Countries, Culture, Europe

Stick it to art protesters in Dusseldorf

It’s no jackets required in the K21 Standehuis museum where they stick it to art protesters in Dusseldorf.

The worry is that the activists will glue themselves to the art installations.

Now I don’t know the science of how unsticking a jacketed person rather than say a jumpered person helps but them’s the rules.

And if it helps divert the activists away from the galleries then all the better.

Acceptable, the Eighties

Turning Japanese: Little Tokyo, Dusseldorf

Now Dusseldorf in North Rhine Westfalen may be known for a range of things, the fashion capital and its Japanese links.

But for this day tripper the jewel in its crown is its former state parliament.

Its museum, the K21 which with two others forms the Kuntsammlung.

And boasts large scale film and video installations in a celebration of post-80s modern art.

Modern life

Just the ticket: Picasso

If you’re more of a fan of earlier 20th century big-hitters such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse then nearby K20 is where to go.

And postwar American art includes works by Jackson Pollock and Frank Stella.

And pop artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol.

But if it’s immersive, physical art you’re after then the aforementioned K21 that stands out.

In another orbit

Hold on tight: In Orbit

The In Orbitinstallation installation by Tomás Saraceno.

And our guides left this, the best for last.

Suspended 25m above the piazza five air-filled spheres constructed of near-transparent steel mesh.

Encompass an area of 2500 square metres.

But enough science, now for the fun.

Visitors can don suits and shoes with suckers on them to enter one of the bubbles

And crawl into them.

Spider’s web

Everyone’s a spinner: The web

The idea being that we inhabit a spider’s world and movement to strategise our movement.

We, who merely watched, were more like worker bees following our queen who informed us we had to leave.

It felt like being stung but our train back to Essen as part of the German Travel Mart was leaving and we had to be on it.

The K21 Standehuis had been an education and we were happy to compromise.

By cutting short some our enjoyment to queue for our jackets.

All so we could stick it to art protesters in Dusseldorf.



Countries, Europe, UK

German English anthems for the footy

Fur der Woche that’s in it Rainy days and Songdays celebrates German English anthems for the footy.

And no triumphalism here or throwbacks to the World Wars, just banging songs the British have taken to their hearts.

I’ll start off with a curve ball here with a prog rock concept act many outside Germany might not know.

To Be Or Not To Be

On the Elbe, Dresden

I’ll Call Thee Hamlet (Woods of Birnam): And you can’t get much more English than Shakespeare.

I caught these guys in Dresden where they were the headliners for the German Travel Mart.

And just for good measure Birnam lead singer Saxon Christian Friedel throws in a soliloquy.

Give a little whistle

Tear down that wall: Reagan said it about the Wall

The Scorpions (Winds of Change): The Hanover rockers’ biggest hit was adopted as the song of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Of course anyone who listens to the words beyond the opening whistling and before the chorus will know different.

And who says a song can’t have an unintended journey and follows the Moskva down to Gorky Park… and onto Berlin.

Did you ever think that we could be so close like brothers?

Model craft

Der Fab Four:

Kraftwerk (Das Model): And the Dusseldorf kings of synth pop who did wonders for the image of the German fraulein.

And also cornered the market in Tour de France music.

Da Da, Ja, Ja

And then there was three.

Trio (Da Da Da): And if learning a language was only this easy.

The rest from this Grossenkneten is German and our translator reveals it is staple pop fare boy loves/doesn’t love girl.

Ja, we know, Da, Da, Da.

Up, up and away…

Nena (Neunundneunzig Luftballons): And this Eurovision banger is one of those rare songs that is just as good in its native language and English.

And of course, there will be English red balloons to greet the home side tomorrow.

North Rhine-Westphalian Nena’s song is thd best of the German English anthems for the footy and no mistake.

And to misquote Nena although it will be her sentiment…

This is it, boys… this ain’t war.