difficult to disagree with him."

In Berlin, You Never Have to Stop

Thoughts?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I live in Hamburg. My relatives are from the South, so I can't say I care much for the North vs. South thing!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Nice edit. ;) You should come back home.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

El Jeffo - Berlin has been a location for would-be artists and people from those scenes to flock to. Whether or not these groups are producing great art or not seems to go in waves, but look at Berlin in the 20's or 60's. Regardless of their art, these youths were drinking and doing drugs, enjoying the nightlife. The only real differences in these groups are their particular style, where they live in the city, and which financial group they belong to.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

To summarize: the author and friends spent three months last summer getting high in Berlin and not working. Lack of a successful album is blamed on city for being too distracting.

The point is that he's not the only one who comes to Berlin with those expectations and who ends up the situation he described. He's not blaming 'the city' as much as he's describing a phenomenon, what a certain type of expat expects from Berlin when they come there and what ends up happening. There are plenty of artists working in the city, and the article acknowledges it.

Personally, I find contemporary Berlin incredibly overhyped. There's this buzz about it being very culturally and artistically vibrant, but I don't see evidence of it being particularly influential beyond German borders. It pales in comparison with Weimar Berlin.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The point is that he's not the only one who comes to Berlin with those expectations and who ends up the situation he described. He's not blaming 'the city' as much as he's describing a phenomenon, what a certain type of expat expects from Berlin when they come there and what ends up happening. There are plenty of artists working in the city, and the article acknowledges it.

Personally, I find contemporary Berlin incredibly overhyped. There's this buzz about it being very culturally and artistically vibrant, but I don't see evidence of it being particularly influential beyond German borders. It pales in comparison with Weimar Berlin.

But in fairness what city today could compete with Weimar Berlin?

While I don't disagree with you the over-hyped-ness of current Berlin I am pretty sure that there were many semi/quasi-artists drawn to Weimar Berlin and who never achieved much of note either. My thought is only that the artistic output of the city should only be judged by art, not by give people who give themselves a label, and then fail to live up to it.

Measuring and comparing the artistic output of contemporary Berlin and other German cities would be interesting, though I presumably it's always hard to measure art at the time. Still it would be interesting to know where, say the top 20 most-famous/influential living photographers, painters, musicians, movie-makers in Germany currently live (ignoring foreign artists where Berlin might have an advantage).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

people who give themselves a label, and then fail to live up to it.

If some one proclaims themself to be an "artist", "writer" or "musician", you can assume with 100% certainty that he/she is really just a wanker, especially in B-Town.

-4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If some one proclaims themself to be an "artist", "writer" or "musician", you can assume with 100% certainty that he/she is really just a wanker, especially in B-Town.

I have friends who are musicians who aren't wankers, but I guess we move in different circles.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I was always wondering what all these people are really doing here in Berlin.

Now I have a NYTimes article as proof and reference to show to friends about these donogooders... :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

decent article... some of the comments on it were the best part :lol:

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This seems quite narrow in several ways. First of all, there are many many professional artists living and working in Berlin. Just ask organizations like the BBK or the KSK. But these artists are not necessarily hanging out in bars waiting to run into reporters. But go to any art center, NY, London, etc... and see how many commercial galleries have artists based in Berlin on their rosters. A lot!

Another point is that the seriousness or commitment of an artist cannot be measured only with commercial/ institutional success. Some of the most dedicated and hard-working artists I know are deep into years long projects but may not be currently exhibiting or chasing down studio visits. Some people come to Berlin to take time away from that structure to actually focus on their work and ideas.

Instead of clinging to stereotypes of hipsters and generalizations of bohemian artists, go see some exhibitions and check out some of the many interesting artist-run project spaces in Berlin!

I compiles a list of art guides for the students of my drawing and painting workshops at the Berlin Drawing Room that some of you might also find helpful, if you are interested in looking a little deeper.

http://berlindrawingroom.blogspot.de/2014/03/guides-for-seeing-art-in-berlin.html

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now