Before I began to apply to study in Berlin I had not ever really thought about coming to Berlin. All I knew was that I wanted to go back to Europe. I was born in Denmark and studied there when I was 19 at an art school in Holbaek, a small town an hour west of Copenhagen. In that year I really enjoyed the way my art was viewed, critiqued and understood at the school I was attending. I felt that being their gave me a new energy to make in different ways than I had felt before in America . Also being away from America made me view American culture in new ways and better understand my place existing between Danish and American cultures. When I am in America I miss Europe and when I am in Europe I miss America.
I am intrigued by Berlin’s cold old streets that are riddled with spray paint. To many the spray paint would be seen as disrespectful or an eye sore but to me it makes me think that this is a city that does not rely on tradition. This is a city in which the walls have endured the past but they do not carry the past to the present. It seems to me that Berlin is open to change that it is actively seeking to evolve. This Ideal in contrast with the fact that 25 years ago the city was divided in half into two countries with two very different ideals amazes me.
“Tourism is thus both a substance-altering phenomenon as well as vectorial factor boosting and amplifying all the other psycho-active city infrastructures with the foreign minds an capital” – Nicolas Hausdorf
I think this quote is important when thinking of h0w young Berlin is and within that youth how it is able to constantly able to redefine itself and become a place of leisure and acceptance. It was until the early 1990’s that Berlin would even be a destination on a tourists mind. Now it is one of the main tourist destinations of Europe.
I am very interested in observing the small details that are different in European and American societies. Why are certain things different prices and how do our societies set standards of value to certain items. Items are only a part of it as well as Berlin has become an Item that is being replicated everywhere. You can get a little bit of Berlin somewhere in Brooklyn. “Berlin’s cheap, internationalized, hedonistic, and thereby accessible culture becomes a readily exportable commodity for savvy entrepreneurs capable of transferring its formula to their local cultures”. This quote from A Superstructural Tourist Guide to Berlin for the Visitor and the New Resident by Nicolas Hausdorf speaks to this commodification of Berlin’s hedonistic profile. My interest in Berlin grew from hearing so much of this pleasure filled city and wondering what has made the so called “place to be”.