photos: Aja Jacques.
It takes a lot of effort for an artist to build a career. Berlin has undoubtedly been a center for avant-garde artists from all over the world, providing a unique platform for innovative and unstigmatized arts. However, in the last year of Covid lockdowns, they have had to sacrifice what they have been building in for years. Berlin artists have beautified our nightlife and art scene with their diverse and quirky touch, but now jobless, stage, and live audience, they are stripped of their platforms even though their art still radiates talent and talent. creativity.
Photographer and former performer Aja Jacques created Berlin Offstage after spending the last three months interviewing and photographing some of these artists in their homes and walks us through a series of vignettes of their fears and concerns. Jacques aims to create an open space for public discussions about the struggles of the arts community in Berlin that has been left in limbo during the pandemic.
Julietta La Doll, a Freak Show & Sideshow Performance artist who participated in Berlin Offstage says:
“I miss the stage, I miss the thing that excites me, the thing that I burn for. I miss all of this that no money in the world could pay… I think compared to other cities in the world we are very lucky to be here in Berlin, and of course it is a situation that no one has ever faced. We can’t expect this [the government] does not make any mistakes. I just wish our voices were heard more.
Julietta LaDoll at Home, December 2020
Very confused at home in Berlin
Fifi Fantome at home, November 2020
Some artists are afraid of losing their platform in the face of uncertainty. Ixa, DJ, drag artist and performance artist is very open about her fears of irrecoverable damage:
“I’m worried that the infrastructure on which nightlife relies, which fuels the performance culture here, is collapsing. That financial institutions find themselves in such trouble that they begin to have to think about financing the most essential things, which… the arts are usually at the top of the list of things to eliminate first. This city being the haven that it was, will no longer exist that way. This is something that we are already struggling with, with the gentrification that is happening here.
Ixa at her home in Berlin
Inga Salome at home, January 2021
Reverso at home, January 2021
Daddy Sparkles tells us what they miss most about the performance. Lockdown not only robs platforms, but also causes mental and psychological distress. For trans artists, the struggle can be overwhelming:
“What am I missing in the performance? All! For me, it was a process of affirmation and confirmation of everything in my life, led to performance. Every time I take the stage I feel the same as the first time I performed. Which is so significant. I can inspire people from within my own four walls, but it’s not the same as hearing the experiences of people from your work, seeing them face to face and seeing their emotion… The queer community i miss so much. It’s heartbreaking… Locked out, I wrote an article on what it means to be trans locked out. It is a complete set of prisons. Everyone feels a bit imprisoned at home and a bit imprisoned in their country. That’s already two prisons. But when you also feel mentally trapped by your brain and then transgender trapped by your body, it’s like being locked in a cage inside a cage inside a cage. inside a cage. You can never go out and it is very terrifying.
Dad sparkles at home in Berlin
Riley Davidson AKA Gutter Gucci at Home November 2020
Buba Sababa at home, December 2020
The project was co-organized by Bad Bruises, Trash Era and Wilde Renate with artists who were all part of the Overmorrow art exhibition which ran at Wilde Renate until October 2020. Overmorrow provided a plate -Performance form to over 100 local performance artists and contributed over € 100,000 to local artists until it was forced to close at the end of October.
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