Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
From my modern Met : Ready to embark on an adventure? Let's take a trip around the world. Got no cash? Strapped for time? No worries. On this vacation, you won't be leaving your desk... Switzerland-based Corinne Vionnet is our guide to the world's most famous landmarks, monuments millions have visited before. Her art is created not by acrylic, oil, or watercolor, each piece is made by combining hundreds of tourist photos into one. After conducting an online keyword search and sifting through photo sharing sites, this Swiss/French artist carefully layers 200 to 300 photos on top of one another until she gets her desired result. Look closely and you'll see dim shadows, vague silhouettes that aimlessly wander around. More than anything, these haunting figures make us think about our own fading memories and the inevitable passage of time. "Why do we always take the same picture, if not to interact with what already exists?," Vionnet asks. "The photograph proves our presence. And to be true, the picture will be perfectly consistent with the pictures in our collective memory." "This work is intrinsically linked to the people who took these pictures," Vionnet says. "The collaboration is obvious, but it is without their knowledge. These pictures are on the Internet, to be seen by any eventual visitors. I am just one of those visitors. It is the sheer quantity of these almost identical pictures that gave me the idea of superimposing them. I do not think I would have had the idea if I had made all these pictures of the same places myself. Anyway, the work would loose its meaning."
Monday, February 21, 2011
It's snowing again, It's really cold outside after what we thought a quiet time. It's crazy how the weather is influencing the moral of everyone. February I would say is the worst month in the year to live in Berlin : we look all tired, and we are, fed up with everything and particularly work, we are keen on meeting friends, we wish to live at the sun anywhere in the south of Spain, And why do we stay here ? just because we know It can only get better. Once you experienced winter and stayed until February in Berlin, you know you've been through a lot already.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
On my way to work this morning, stopped at a traffic light. Saw a gay couple kissing goodbye on the corner, with love, waving a sign "call me" while walking away. I smiled, felt very happy for those guys with a wave of tears coming up. It's much better to start the day like this. It makes the other things way less bad. Let's enjoy the morning tea with a croissant, then.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Snaking along, cutting through fields and streets, yards and gardens, the 155 km long in total (43 km between West and East Berlin) Berlin Wall stood as a border between East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. That all changed on Nov. 9, 1989, when an inexact translation, a confused border guard and a natural longing for a better life opened a hole in that wall that would eventually end the Cold War. Drawn to the city’s historic Brandenburg Tor as word spread on the night of Nov. 9, 1989, both East and West Berliners clambered up the wall and crowded Pariser Platz to take part in the opening. Two years earlier at this spot, Ronald Reagan had implored Mikhail Gorbachev in a speech to “open this gate,” to “tear down this wall.” Today, the entire area around the 18th century landmark gate, just south of the Reichstag building where the German parliament meets, is a pedestrian plaza. The Quadriga, the bronze sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate, depicts a chariot drawn by four horses and driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. The horses face east. Visitors used the graffiti-pocked Berlin Wall as a backdrop for souvenir photos along Ebertstrasse, which runs south from the Brandenburg Tor to Potsdamer Platz. Today, Ebertstrasse is the location of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe as well as the new U.S. Embassy. It was also along this street that Roger Waters of Pink Floyd held an outdoor performance of the rock opera “The Wall” in 1990, eight months after the Berlin Wall fell, for which an estimated 350,000 people gathered. I was there and remember, for my first time in the city, having told myself that I will come back. Now I'm living here ! After the wall was breached, people could view the two sides of Berlin at once for the first time in decades. Here, a photographer straddles the wall looking up toward the Reichstag, where the German parliament convenes, on Nov. 10, 1989, a day after the fall. Today, evidence of the Berlin Wall is embedded in the pavement of streets it once divided; here, a long, double cobblestone line shows the former location of the wall along what is now bustling Ebertstrasse. East German border soldiers and their Klieg lights were trained on the intersection of Zimmerstrasse and Charlottenstrasse, not far from the famous Allied checkpoint Charlie in Friedrichstrasse. By 2009, the corner of Zimmerstrasse and Charlottenstrasse had been completely reconstructed with offices, shops and apartments. Overall, eastern Germany has clawed its way back to a measure of prosperity. The wall cut off the eastern end of the Lohmuehlenbruecke, the bridge over the Neukollner Schifffahrtskanal, leaving the part of the city called Neukoelln in West Berlin and its neighbors in Treptow in East Berlin. Near here, the first watchtower was erected in the so-called “death strip” between the outer and inner walls, and various buildings were razed to give guards a better overview. The border strip, which contained anti-vehicle trenches and other defenses, has been redesigned as a park. There is a possibility soon that a motorway coming in the city will be built nearby but people fight hard against the idea.