Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Edge of Heaven

So, I watched the film twice, and during both viewings I was totally captivated by it- although I think I understood more the second time through. 

I think it was a great movie choice in terms of beginning to think about contemporary political borders and boundaries in Germany, divides in points of view among different generations, and issues of immigration. The complexities of the characters' personalities and the relationships between them created a multitude of encounters and confrontations that gave a window into many different perspectives on such issues. 

In the "making of the edge of heaven," Fatih Akin was explaining that originally he had written the encounters of the two Turkish men and the mother (Yeter) as confrontations with angry pimps rather than over ideological or nationalistic issues. That was surprising to me, because it stuck out as an interesting dynamic- I'm glad he changed it. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009


So, a link to a video of Brian Ladd giving a presentation at MIT on the 6 month anniversary of Sept 11th- somewhat repetitive with loads of material from Ghosts, but there are some insightful additions also. There is a theme about rebuilding and monumentalizing- the discussions/controversies about how to commemorate the attacks of Sept 11th, but the presentation is mostly about Berlin. Caution: 1hr30min long. Oh, and he gets harshed on a little by some architects/urban planners at the end.

Also, I was thinking about the sense of catharsis that Ladd seems to be describing throughout the book that is produced by commemorating an ugly/shamed era or moment in history. I'm interested in this cathartic effect, and how it is created not only through monumentalizing/museumizing/commemorating, but also through the creation of new spaces (would Ladd consider this 'forgetting'?) specifically houses for contemporary artistic expression. 

Also, I like that Ladd uses remarks made by visitors to exhibitions in comment books in his pondering of public opinions of the time about the decisions to do with demolition/rebuilding/building and overall organizational evolution of urban space... hopefully I can peek in some of these kinds of books...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Metaphorical Altar

I think my altar would have...

-The past, present, and future line-up of artists and exhibitions at the Temporäre Kunsthalle 

-A video of the goings-on on the island that the Kunsthalle shares with the Evangelical Cathedral 

-The guest books from some of the 200+ new galleries in different districts in Berlin

-Cut-out reviews from local papers/magazines regarding gallery exhibitions and news reports dealing with those exhibitions that stirred controversy

-Photographs of the studios of local and international artists 

-Photographs of graffiti/posters/ informal art throughout the city and places like the Tacheless Art Cooperative

Recently, I was reading an article in ARTnews about the rapidly rising status of Berlin on the international art scene and the explosion of new galleries in the past few years. Mostly, I hope to explore the role(s) of contemporary art galleries in shaping new national and, perhaps more importantly, transnational identities in Berlin. I am interested in the messages sent by the inclusion or exclusion of material from collections in the different areas of the city, as well as hopeful/humorous/ugly/hidden/ issues that have been brought to the surface through art exhibition formally and informally. 

This is super broad and I am still working on forming a more concise research concept and ideas for methods, but I'd love to go in this kind of direction. 

Also- slight correction to the email Julie sent- I am actually going to be studying Museology at UW next year, although I applaud all those who study music :)

Ok, cheers, more later...