Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!

July 8, 2015  19:29  |  Let’s talk

Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!

Photos: from organizers archyves

Each city has it’s own golden horse: architecture, museums, beaches, restaurants or exceptional cuisine, nature and parties. Vanessa Brazeau sees Berlin as a place where the art can pull you in a spin and will not let you out until you fall in love with the artistic side of never sleeping city. Do you love cycling or interested in art? “Art Spin Berlin” connects it and shows around while highlighting the way with the colors of positivity and curiosity. “When you have a sunny day in Berlin with a variety of different people who all have love for art and cycling in common… it gets really colorful!” – says she and invites into a short trip.

What is exceptional about Berlin? Does the art scene differ from any other places? Could it be called like a heaven or springboard for the artists? Why?

For me Berlin is different from most other cities because there is this ‘anything goes’ attitude toward using spaces. There are antique buses made into entranceways to nightclubs, gardens used as workspace for installation artists and countless abandoned buildings turned into artist studios. It is a city of repurposed architecture and creative transformation of space. In some ways it’s like a heaven for artists, in terms of the freedom you can have to do what you like and also to have so many opportunities to be a part of great projects and collaborations, but it is also very hard to get paid for anything. So for experimentation and getting experience it’s a great place for artists, but to live from your work, that is pretty difficult.

Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!

Art Spin Berlin is inspired by the similar project based in Toronto. How did you find out about that initiative and finally what’s the story till you started to organize it here in Berlin?

I was a part of Art Spin Toronto in 2011. I really loved the concept and working with Layne and Rui was a fantastic experience for me. After moving to Berlin in 2012, I thought right away, that the tour would adapt to the city really well, but it took a few years before I had the courage to go for it. In February of 2014 I was home visiting Canada, and after I got back to Berlin I just felt that the timing was right. I asked Rui and Layne what they thought, and they were very excited and supportive about the idea. They continue to be a great support and I couldn’t have done it without them!

The very first inaugural tour was organized in 2014 and it took place in Berlin-Lichtenberg. What places did you explore? How do you normally process the selection of the hot spots of visiting?

We had a performance in a park, rode through a 1970’s “Plattenbau” neighborhood, where we visited a massive mural from the artist duo JBAK who joined us and spoke about the work. After that we had a performance at the courtyard of the former Stasi Ministerium, then Rummels Bucht; a night club and garden lounge, and lastly HB55; a former butter factory turned artist studios with a street art gallery, Black Market Collective, run by Alternative Berlin Tours. As for the selection, usually spaces I already know, really like and think other will too, or locations that I’ve ridden past and always had an interest in exploring. Approaching spaces about being a part of Art Spin Berlin is one of my favorite things to do.

Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!

Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!

In what ways does cycling – exploration differ from walking on foot or using public transport? Why did you choose this mean of transport? How do you personally feel while cycling? Does it have special meaning for you?

Perception of a city while cycling is like a middle ground between walking and public transport – it’s fast enough that a lot of information is processed at once, but also slow enough that you can still feel a part of your surroundings and have a relationship with them. I feel that on a bike you can really grasp the way a city is connected to itself.  Walking is too localized to do this is and transport is too detached. There is also something very dynamic about cycling in groups that can’t be experienced while walking.

Cycling is a very personal experience for me because I was a freestyle BMX rider for many years. When you ride BMX in the city you are always looking at architecture and objects that construct public space in creative ways. Similarly, using public space for art also changes its function and nature. As an artist and a cyclist, Art Spin Berlin has been the perfect way to be able to appreciate and reimagine the city using art and cycling at the same time.

The future is now: what are the further plans? In what ways the next Art Spin Berlin will surprise the cyclists?

Well, we are very busy planning our second tour, which is happening Friday, July 24th! We are going to be cycling through the area of Treptow/Köpenick and have a really exciting tour planned. Participants will be happy to know that this year we won’t have a surprise from police, urbanist magazine ( www.urbanist-magazin.de ) has been doing an amazing job registering the event with the city this year. I don’t want to give away too much, but we’re going to have quite a performance-based tour this year. The route will be a very nice contrast of forest and industry, and maybe the best part is we’ll be along the river most of the time – perfect for a late July day! Cyclists can register for the event at: http://artspinberlin-2015.eventbrite.de

Wanna spin in art? Come to Berlin!


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