As part of the recent DC Art All Night event, the Goethe-Institut screen a film entitled Berlinized (Berlinized – Sexy an Eis). The film directed by Lucian Busse shows Berlin in the 90’s.
The Berlin Wall had recently come down and Berlin was trying to find a new political direction. Because of a new freedoms available to citizens the art and creative scenes started rapidly growing. Music subcultures and basement bars began popping up all over the city.
The film documents the culture of the times. It is full of footage and photos of bars, clubs, and art studios of the 90’s. There are also quite a few interviews with the artists who experienced and help change the art scene in Berlin at the time.
Many people in the film had been there when the wall was up. They wanted to make a drastic change. They talked about going to raves and then before they knew it the windows would open and it would be day time. The artists and people a part of the movement just wanted to breath new life into Berlin.
In a section of the film an artist is talking about a piece she is working on. It is these mirrors that spin so fast that you cannot tell that they are moving. In order for that to happen they have to spin so rapidly that they often fly off the walls, and she keeps going on an on about how dangerous the piece was. The section ends with the artist says that she likes the danger it makes it unlike the safe art the hangs in the white galleries.
These people were looking for a drastic change. The slow gradual change was not going to cut it anymore. Berlin was going to change and they were going to be the ones to do it. They wanted to meet people and share what they were doing.
Overall I found the film incredibly interesting. Even though I did not relate to it all seeing as I was born around the time most of it was filmed and I have never been to Germany, I think I still took things away from it. It covers a time when people were trying to find how their art fit into the world and I think art school coincides with that a lot. None of us really know what we are going to do, we just know that art is the how.
Even though the film focuses on a really narrow subject it affects much more than that. It is really just one story of how people use art to change what they do not like around them.
For a short clip of the film check this out.