Sunday, April 01, 2012

Berlin's Struggling Artists Demand Share of the Pie

An keen overview of arts funding in Berlin, trying to explore every side of the issue in two pages. From classic opera houses to small half-hidden stages.

As a side note, I installed many aspects of the exhibition shown above. ((Are those fine looking info-diagrams in the picture or what?)) Also, reading the second section of the article closely, particularly the part labelled Presenting Shared Demands, my wife has been working on this lobbying effort as part of a larger arts network and representatives of the Berlin Senate will be meeting, what is here oddly translated as "the protesters" by Der Spiegel, in our space at the WerkStadt in May to talk about what to do with the proposed money for independent spaces. ((Huzzah!))



Pete said...

The mix of stodgy institutions and smaller, more experimental ventures is very important. It's a mistake to dismiss dusty museums and snooty opera houses out-of-hand (I'm not saying anyone is.) They're somewhat insulated from fashion and can keep things that aren't hip available. As Robert Hughes says: All of the art that we have is from the past. The conservatism and scholarly tendencies of large museums can be stifling though, and to be sure, fine art is most alive out in the marketplace and in people's conversations. We're right to be wary of patronage. It's a nice problem to have. Smaller galleries and art groups are eager to please, and unspoken expectations about what cutting-edge art should be can filter out work that maybe doesn't fit in with the patron's agenda. It's kind of like how a lot of punk rockers ended up looking the same.

This article also speaks to the conversation we were having about urbanism a couple months ago. The cities are luxury commodities first these days, and hubs of production second. So image is very, very important.

Don Jason said...

No financial sector, no major media enterprises, no industry. Berlin has recognized rather belatedly that the image of a creative hub is the only thing it has going for it. This creates tourism, an environment of lots of creative start-up small businesses, and people investing here in the hope that some sort of boom will happen down the road. What makes this news all of a sudden is that the politicians have started to pay attention and are trying to consolidate political capital and votes through image campaigns and patronizing the broader arts scene.