Berlin is the epicenter of art in Europe. The art scene is so rich and dense, but what really strikes you is how Art plays a central role not only in Berlin’s psyche, but how the city conceptualises its self. Berlin deliberately shies away from the monumentalism of the built form; art inhabits the tenor of the city, derelict building from WW2 are still art squats, still respected and still important in the collective urban scape. In many ways Art has rebuilt Berlin
In a series of posts about Berlin, today I am looking at the work of Emilio Vidova housed at the Berlinische Galerie. Vidova worked in Berlin in the winter of 1964 in the former studio of National Socialist scultor Arno Breker. Having received a Ford Foundation scholarship he made in this studio the “Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch 64” works(Pictured).
Vidovas term for the works were “Plurimi” which were picture frames and panels shattered and joined by hinges to form 3rd objects. These objects release non representational, expressive painting from the conventional form of the panel picture. For Vidova the Plurimi capture “feelings that have hapened, that are happening…..in a city burdened by fears”. For me these works capture the action of historical legacy, they are cathartic and in many ways have set the tone, and substrate for the space that art occupies in Berlin. Vidova wanted to capture the legacy of the city, its struggles and the critical democratic spirit of Grosz, Dix Beckmannn and of Dada Berlin. I think he does this brilliantly, and nearly 50 years after he painted the “Plurimi” the antagonisms and conflicting movement of energies are still present in Berlin, still signposted in this great work.