Il Casolare, Grimmstr 30 10967
Cafe Einstein, Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785
Il Casolare, Grimmstr 30 10967
Cafe Einstein, Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785
Considering I studied Kulturwissenschaften / Kunst (Culture/Art) in Berlin in 2008-9 I never actually came across the Berlinische Galerie. Similarly, I was not familiar with Dorothy Iannone (b. 1933). But upon reading an overview of her oeuvre and concerns I felt compelled to go check out the retrospective exhibit on her at BG, dragging S. in tow when we were there in March.
What I discovered was that she was unashamed about her depiction of female sexuality and her style is vividly graphic and colourful – an absolute feast for the eye. This is the kind of thing that’s right up my street.
She actually pasted fragments of stories within a lot of her mosaic-style paintings and even wrote an autobiographical narrative, albeit in 3rd person, about her meeting Dieter Roth, who she went on to leave her husband for (both the men were also artists). These she illustrated with graphic novel-style drawings on individual sheets. One (below) talks about how her art makes her immortal, which warms me.
In her later works she played with video, sound and life-size installation paintings and her style became more graphic, almost comic-book in style. But it’s the colour and pattern clash of her early works that I found so mesmerising. I highly recommend seeing them in the flesh.
I lived in Berlin from 2008-9 so going back is a bit like going home. This time round I wanted to do stuff I’d never done before as well as re-visit my favourite haunts. The first highlight of the trip has to be the serendipitous decision to check out the inside of the Berliner Dom (cathedral).
Located a short hop from Alexanderplatz and right on top of Museuminsel it’s a central, charming area – when we arrived there was a Sunday market right outside. Entrance normally costs €7 to explore all corners of this historical building, but as there was a service taking place we paid a reduced admission of €4 to go up to the museum and dome.
The museum exhibited drawings and mock-ups of the cathedral via its various architects – well worth a visit for architect buffs, but the real show happened further upstairs. Getting narrower and narrower as we ascended higher and higher, there was an opportunity to look over into the cathedral and see the service, as well as peek out at the view that awaited us.
The top, the dome itself, was terrifying and amazing (I’m afraid of heights) but I think that’s what it all the more worthwhile. When you’re up there you have to walk the entire circumference to reach the exit and go back down so you get a 360 degree view walking round. We timed it so well that we only had to wait ten minutes to see the sun setting. Glorious.
I’m moving house for the second time in a week exactly. And after that I’m not moving for a while (fingers crossed). While moving twice in quick succession is stressful, I’ve taken advantage of the time packing to have a really good clear-out. So – bit of a longshot, but I thought I’d post these pretty niche (and nice) books up here in case anyone fancies them for cheaps. They’re all from my time studying German. Normal service to resume after this post.
If you’re interested in any of these books, please just drop me a line on email email@example.com
Essentials of Modern German Grammar, J.A. Corbett
An Information to Transformational Grammars, Bach
Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Bach
German Language & Literature: Seven Essays, Weimar
Kabale und Liebe, Schiller
Das Urteil, Kafka
Die Teuflin, Weldon
Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall, Sikorski/Laabs
Erfundene Wahrheit. Deutsche Geschichten.
The Ghosts of Berlin, Ladd
Der Zauberberg, Mann
Das Schloß, Kafka
(particularly useful if Stephanie Bird is still running the same 4th year UCL Literature class that I took)
Right now I am really loving the music of Dave.I.D. I spoke to the Creative Director/Designer behind his visual output, Simon Owens to find out about his sound and the stunning graphics on his limited edition 12inch which is out in February.
Simon explains the concept behind the visuals for Dave.I.D’s unique sound:
“Dave.I.D has this strange sound which is both past and present, so I came up with this equally contradictory overarching idea of ‘industrial futurism’. Whereby shape (and the space it gives) and material were really important, anchored by considered though slightly odd and off (hand drawn) typography/logo.
We started off with hand printed, distressed (almost destroyed) press shots, and a strong directional shape (rhombus) used in 2d print, actual packaging shape, and the material used (tarpaulin). With most copy/details in an old Germanic digitised typeface. And then added the fire red, black, white, and bronze as the main colour scheme to emphasise the strong, confrontational nature of the music. It’s not music you can just put on in the background, it requires your attention! And that’s something which is quite at odds with a lot of the new music made right now. So it was important the design reflected this.
In some ways i think Dave.I.D has created a new genre. Either way, and unintentionally it plays with your minds ability to place when it was made, mainly through industrial textures, which was definitely the main idea for using chemical blue tarpaulin for the ‘Gangs’ ep sleeve, with the shape taking it somewhere else, a forward leaning idea of the future. Industrial futurism/industrial RnB!”
For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that childhood puppy fat and years of weight fluctuation have stayed with me into my early twenties. Quite literally. Despite two good years of gym enthusiasm (I was the exception to the rule – slimming down in my first years of university as everyone else piled on the lbs due to too much booze) things took a turn for the worse after a year in Berlin (forget the booze, I’m all about the Brot and Bratwurst). So when I was approached by Dean Callis, a former professional rugby player turned personal trainer, a few weeks back I was more than intrigued by his offer of training.
