An Essay About the Affiliation of Creativity and the City

The urban appeal
Ever since the Bohemians began to populate the cities as a new sort of creative elitism, creativity and urbanity are considered a symbolic example of modernism.
The urban environment corresponds with our present hybridity, where formlessness and chaos merge into a interdisciplinarity and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities.
Nothing has changed much, whoever seeks a particular closeness to the milieu of creativity is immediately drawn to the metropolis. The city serves as a breeding ground and stage. It offers stimulus, possibilities, and audience at the very same time.
If one browses through the history of Freunde von Freunden, one notices a somewhat long-term study of such personalities, revealing the structural connections between creative work and the urban environment.



One’s own four walls
A personal flat offers a particular space, which stands within distance of the city’s anonymity and forms a small, private island, in which one is able to express and be himself without any constrictions. Due to this, the apartment is regarded as an outlet of our expectations and desires. Even though we find ourselves in a self-created shell, there is never an absolute isolation in regards to our surroundings.

The spell that surrounds us
It seems as though a window or a door are the ultimate symbolic manifestation of the ongoing exchange between inside and outside, the private and anonymity.
How natural we oscillate between those two spheres, letting friends in and out, surround ourselves with foreign objects and establish through this a somewhat ribbon which we circulate over and over again.

The yearning stare out the window is much more than just an idiom. It signifies our deepest need to eventually find ourselves. However, we are aware of the dire need to leave this ribbon that consists of our self-created world made with record collections, book-cases, and french-presses.

In search of authenticity
It is not a new phenomenon that more and more city-people wish to move to the country-side. Being surrounded by nature was already most important for the romantics.
Nowadays, urban gardening projects are blossoming out of every single corner where there no cement is found. Balconies are transforming into little oases and those once mocked allotment gardens are now experiencing a time of prosperity.
In a time in which city people are screaming for authenticity and truth, nature must have become their new muse or perhaps even as much as a saver:

Enchanters! Enchantresses!
Your gold makes you seem wise:
The morning mist within your grounds
More proudly rolls, more softly lies.

Yet spake yon purple mountain,
Yet said yon ancient wood,
That night or day, that love or crime
Lead all souls to the Good.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Park)

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Text: Antonia Märzhäuser
Übersetzung: Lara Konrad

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Comments

  1. Mia | 11.07.2012 — 02:52

    Lovely pieces! I’ve just moved to Berlin from Brooklyn and I could not have expressed this better myself.

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