March 8, 2016

Little Thoughts on Art: Artist's Lofts

Artists like lofts - this might be because they can’t stand barriers, even when they take on the form of doors. The open space reflects the open mind. Practically, a loft comes in handy if one tends to make big work. I personally like to close a door and when I see those artists’ lofts I get anxious about heating costs in the winter. I was once talking to an artist who told me he found himself on a sinking boat, and suddenly his majestic loft got the looks of a Titanic. It might also be the other way around, you acquire a loft so that it will invite success to follow - it’s called "positive visualisation," and when nothing happens, it’s called "keeping up appearances." Mostly, artists look for each other’s inspiring vicinity and if you visit one you can see on the door bell tons of others. Rosemarie Trockel and Nan Goldin are working like that in the same building. But they probably didn’t know what they bought themselves into. The renovated Max Taut house in Kreuzberg has become the hate object of gentrification opponents. The windows are smashed in constantly, so that reparation doesn’t help. No insurance will keep on covering that. You see, this Max Taut building, Bauhaus style, was used for workers unions whereas now it looks like a bunker of those who have “succeeded” in society, keeping everybody else out. The renovation was done by the Ingenbeek architects, who are known for “label” fashion housing and not exactly neigborhood sensitive architecture. An estate agency is selling one of the apartments at the Max Taut house as “factory loft for individualists”. I don’t know if you, as an artist, feel addressed by that?

The smashed windows of the Max Taut Haus, appropriated by the inhabitants as an art work, plastered wounds with sayings as "Memorial for the newcomers", "Memorial for the cohabitation of different people", "Memorial for Latte Macchiato and beer cans"

1 comment:

  1. This is the first blog I have ever responded to in my life:

    Thank you for the additional historical information about the Taut Haus. I think your reasoning about why artists live in lofts is off the mark. I moved onto the Bowery in the 1970's because it was cheap and off-the-grid. Lofts there are now renting for 800% more than when I moved in. Because of my own politics it took me a few years to move into the Taut Haus after I got the space here. I understand the anger towards it, but its too easy to single it out as the core of the problem. The politics and economics of modern cities are based around gentrifying such neighborhoods. What you create and put out into the world is more political than your address.

    -Nan Goldin-