Barbara Weidle is an art critic and curator. She lives in Berlin and Bonn.
For A Life without a Dentist is handwritten across one of Martin Kippenbergers canvases from 1984, with the second a inscribed within the shape of a tooth. This nonsense sentence reveals the essence of Kippenbergers anarchic wit and radical artistic stance.
Berlin’s most special dinner invitation (for paying guests) during the last few weeks was definitely Alma Mahler-Werfel’s 127th birthday party at Kronprinzen-Palais (Crown Prince Palace) Unter den Linden. For twenty-five evenings, Alma Mahler (1879–1964), famous as the “widow of the four arts,” celebrated with her husbands—composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, writer Franz Werfel—and lovers like the painter Oskar Kokoschka as well as 200 other guests at the classicist palace where Germany’s last emperor, Wilhelm II, was born in 1859.
Bob Dylan, all in black and wearing a Stetson, stood on the stage in front of the Rhine-Herne-Canal. Without a word to the audience in the sold-out open-air arena on a perfect summer Sunday evening in the Ruhrgebiet, one of Germany’s old industrial centers, he just sang his songs, as always, as if he had never sung them before. “Like a Rolling Stone, ” “Forever Young,
“Being Doomed” is the expression that unites all the faces in Gillian Wearing’s video installation, Drunk (1999). Young and old, alcoholic men and women are seen sitting, standing, looking around, speaking, trying to do simple things, like put on a sweater.