This weekend we went to two birthday parties. On Saturday night, it was the party of one of Tobi’s friends. But on Sunday, we went to a totally different type of birthday party. It was the one-year anniversary celebration of something called the Gängeviertel.
The Gängeviertel is a group of old factory buildings that were going to be demolished before a group of politically and socially active artists stepped in and gave these buildings a new life. Now it is home to regular art exhibitions, concerts, and a whole lot of graffiti. And this weekend, they celebrated their first birthday with a full, 3-day program of concerts and art installations.
I really enjoyed this event. It was kind of like stepping into a different world! The buildings were rustic – pictures, collages, and paintings hung on dirty concrete walls. It was also fun to people-watch: lots of interesting, artsy-fartsy people. Tobias and I walked through the different buildings and looked at the art installations. The rest of the compound was almost an installation of its own. There were hammocks suspended between trees, and a disco ball hung above them. Next to that, there were strange, stylized wooden sculptures of cows. On another building hung a giant Hamburg Monopoly-style board game banner.
In the middle of the compound, there was a stage set up for concerts. We watched a band called Klein play some interesting music. They had a drum machine, and the cellist switched between her cello and a bass guitar. We only stayed for a few songs before we went back home.
I always find it inspiring to go look at other people’s art. This adventure has given me a fresh burst of motivation to do something creative. I haven’t made anything in a really long time. Perhaps this is just what I needed!