Occupy Berlin and Plants

Location: Berlin, Germany

Occupy Berlin signs cover the entire floor. Tents left ajar, with a sign saying “Please do not disturb the privacy of others.” Seemingly random spray bottles and mannequins dressed like homeless people. Cardboard cutouts of protestors. The Biennale in Berlin is a unique event in which artists from all over the world show how art can impact reality. “Occupy Berlin” is a Berlin version of “Occupy Wall Street,” protesting against the unfair gap between the rich and the poor, and the 1% that hold most of the world’s money.

Now is a time of change. In history class, things such as the Holocaust and Cambodia’s Pol Pot are remembered. However, atrocities still happen today. In “White Russia,” women are still constrained in traditional gender roles. They have no use other than to serve men and take care of children. Artists are usually the ones in the front of every rebellion, whether in flash mobs or graffiti.

The exhibition is not for the narrow-minded. Modern art has opened from realistic paintings to everything from a random assortment of words to a plethora of youtube videos stitched together to a paper macho rendition of a famous sculpture. Art is no longer the product, but the process. Art is something that can be passed on, not just by word of mouth and teaching, but through the internet.

The other day, some TGS students and I participated on Art by Telephone, in which we are hooked onto Skype with people and artists from Austraila. They had us try to replicate a piece of art that they made, through the use of our iPads and through a lot of hit and misses.

If you want to learn more, http://artbytelephone.blogspot.com/

In the Biennale, there is an exhibition where all you could see where plants. Growing, budding plants. The room is dark, a spotlight shining through. Rows upon rows of green. There’s nothing else.

These budding plants are growing from Auschwitz soil. Growing from such a horrific place. Visitors can take them home, plant them. Make them their own.

Similarly, art can hold no meaning to those who don’t have background stories, but phenomenal ones to those who do.

Warning: The Biennale is not for the faint of heart. There are many weird, twisted pieces of art that involve nudity and dark things that you can’t unsee. But that’s the point of art. To make a statement.




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