12 May 2010

Exposition at Spedition

12 May 2010

I knew Bremen as a town of beer. So, when asked to do an exhibit and symposium there, the answer could only be yes. Preparation for a large production in a foreign land is always stressful, and this one was par, but methodical and successful. Arrival to find the venue in some disarray from a previous production, but not worryingly so; and the combination of good preparation and a crack production team at the “Spedition” led to an under-budget, ahead-of-schedule event, thus allowing for final interviews, exhibit catalog production, etc.

Locomotive Turntable at Bremen Station

Spedition is an old industrial space, adjacent to the train station, which has attracted a variety of artists and crafts people, being home to exhibits, music, and theater productions and in this case, a symposium with students. The German alt culture has always been fascinating, and it’s not surprising that the society which produced Mozart, Durer, Marx, and Freud would produce some interesting unorthodoxes. Spedition is a wonderful fusion of these people, living and working in this large reused complex in the center of town, contiguous with the train station, that has become the edgy cultural space in Bremen.

Planning and preparation for this production have been proceeding for years, with Nicolai Burchartz of Koeln and Gregor Straube of Bremen doing the heavy lifting.

The mission was to put up a show of new work, all large murals, themed “What happens because of the things we buy.” The exciting new aspect of this exhibit was the inclusion of an interactive component that explains each mural with maps, satellite images, establishing shots, and information. These pictures can be seen on so many levels: aesthetic, documentary, political, that viewers demand explanation, and providing that information is a challenging enterprise. Working with several classes of German high school students would explore the cross-cultural impact of the images and the interactive program.

Gregor Straube, Senator Reinhard Loske, & JHF

The team at Spedition was relaxed, efficient, and thorough, so the exhibit went up like a balloon and looked fantastic, done in the unique “Spedition style.” The vernissage was quite the success in spite of the rain, boasting the senator of the environment, among many.

Talking to the students from the Wilhelm Wagenfeld School, and the other people passing through was the most rewarding part. The students were thoughtful, aware and curious, and gratifyingly intrigued with the interactive.

Environmental issues are making the world a frighteningly small place, and these teenagers would be the ones to bear the first major impacts. As estimates of the volume of oil spilled in the Gulf had grown too large for the brain to grasp, we discussed the root causes.

Middle Europe is colder than normal, and many Germans bemoaned the cold and rain. One wonders if the weather is the result of the volcano or other weather pattern alterations.

The Starbucks in DeGaulle Airport is surrounded with large backlit images, most of beautiful exotic animals, the others of beautiful exotic women in beautiful exotic vacation spots.

Meanwhile, the waste generated by just this one small franchise in one airport defies comprehension. The Starbucks in Köln/Bonn Airport at least offers the option of using china mugs, thus saving a good bit of paper cup waste…

Of course, the intrepid eco traveler never goes anywhere without his own air-tight mug that goes right in the bag. And who would throw away a good cup of java just for security, knowing the cost?


Anonymous said...

I do like ur article~!!!..................................................

Dagmar said...

You went to Bremen, Germany?! That's where I grew up, lived for 23 years, and my parents still live there! Isn't it quaint? I wish I would have known -- I could have told you about a few great places to go. I hope you saw the Schnoor and the Bremer Stadtmusikanten?

I now live in Katonah, NY. Couldn't make it to your Slowfood event, now I am even more sad that I couldn't :(

Liebe Grusse,

EdwardG_Burrell1016 said...