An Interview with Andrea Zittel

Artist Andrea Zittel from the United States began designing minimalist "Living Units" and "Escape Vehicles" in the 1990s, each one individually suited to the occupant. Today, she lives in a desert settlement in Joshua Tree, California, where she continues to explore the dovetailing of mobility and settledness. Cheryl Kaplan interviews Andrea Zittel.


Miwa Yanagi: The Beauty of the Prison

When urban codes, labels and fashions become the obsession of a thoroughly organized society: The Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin is showing works by Japanese photo artist Miwa Yanagi. For Maria Morais, Yanagi's images of young women and "elevator girls" are reminiscent of the Baroque labyrinths of Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi.


Franz Ackermann's Mental Maps

The office on the beach and other mistakes in the global village: With the diary-like drawings and paintings of his "Mental Maps", Franz Ackermann deals with the inhospitableness of megacities and the questionable promises of freedom offered by a contemporary nomadic existence. Harald Fricke visited the artist in his Berlin studio.


New Forms of Governance

What will the metropolises of the future look like? On February 13 and 14, the mayors of 16 major European cities will meet in Barcelona, at the invitation of the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue, to discuss "New Forms of Governance in the 21st Century." The Catalan metropolis has found a solution, called "Forum 2004."


Working on the Myth

No one can imagine Paris without its artsy neighborhood or Berlin without its innovative Mitte district. But as soon as museums, galleries, and clubs have ennobled the city, village-like structures emerge: Creative types prefer to live among their own kind, says Ulf Poschardt, concidering the hype surrounding the idea of urbanity as a melting-pot.


 



Tomorrowland: Visions of Urban Identity

Cities make people neurotic. They're loud - and they're restless. Still, ever since Charles Baudelaire's day, cities have been celebrated as the creative centers of modernity. This month's edition of db-art.info, titled "Tomorrowland," is dedicated to the promises, problems, and various life models that go hand in hand with contemporary urban life. And what about contemporary art? Is the city a juggernaut or an El Dorado of creativity for artists? "When I first moved to New York, I'd walk out my door and two blocks away I'd have this anxiety attack and go home. Ever since, I've wanted to make spaces that were private, where I could breathe." In an interview with Cheryl Kaplan, the New York artist Andrea Zittel describes the concept of her Living Units, which made her world famous in the 90s. Today, Zittel lives in a model settlement in the California desert, because "in an anti-urban environment, you don't need everyone to clock-work." ++++++ In Japan, the women of the future are dynamic, even in their old age. At least that's how the Kyoto-based photo artist Miwa Yanagi portrays it: the company boss in a rabbit costume, the supermodel who's turned a marble gravestone into a fashion runway, the aged bike chick gripping the bars of her Harley. Yanagi digitally alters both people and spaces; her work portrays the city as a hermetically sealed space, as a mirror image of a fantastic dream world dictated by consumerism, uniformity, labels, and clothing. ++++++ "Mental Maps" are what the Berlin-based painter Franz Ackermann calls his drawings, psycho-cartographies he made of his travels around the world. Ackermann's cities are images of a globalized landscape in which the conflict between the center and the periphery is drawing closer. ++++++ The future of the city is the theme of the conference "New Forms of Governance in the 21st Century," initiated by the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue. Mayors of 16 major European cities will be meeting in Barcelona to discuss with urban sociologists about improving concepts for the urbanization process ++++++ When it comes to the connection between city life and creativity, Ulf Poschardt is skeptical. To him, the trendy urban neighborhoods have already turned into cozy villages of modern Bohemian life.