Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Photos from Berlin

So many updates. So little time. I cannot imagine seeing a greater variety of performances than we have seen, from a grass roots DADA performance by found object "marionettes" on wheels to multi-media theater performances to a play in which the audience determined the verdict in a court trial to personal stories and hip hop by refugees, raising awareness of their situation in Germany to circus-inspired performance art at the Theater Treffen to classical ballet. We saw 8 performances in Munich and with 3 more nights in Berlin, we still have 3 to add to the 4 we've already seen in Berlin. Whew!

Yesterday, we also met 3 more RC German students, who are studying at the Goethe Institut in Berlin. We invited them to join us in a private tour of the Sammlung BOROS, which features installation art in a bunker that was built in 1941. We learned that the bunker after the wall was used as a storage place for fruit and vegetables at one point and as a club in the 90s. Those walls have seen many different scenes! Its owners renovated the bunker, leaving most of it since it is a historic landmark. They did remove 800 tons of cement to renovate the place (remove some ceilings, build the penthouse where they reside) and they rotate their own private collection and invite artists to design installations on site. I've seen two exhibitions there on prior visits and it is always incredible. One room I remembered from a previous installation, in which a popcorn machine (the type in movie theaters) was situated in the corner, popping away non-stop. (The sounds from parts of the exhibition from other areas are a big part of the atmosphere at BOROS.) The popcorn at that exhibition grew to fill the room. and spill out. I think one of the best things about BOROS is that the art historians who present the art are so knowledgable. They help visitors understand the purpose or possible interpretations of abstract, contemporary art and sculpture, they explain the value behind the investment the collectors have made, the history of the building itself, and contributions of the various artists represented.

Waiting for the BOROS tour
Today the students are out exploring on their own (a flea market and museums) before we go out as a group to another show. It feels like we have been in Germany for months because we have already done so much. On the other hand, it seems as though we just arrived yesterday.

Tour of "Counter-Memorials" by RC Alumna and historian, Carol S.

When we see these shows and discuss them later, I think: This is what all education should be like!
GDR Aesthetics and architecture with Sputnik--a gift from Russia

Die Ged├Ąchtniskirche
Show at the Schaub├╝hne. Fabulous technical effects and excellent acting.
Tour about the GDR.

Yummy, affordable food is everywhere in Berlin.

And always interesting posters and advertising. Everywhere.



  1. Gosh Janet, this sounds like a truly amazing trip. The performances all sound incredible! I hope you all will continue to have a great experience.

    1. Yes. I think it has been great. We have so much fun together, we've seen beautiful areas and the theater and ballets we have seen have been truly outstanding this year.