Inspiration Trip 2013 #1: Berlin

Posted on | January 29, 2013

2013’s early days and it was time to hit the road again.

5 days in BERLIN: 7 meetings, 3 exhibitions and lots of inspiring networking and catching up with friends.


After very inspiring talks with Carsten Fillinger and Gerald Hensel from Scholz & Friends, Stefan Schmidt from Dieckertschmidt, Karsten Warrinck from Ambermedia, Brand Experience Expert Christian Vatter, Photographer and Public Space Curator Gregor Frotscher and Josef Lentsch and Ulf Brandes from the RSA that will feed some new piece of city research which I am currently working on, I was already more than content. It’s the so-called ‘cherry on the cake’ when you get the chance to absorb all kinds of impressions from walking the streets with your camera, talking to friends, taxi drivers, and anyone keen to express themselves in the city whose residents call it ‘a place where you feel free’. Freedom to express one’s opinion – on house walls, in their daily work, in the way people dress and how they express – whatever it may be.



The downsider was some noticeable frustration about the much-discussed topics of ‘gentrification’ and ‘the hate against the Swabians’ that passed every meeting and dinner table.

Here an article about the gentrification issue and the discussion among citizens whether parts of Berlin end up being the Banlieues of Paris:


And one article on the Swabian discussion: Spiegel might not be a quality news title, but it seems to reflect the opinion of the masses.


Maybe you live in Berlin or just happen to travel to Germany’s poorest but undoubtedly most happening city at some stage this spring – here is a short glimpse at some exhibitions that you’ll still be able to see over the next few weeks:


Exhibition #1: Martin Honert. Location: Hamburger Bahnhof (until April 7, 2013)

Memories of childhood form the core of the German artist Martin Honert’s work who currently teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden. Working with images that have remained lodged in his memory, Honert restages instances from his own biography in 3-dimensional form. Most of the scenes that Honert captured are based on a personal view of the past but simultaneously bear witness to the socialization of the generation that grew up in West Germany in the 50s and 60s. It’s interesting to realize how unremarkable objects and everyday scenes become significant in a child’s imagination and then remain in our memory. What’s really interesting about the exhibition is how Honert took his childhood drawings and memories and converted them into 3D installations. Here a few of them:

From his childhood drawing ‘Knight’s Battle’

Memory of his dormitory room at his boarding school.


His pencil drawing of Santa Claus (and his helper Ruprecht) – which honestly looks more like the devil.


Memory of latern procession on Saint Martin’s Day. The Motif shows the artist in a square room open to the sky, watching a TV program showing satellite images of the Earth. The images on the sides are constructed according to the spatial situation from the four views of the room. Fabulous piece.


A real piece of work is his object called ‘Linde’ (type of tree). For the artist, the tree has always been a meeting point or a place to rest.


Exhibition #2:

C|O Berlin shows its final two exhibitions in Oranienburger Straße before the museum is turned into a fancy hotel: Post Scriptum by Christer Strömholm and Love / Faith / Hope by Ulrich Seidl. Christer Strömholm was a Swedish photographer who started his career as a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson, capturing extraordinary, funny and sometimes bizarre moments in a spontaneous and vivid way.


Credits: For all photos: Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate.

Christer Strömholm Post Scriptum
19 January to 17 March 2013

The Ulrich Seidl exhibition presents the most spec­tac­u­lar stills of his cine­matic tri­logy “Para­dise”, between voyeur­ism and com­pas­sion, tragedy and comedy.

Exhibition #3:

But the one exhibition that I liked most shows U.S. film director Martin Scorcese’s lifetime of work. Location: Berlin film and television museum (Deutsche Kinemathek Film and Television Museum). Divided into nine themes — Family, Brothers, Men and Women, Lonely Heroes, New York, Cinema, Cinematography, Editing and music. Scorsese opened his private archives for the show, showing many of this storyboards, among them his first storyboard, which he created when he was 11 years old. Spectacular are the photographs and filim clips from Robert De Niro’s private collection who was one of Scorsese’s most frequent collaborators on film.


Carsten Fillinger told me about a cute urban experience act that is worth talking about. In September of last year, the Federal Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) and agency BBDO Proximity Berlin teamed up to create an urban concert experience at the Monbijoupark in Berlin. A 100 year-old tree made music with the help of a membrane construction/light installation built under it. Whenever a chestnut fell, the impact on the sculptural membrane created spherical sounds. Along with the wind and the creaking of the tree, it resulted in a unique organic composition. The initiator hopes to promote awareness and preservation about the shrinking chestnut tree population. BBDO Proximity Berlin came up with the idea, the design was implemented by creative pool of Gang of Berlin, and Ketchum Pleon PR provided the background music.


Here the film:


A further dinner encounter worth mentioning was Hertje Brodersen, Instagram queen with 27,000 followers, and her bizarre but very likeable photo collection of abandoned chairs in the public space. Hertje’s passion are books which must be the reason why I instantly liked her…


Simply the best however was meeting my pals Joanna & Stefan, Ben, Karina, Sven and Gregor who are not only all truly inspiring characters – you guys rock.