A weekend excursion brought me and my friends to Düsseldorf for two days. I had visited the city twice before and never really liked it as I am just not into clothes shopping and similar pastimes. This time we avoided the obvious shopping locations and the result remained quite unimpressive: Essentially the town felt like the 1980s, along with Western Germany, never ended. Not the best thing in my book. In addition the locals just have this style of talking to you that uses a bossing-around tone along with a pseudo-friendly ‘Du’ instead of the polite ‘Sie’ to address you.
Highlights of the visit were the breakfast at À midi, a sweet French-style café with a lovely atmosphere; The Der Rote Bulli exhibition at NRW Forum with photos from the Düsseldorf-school of Bernd and Hilla Becher as well as photos by Stephen Shore, trying to highlight the similarities of their approaches. Bonus points for NRW Forum making one of the rare reasonable efforts of having a useful web page, iOS app and providing their audio guide as a podcast.
Afterwards we visited the Nam June Paik exhibition at Museum Kunstpalast next door. I can’t help it, but I’m not terribly impressed by that. Whenever I see video-art type things I can’t help thinking that the artists aren’t particularly good at it on a technical level. I mean everybody has funny and new ideas all day but I thought the deal about artists is that they are very good at making them real. Those video artists mainly aren’t. A few nice ideas there, plenty of lame ones, and very little technical sophistication.
Before leaving on Sunday we took a walk along the Rhine and a trip up Rheinturm which luckily must have been in the only sunny hour of the day, giving us a great view around. After sipping a quick espresso at a bar in the nearby Gehry buildings the weekend was over already!
Ich bin ja in Düsseldorf geboren, aber so richtig warm bin ich mit der Stadt nie geworden. Mich fröstelt es immer ein wenig wenn ich dort bin. Ein ähnliches Gefühl habe ich wenn ich nach Mitte fahre. Diese kalten kapitalistischen Hochglanz-Fassaden. Brrr.
Düsseldorf, home of Kling Klang, IIRC. :)