Friday, 7 August 2009

The World Within

Hi Rachel,

Been to see this show at Stedefreund. The project is inspired by the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and explores the idea of boundaries in the city in different ways. So really interesting for us. There was one piece based on an illuminated kebab sign, by Inken Reinert. The artist talked about how he grew up in west Berlin where there was a Turkish community and so Kebab shops were familiar, When the wall came down he moved to East Berlin and remembers the first Kebab shop arriving, and the surprise and initial awkwardness from residents.

Its almost too obvious a point to make, but the Berlin wall is perhaps the clearest example of some of the issues we explored in 'Oxford / Paris Correspondence' In some ways the wall is now physically invisible for large parts of its route. But other indicators like forms of social housing, or communist monuments feel quite poignant. Talking to people of our age who grew up in the DDR there seems to be a sadness that their history is being neglected, and major DDR buildings not well maintained.

We have made quite a lot of trips further east. (especially to a geogeous lake Orankesee to swim) And although Prenzlauer Berg where we are staying is funky and fun old east Berlin, not far way it becomes quite bland and monolithic and there seem to be differences in styles and habits.


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