Art Weekend in Milan

An art weekend in Milan? How so?

After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.

Piazza del Duomo - with the iconic cathedral.
Piazza del Duomo – with the iconic cathedral.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.

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From North German Ports to the Americas: Migration in the 19th and 20th Century

In the 19th and 20th centuries, millions of people left Europe for the Americas in search of a better life – choosing a migration route through North German ports.

sculpture called Die Auswanderer, emigrants, remembering Migration from North German Ports to the Americas
This sculpture called Die Auswanderer, hence emigrants, is standing on the shore of the river Weser. It remembers the seven million passing through the port of Bremerhaven. Actually, this statue by Frank Varga was donated by the German-American Memorial Association.

As a counterpart to the arrival halls in Ellis Island, several museums in German cities remember the adventurous journeys of the emigrants in transit.

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HAKONE OPEN-AIR MUSEUM – at the height of beauty

Although on clear days, you can be lucky to spot Mount Fuji all the way from Tokyo, most people take a day trip either to the Fujigoko Fuji Five Lake region at the northern foot of the mountain or to Hakone, a hot spring region with many grand places to experience – like the Hakone Open-Air Museum, an outdoor gallery at the height of beauty.

Renata Green on a sculpture at the Open Air Museum In Hakone, Japan
Sunnyside up: At Hakone’s outdoor gallery, visitors are invited to become one with the art – literally.

World-famous Mount Fuji, probably Japan’s most iconic landmark, is a still active volcano, albeit, it erupted for the last time in 1707, so no worries.

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Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art – Istanbul ‘s best-hidden Gem

Hardly anyone I know has ever heard of the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, so I really think it’s Istanbul ‘s best-hidden Gem.

Coming to this grand city on the Bosporus river, obviously, everybody is standing in line to see the antique masterpieces at Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace. Or – if they venture away from Sultanahmet – the very ‘French’ Dolmabahçe.

Terrace of the Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art - Istanbul's best-hidden Gem
Homage to Masters of Sculpture, against the backdrop of Istanbul’s financial center view,
Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz

But hardly anyone comes to Istanbul to see the young, fresh, and daring Turkish contemporary art.

Big mistake!

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We’ll Always Have Büdelsdorf – bye:myself at the NordArt 2017

We’ll Always Have Büdelsdorf – since every year, hence, also in 2017, the NordArt is taking place in this forlorn suburb with the quirky name.

City sign Büdelsorf and a sign advertising for the NordArt2017
Welcome to the town where one of Europe’s largest art fairs is taking place; I kid you not.

Don’t judge an art event by its location: The annual NordArt is one of Europe’s biggest exhibitions of contemporary art.

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Büdelsdorf Revisited – bye:myself at the NordArt 2018

Büdelsdorf revisited – since every year the NordArt is taking place in that forlorn suburb with the quirky name, also in 2018, I visited bye:myself.

NICHTS by Klaus Gündchen, made from stainless steel in 2011.
Apart from the annual changing exhibitions, some of the works – especially the sculptures in the gardens – stay for longer.
For instance this NICHTS-sign.
NICHTS was made by Klaus Gündchen from stainless steel in 2011.

As you already know from this post, the NordArt is a very nice, annual art event. Obviously, you cannot compare it to the Biennial in Venice.

Nevertheless, they show a great variety of international artists. The NordArt has been one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe, after all.

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Trip to BELO HORIZONTE | BRUMADINHO | INHOTIM

While studying Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, I thought it might be a good idea to take a trip to Belo Horizonte at the weekend – mostly because I wanted to see Inhotim, a botanic garden full of contemporary art.

Group of drummers in Belo Horizonte
Young Belo Horizontians drumming with vigor.

Turns out, Inhotim was the only spot worth the travel. But so worth it!

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