Read This: Calamity in Berlin

What artist worth her salt hasn’t fantasized about skipping the pond to Berlin, where every corner boasts a gallery, hedonistic artists get to live on the dole, and there’s a legendary city-wide devotion to music and debauchery? If only we could all figure out a way to a) survive the freezing weather and b) make a living there.

Formerly Austin-based artist Ali Fitzgerald has done just that, and luckily she documents her new immigrant lifestyle on her addictive blog Calamity in Berlin. If you caught any of her work here, like her Art Palace exhibition last May, then you already know her art pretty much rules. Turns out she’s a writer too, with a gift for appreciating the bizarre nuances of any situation she seems to find herself in. Her blog has almost no photos and you won’t care, because homegirl’s writing is so good. I especially love it when she schools us readers on German culture and personalities like in this Might Be Good review of Kunzt in Heim at the Capitain Petzl Gallery (pictured above):

After penetrating the incredibly exposed entrance, (with some trepidation if you’re hung over and wearing a sailor suit), one encounters a smattering of glass vitrines, a circumspect shack, a model of an oil rig, a wooden labyrinth and a stern Kippenberger portrait that notifies you immediately of your location in the heartland of emotional contradiction. Kippenberger’s sober German man looks down, the electric blue blinds behind him painted with a flippantly self-assured hand. This painting, like Germany’s complex social history is both solemn and lively. “Achtung! You can’t step on the grass! But, please accompany me to a shadowy sex dungeon with leather fetishists rotating on a spit.”

That is so totally German! Check out Calamity in Berlin and Might Be Good to catch up on all of Ali’s transplant’s-point-of-view gems and art reviews and dream about how you, too, can be a rad expatriate artist.


About Women and Their Work Gallery

Known for its pioneering spirit, embrace of artistic innovation, and commitment to Texas audiences and artists, Women & Their Work Art Space is a one of a kind statewide non-profit organization. Voted “Best Gallery” numerous times in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll, Women & Their Work Gallery showcases exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year and presents performances, readings, film screenings and educational outreach programs.
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