Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Experiencing culture

Originally uploaded by amsterboy.
I just got back from our staff day. We went to an island on the coast, bowling and dinner. I love my colleagues. I feel privileged to be able to work with that talented and smart people. And because there are 30 of us, there are still loads of potentially interesting people to get to know.

I have a confession to make: I am highly educated and work in the cultural field but I am really bad (read: lazy) dragging my butt to a museum or a cultural event. I don't know about other people but I have a constant bad conscience about it. I also feel I know too little about art and music.

While in Berlin I did both: I went to Hamburger Bahnhof (museum of contemporary art) and Staatsoper (opera). Short comments about both.

In the Staatsoper they have discounts for people under 30 (yes, still including me). I went to see Katja Kabanowa with my friend Sören. Before it started a member of the staff walked to the stage and explained that the lead singer was ill, the 1st replacement had gotten a flue and the same goes for the 2nd replacement. So finally they played in a way that the director's assistant played the role and an opera singer sang the role from the corner. It totally changed the setting. The mute Katja Kabanowa turned into a Lars-von-Trier-like female character who is a subject of mental abuse. Very intriguing but odd. But all and all, Katja Kabanowa is a fabulous piece.

In the Hamburger Bahnhof the piece of art that moved me the most was Matthew Barney's film Goodyear Girl from the Cremaster series (see picture). It has blond women dancing on a stadium with huge dresses and Goodyear balloons. As I discussed with my colleague Wietske today, it is hard to understand whether there are other messages or values than the esthetic ones.

p.s. Made a mistake in my previous blogging. Libeskind made the Jewish Museum, not the Holocaust Memorial. Sorry.

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