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Tag "Theater"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

► Monday: Friedrich Kiesler – Architect, Artist Visionary

The architect, stage designer, artist and theoretician Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) explored and challenged the boundaries between individual art genres and his theories of endless space and Correalism- which deals with the human perceptions and visions in relation to the cultural anthropology of architecture. This exhibition offers a multi-perspectival approach into his works in “space-time” architecture, sculpture and art.

  • When: 10:00 – 19:00
  • Where: Martin-Gropius-Bau – Niederkirchnerstr. 7, 10963
  • Admission: 7€
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The Clouds in chorus (Credit: Tamar Maare)

The Clouds in chorus (Credit: Tamar Maare)

Maria Khan is a BA 2015 alumna originally from Pakistan.

Bard College Berlin has a special place in my heart. I love it. I adore it. I am shamelessly and unabashedly its biggest fan. I have loved all its transformations and will continue to do so. I spent my formative years at BCB, and my experience was enriched by the people I met, the friendships I formed, and the lessons I learned there.

Currently, I’m enrolled in a PhD program at Cambridge University, specializing in arts education. My PhD examines the use of drama for the purposes of cultural integration. I plan to work with Turkish immigrants in Germany and use Goethe’s Faust to instigate a conversation about interfaith dialogue, Western versus Islamic values, and how Muslim immigrants perceive themselves in a host community.

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A scene from Berlin Diary (Credit: Jerun Vahle on NPR Berlin)

A scene from Berlin Diary (Credit: Jerun Vahle on NPR Berlin)

Backless chairs are a bold choice for a theater, I thought as I sat on a stiff ledge at English Theater Berlin, the city’s international performing arts center. Backless chairs say, “You will be so riveted by this play that you won’t even consider leaning back.” Backless chairs also say, “Comfort is not the point of this experience. As such, the expectations were high for Berlin Diary, which premiered this past October.

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► Monday, September 26th: Golem!

golem

The myth of the Golem – a monstrous artificial life form – has been an inspiration to a wide range of cultural narratives and has shaped the way in which topics such as: man-made creation vs. divine creation, power and, redemption, are thought about. This exhibition traces the historical and cultural development of the figure of the Golem in all its facets and usages, from Jewish mystical rituals to literature and pop-culture.

  • When: 10:00-10:00
  • Where: Jewish Museum: Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
  • Admission: 3€ for students
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Arts and Society

Spectator of a video installation by Lena Kück (Credit: Tamar Maare).

The architects of the peculiar building at the end of a long, cobbled driveway on Eichenstrasse 43 would find it difficult to believe what has become of their creation. Originally intended as a tire manufacturing plant, the seemingly innocuous double-storey building has been subjected to a tumultuous history. Rumours of its past use for secret satanic rituals hang about the air like cobwebs. The cracked walls battle peeling paint and ivy. It remains, however, a place of creation. Somewhere along the production line of time, it was subsumed in art. Today, E43 is fondly referred to as “The Factory” by the BCB community. It is the home of the majority of BCB’s practicing arts classes and lies at the heart of the newly instated Arts and Society program.

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The premiere of "Spectacular!" written by Madison Christ (photo by Inasa Bibic)

The premiere of “Spectacular!” written by Madison Christ (photo by Inasa Bibic)

Read If You’re a Theater Kid… (Part 1) here.

For me, art tends to be very personal. It comes from within the artist and is put on display for others to see, whether it is an idea you’ve had, an experience, a conversation, a picture. In Bard College Berlin’s Poetry and Poetics course, we recently studied Confessional Poetry – a genre of poetry dealing with very blunt, personal experiences, making it difficult to distinguish between the speaker and the poet. But to me, all art is in some way confessional; you can mask it as deeply as you want with metaphors, imagery, colors or characters, but something of your art has you in it because there’s no way to be certain of anything else. Even the painting of a portrait is the painter’s perspective of that person. As someone who likes to write, the greatest anxiety and the greatest happiness comes from others reading or seeing my work and liking it, because that work is a part of me. Were it not, I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks of it the same way I don’t care what people think of a rock we pass by on the street that I have no attachment to. Art is special because it lays a piece of your mind bare for others to experience.

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If you're a theater kid

There are a lot of different things that people define themselves by or others define them by, regardless of whether they are right or wrong (of course it is a question, if it’s even possible to have a “right” or “wrong” definition of a person). But despite stereotypes or characterizations of people, one thing that seems to remain true is that if you’re a theater kid, you’re a “theater kid.”

After every opening night of a show, my cast would go out to Shari’s, a 24-hour diner nearby, and the girls would order their food while the boys went out to do their “secret tradition” behind the diner. (Everyone knew they just stood in a circle and drank root beer out of the bottle, but we pretended we had no idea so that they could still have their fun.) Sitting there, with the whole cast around me, making the waitresses mad because we could never seem to order in one go, and eating hash browns and a side pickle is one of my all-time favorite memories from back home. And this is an experience I can share only with my theater friends.

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Hoffman in the 2005 film Capote

Hoffman in the 2005 film Capote

A falling star, in truth, is a meteorite—a combination of dust and rock falling into the Earth’s atmosphere. As these meteorites fall, they burn up and leave a short-lived trail of light—a meteor. Like stars, meteorites exist in plenty. In much the same way that the universe is constructed, our human realm is in some sense bound by a hierarchy of Hollywood stars and meteorites––the rest of us.

And yet, no matter if you are a star or a meteorite, you are bound—sooner or later—to fall into the hands of death. After all, mortality is universal. What makes the difference is what the living make of death, as well as how they treat the memory of the departed.

On February 2nd 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman, a star among stars, departed from the living. Hoffman, aged 46, lost his life to heroin—a drug from which he’d been sober for over twenty years.  Despite his enormous success in the acting world, Hoffman seemed quite grounded in both words and looks. This is a rarity, given the extremes to which money, popularity, and the media can lead. Yet, given the actor’s background, Hoffman’s grounded aura might not be all that surprising. This is because Hoffman’s rise to success was gradual, demanding lots of hard work and dedication.

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