And there was light… on Urban Nation and City Skins…

Berlin is always the hottest place in the world – not always on a heat level – but with 28 degrees non stop over the last four days, Berlin felt like Spain. People were heading off to the Teufelssee for a swim, or stripping (half) naked in the streets for a bit of fresh air. So if you wonder what I’ve been doing during that well deserved break away from the blog, you might have the beginning of an answer.

The experience at the Berlin Art Institute sadly came to an end last Friday. Four weeks of intensive discourses, questioning, interrogation, doubts, tears, blood (ok, I’m overdoing it a bit) left me a with a very clear vision of what I actually want to achieve. I’ve got rolls of wallpaper stuck on the top of every cupboards in my flat, and buying some more so I can cover the city with my stuff during the Berlin Residency Part II.

To keep it sort of short, I’ll just mention the two main events we went to (in between gathering with friends and drinking ice cold beers on terrasses)

Urban Nation

Probably the most influential organisation in Berlin when it comes to giving Urban Art a window and a legitimacy.

Getting there, following my phone map to make sure we were going the right way, I’ve been surprised to see on the other side of the street a huge (and amazing) mural with, in the center, ‘URBAN NATION – Opening tonight!’. I cursed my phone for a bit, and we crossed the street, growing a bit uneasy:: everybody was wearing jackets, cocktail dresses, and we were clearly underdressed with our tee shirts and rucksacks. But as you know, if you’re confident enough, you can get into any place. That’s what we did.

The place was super glamourous, champaign was running from taps (not literally), photographers and reporters all over the place. I really thought “Damn, they could have told us that there was a dress code!”. We’ve been directed to the main desk, to receive our VIP packages, and that’s where it went wrong.
“Your name?
– mm. Domain. Francois Domain.
– mm. Sorry, How do you spell that?”
And you can sort of imagine the rest. We were not on the list. Yeah, ‘course not.
I’ve been bloody insistent, though, and we reckon that with a jacket and no rucksack, we could have managed to wriggle our way in… But instead, they have been super apologetic for our names not to be on the list…

In the end my phone was right. The opening we were supposed to go was on the other side of the road, less grand, but at least we had free drinks and a nice chat with Ralf, the director of the Berlin Art Institute…

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City Skins – Marx & Engels

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when ready the title of the paragraph, then either you’re new to my blog (welcome!) or you haven’t paid attention at all, as I’ve been talking about the City Skins projects forever.

So on Saturday (“Happy Birthday to me…”), we jumped on a train to Hellersdorf (miles away from the city center, really good way to explore the surroundings!) for the inauguration. It was quite emotional to see the papier maché casts of the well known statues covered in black, waiting in the middle of the Place Internationale to be unveiled.

dsc02509_jbQuick chat with Various and Gould, super charming as usual even if super busy. A few clouds arrived, and the wind suddenly started playing with the black fabric on top of the statues, trying to tear it apart like the hand of a curious God wanting to have a look first… A few speeches, and finally Various and Gould gave God a hand in unveiling the piece.

dsc01889_vg_web

Back to work…

But the ‘holiday’ has now come to an end, and I must get back to work. Fortunately, I have just found – by fluke – a Paradise on Earth for artists: Modulor, on Moritzplatz – I read on the reviews that someone would move to Berlin only for this shop and I believe him! Two floors of absolutely anything you can need to make things beautiful… I only spent 10 minutes there yesterday and wanted to buy absolutely everything… So if you’re around, pop in, just for the sake of it, it’s worth it! So I’m not going to stick around and go straight to Modulor, and bring all my purchases to my new studio! Exciting!

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