I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stick to a gym routine recently as I will always prioritise work. But the joy of having a personal trainer is knowing that you’ll make an appointment and then you have to stick to it. I may be lazy, but I’m not rude – making an appointment to train means someone is there waiting for you, someone else is invested in your health and fitness.
As decadent and indulged as I feel having a trainer, for the kind of girl who got on with academia rather than P.E. this is exactly what I needed. That much was clear from our first session yesterday morning. ….
Taking place in a central London park, I started off with a warm up which gradually progressed to circuits. A combination of *delightful* exercises such as running around cones, squatting and jumping, I have to say – this was hard. Dean was great though, reminding me to breathe through my nose/out through my mouth, counting down the seconds until I could rest, and encouraging me to push myself when I was starting to flail.
When those cones went away I was so happy! And I was even happier to see that the next item Dean was pulling out of his bag of tricks was a pair of boxing gloves. I’ve always wanted to have a go at boxing and I often forget that my arms also need working to avoid, as my flatmate E. says, ‘noodle arms’. Punching in a rhythmic series was very therapeutic and a much easier work out inasmuch as I didn’t feel like I might faint at any moment as I had with the circuits (I am not a morning person!)
Winding down the session, we ended with sit ups in which I lifted a 3kg medicine ball towards Dean who stood on my toes to keep me steady. I thought I was alright with abs work until I realised lifting myself that extra bit higher using only my stomach muscles was not something I’ve ever really done. It felt like until that moment these muscles had laid dormant, unbeknownst to me beneath the flab. I have to admit, I was – and am – ashamed!
Finally I did some squats, the last of which I held for about 30secs until Dean told me the hour was up. It really didn’t feel like I’d been working out for a whole 60minutes as we’d changed exercises plenty of times to keep things interesting. I bounced out of the park with a new energy – one that was annoyingly absent during the first 20mins of the session, excitement to be investing in my health (and of course a better, stronger body) and a complete confidence in Dean’s capabilities. It’s like he says – “No rest is worth anything, except the rest that is earned”.
I’ve just gotten back from my five days in Berlin. The city hasn’t changed much since I lived there two years ago. I would still wholeheartedly recommend Tucholskystraße for galleries – the Pool Gallery in particular where the Mercedes Helnwein exhibition Temptation to Be Good is showing until 4th June – and for eats head to La Foccacia on the corner of Fehrbelliner Str. and Veteranstr. for a €3,90 lasagne and foccacia bread treat.
This time round I discovered the joy of Instagram – below are a few shots that I took using the iPhone app. Everything looks so much more ‘professional’ and ‘cool’. I’m officially obsessed.
Well quite a lot actually.
For starters I’ve added some new jobs to my ever-expanding list. (Check out my portfolio to see just how out of control it is..)
I’m now a blogger for a big American brand and have started writing features for Dazed Digital and Ligature magazine (which I fell in love with from the first moment I clapped eyes on it). So more than ever I’m a busy bee on the look out for fab stories. It’s all very exciting.
On a completely different topic – I’m over the moon today as I’ve discovered I’ve lost 5lb (intentionally, you understand, and boy, it’s not been easy!)
I’m counting down the weeks until I’m off on holiday to Berlin, where I once lived for a blissful year. I say blissful… I was writing my dissertation at the time and gaining weight by the hour on a diet of Bratwurst, Frikadellen and Brot. So I’ve sworn to myself I will not return to Berlin (the scene of the crime) with the same weight it made me put on. I’ve got a little over 3 weeks. Here’s hoping I can lose 5lb more.
Keep your fingers crossed for me and in the meantime gorge on some visual delights from Berlin circa 2009.
This excites me greatly.
I fell in love (excuse the pun) with I Love You magazine last issue – the Princess issue, where they provided a history of Henry VIII’s wives alongside fashion portraits – modern women/models who might represent the wives – and a recipe for the best-looking (and I’m sure best-tasting!) wedding cake I’ve ever seen. I’ll certainly be giving it a go when it comes to my wedding. Plus, they’re based in Berlin, my former (and spiritual) home!
I think Paz de la Huerta is just great and I loved the interview they did with her.
And the new issue is out now…. On the cover is actress Leelee Sobieski, who I adore – if only for her role alongside Drew Barrymore in teen movie Never Been Kissed – cor 1999, what a year! I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what LeeLee’s been up to since ’99, but I just love her face. (Shallow, me…?!)
This issue, the Mama issue, coincides nicely with Mother’s Day (Sunday). Race yer to ArtWords…
I just discovered this video for R.E.M.’s song ‘Uberlin’ by Sam Taylor-Wood on my friend’s superb blog entitled Überlin. It’s so funny seeing my neighbourhood in a music video. In fact, that is the exact road I walk down from Liverpool Street/Shoreditch High Street to get home.
Go check out James and Zoe’s blog to discover what their lives are like in *beautiful* Berlin.