Secret Societies 2

by Sara · 02.07.2010 · Kiez Life · 2 comments

When a stranger invites you on a little adven­ture to hid­den places that are poten­tially illegal to tres­pass, you should prob­ably make the cau­tious and respons­ible decision: decline the offer. Me? I was like, “BRING IT ON MOTHERFUCKER!!”, and what happened next is very, very hard to put into words (or crappy pic­tures for what it’s worth).

Urban Art, Street Art, Graf­fiti — maybe even blunt Van­dal­ism — is not just about spray­ing your name onto a wall. It’s a philo­sophy, one that is fas­cin­at­ing, refresh­ing, inspir­ing and rebel­li­ous, all at the same time. To wit­ness urban evol­u­tion in Ber­lin is to doc­u­ment the chan­ging col­ors on the walls, to dis­cover new art­works in places where you’d never expect them. The chal­lenge lies not exclus­ively in con­struct­ing the per­fect art­work; it can also be the chal­lenge to find the best spots to draw, some­times in places that you’ll never notice unless you’re in the know..

And then there’s the com­plex­ity of decid­ing what is art and what is pure hack­work. What is graf­fiti? How is it sup­posed to look like? How do you decide what is good art­work and what is only the work of an ama­teur? Does it even mat­ter at all?

Listen­ing to the stor­ies about street art (of my abso­lutely fant­astic tour guide — an ‘urban nat­ive’, if you will, one who has even shook hands with Martha Cooper her­self and col­lects the art­works of his fel­low col­leagues) was listen­ing to the story behind Ber­lin. Sud­denly, every pic­ture, every mural, every paint­ing made sense. The first step is dif­fi­cult: you have to school your eyes. The city does not only con­sist of streets and build­ings; it’s hid­den spots, canals, secret path­ways and vir­gin walls that want to be deflowered with paint. The second step is to be fear­less of what is ahead and embrace what lies beneath.

We climbed: over fences and through bars, on bridges and in tun­nels. Places I’ve walked so many times before; sud­denly seen from an entirely dif­fer­ent per­spect­ive. A per­spect­ive with a story. The story of the artists here in Ber­lin, of their ever last­ing hunt for untouched places to leave their marks.

To con­clude: I am over­whelmed. Doing this little trip was one of the most fant­astic exper­i­ences I’ve ever had. And to ima­gine that a stranger just took me on without mak­ing a big fuss about its secrecy, is an atti­tude so typ­ic­ally Ber­lin itself. Everything is for every­one. All you have to do is embrace it.

(I only took my small p&s along. I’ve been find­ing myself torn between good pic­tures and not being hassled by hav­ing a cam­era wrapped around my neck. This one I was happy to sit out without the Eos, it would’ve hurt me see­ing it as badly scratched as my Ixus)

actu­ally just an advert­ise­ment, but i kinda dig it.

looks like a door sign, but it’s a styro­foam artwork

bal­last der repub­lik — brunnen­straße 183

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2 comments
  1. Dein “Tag” falls ich das so nennen darf, sieht nach südamerikanischen/spanischen Ein­flüssen aus ;D
    Gefällt mir sehr, ich sollte die war­men Som­mernächte auch wieder mehr mit sowas verbringen…

  2. where / which tun­nel is it in the first pic­ture? cheers.

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