Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I really enjoyed my visit to Amsterdam! Its a great and very upbeat cosmopolitan city with lots of things to do and see. My VASA Project colleague Roberto Muffeletto met up with me my last day in the city and we traveled by train to Utrecht and then to his home in Arnhem.
Holland is a beautiful and scenic country with modern “high tech” windmills scattered along the pastoral landscape. After a 2 day visit with Roberto in Arnhem we took the train to Berlin, Germany.
My first impression of Berlin is that it’s a very clean, modern, urban, technologically sophisticated city that supports and nurtures the arts and creative culture. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our visit to this great European city. Blue skies and warm temperatures during our entire visit to this great city.
There is so much history here (like the remnants of the Berlin Wall). You can’t help to notice and be impacted by the historical references where ever you travel around the city.
The Berlin Wall and Holocaust Memorial effected me both intellectually and emotionally. They are powerful testaments of human beings innate desire to be free from oppression. The wall memorial reminded me a little of the Vietnam War Memorial.
Reading and hearing the stories of families and friends lives being ripped apart and then their quests to get back together by any means possible was heart wrenching. It’s hard to believe this travesty went on up to the late 1980’s.
My first morning in Berlin began with somber thoughts and introspection about the German people that were impacted by the Berlin Wall.
Berlin is essentially a synthesis of old and new architecture and you can still see evidence of the ravages of war like bullet holes in building and columns throughout the city.
Germany and Berlin in particular is very supportive of the arts however one exhibiting photographer I met commented that the art market is becoming saturated with so many artists and art that it’s a challenge to sell work, make a living and get exhibitions. Germany’s economy is still relatively strong and thriving so the arts have benefited from people having disposable income.
Roberto and I have seen a lot of good photography these past few days here in Berlin. This is the month of the European Festival of Photography and most galleries have devoted their exhibition spaces to photography and art that incorporates photographic elements.
I’ve noticed a cross section of art photography, documentary, portrait and more conceptual alternative process work in my visits to the many galleries and exhibitions in and around Berlin.
Lastly I can’t end this post without mentioning the Holocaust memorial. It is visually powerful and unique in how it is designed and like the Berlin Wall memorial its a very emotional space that forces you to think about the atrocities that were committed on the Jewish people before and during WWII.
Again…being in Berlin you get a real sense of history and are reminded of the harsh realities that have happened to people because of race and religion.
Roberto and I travel to Krakow, Poland by train tomorrow to see the city and explore the possibilities of collaborating with the Krakow Art Institute in developing an International Photography School with online components.
Here are more photos I’ve taken during my 3 days meandering around Berlin. Enjoy!