I must confess, Berlin is in my bad books, even if I’m in preparations for a Berlin trip next week. To be fair, it’s not Berlin I work off, but Berlin and it’s 1st Mural Festival – and The Dixons.
When I heard about that festival in February, organized by The Dixons, I was euphoric. I had been in THE HAUS the year before and my expectations raced ahead. I liked, what they had done there. They have a lot of national and international contacts and friends, who have friends with friends, who have a lot of friends too… I was really curious to see what this new project would produce, and the best: this time they would not have the chance to spoil my party and do not allow to take pictures. I started to plan a longer Berlin trip in May to be part of the event. Early in April they started to launch the line up and every day some new highlights were announced – and the line up was spectacular. So far so good. That is what I know from street art festivals all around, not least from the NRW festivals TRANSURBAN, CityLeaks and UFAM Ruhr. Maybe I’m naive, I would have expected to get information about the location of the walls, where you could have the chance to observe seldomly-seen artists going about their work. This is how it is handled in NRW. Not in Berlin! Several direct requests, to find out something more, remained unanswered. Ok – The Dixons were busy with interviews and I am not important enough for an answer. The flow of relevant information went to zero and I am very dissatisfied, as my lead time for organization of a longer Berlin trip went down and down. I had to give up my intentions to see work in progress and have to accept to see the finished murals only. A map with locations of the walls, spread all over Berlin was published just before the Whitsun weekend, when the peak of the festival was celebrated with event parties at several locations all over Berlin. Festival? How I see it, this was more a big party appetized with some street art activities on the edge. Yes for sure – Berlin has got some more murals in town (as if Berlin is poor of murals), but as can be heared from the capital, some of those new murals are short-lived, as a number of walls are to be painted again in the nearest future. The local (free) graffiti scene seems to be not amused about this festival. Discussions about art and making money with art were hot and contoversially. This is a complex topic and cannot be reduced only to envy and jealousy. The brandnew mural of MR.WOODLAND at Rigaer Straße 98 has been crossed recently. So my trip to Berlin, planned to observe artists at work, degenerated to an ordinary sightseeing trip with a focus on the new murals of the 1st Berlin Mural Festival, as far as they still exist. You think that all sounds like I am pretty pissed and angry? Damn right!
As I do not have pictures of the current situation, I have seasoned with pictures of my last Berlin trip (2017)