Berlin has changed so much since I was there for the Berlin Short Film Festival in 2004. Actually curator Megan Steinman told me it changes hugely each year! Lots of construction, lots of action and lots and lots of amazing art. Saw community gardens enlivening formerly drug infested plazas (including healthy yummy lunch counter), an old hospital building turned into a fabulous art center, a performance by one of the many American artists living there, a 5 story warehouse where temporary art exhibits make it worth climbing the stairs.
In addition to the permanent museum exhibits, there were 3 simultaneous shows of the succinct, elegant and profound Alfredo Jaar, the best retrospective of Diane Arbus I have ever seen, and 5 great shows at the Hamburger Banhoff including light sculptures by Anthony McCall, The White Field by Qui Shiuha, Cy Twombly and the School of Fontaineableu, indoor and outdoor neon works by Dan Flavin, a huge Architektonika 2 show of works inspired by architecture.
Lastly the very strange and elaborate Secret Universe III, dolls with hand sewn clothes and a variety of porcelain faces, ears and feet by Morton Bartlett. He photographed and drew each doll after which he placed all of these materials in individual boxes and never showed them!
Part of Berlin's ongoing healing process is replacing cobblestones with brass plaques in front of buildings where Jews lived. The plaques list their names, ages, dates of transport and where they were sent.
Days were hot and nights were perfect for eating outside by the Spree and watching all the boating and mobile beer parties. And watching the Olympics on German TV was much better than NBCs MTV-like montages of event - although not understanding the anchor patter might have helped.
Re-entering with it's obligatory jet lag has been a challenge but getting back to my studio feels good and I look forward to seeing what my Gullkistan residency and subsequent travels will generate in the coming months (and even years.)