Über Lebenskunst: The Art of Sustainable Living

One thing I like about the German language is that it demonstrates the possibility of being both logical and fun. This week much-publicized festival initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the House of World Cultures is titled, Über Lebenskunst, which can be read and interpreted as either “About the Art of Living” or “The Art of Survival”.

From Aug 17 to 21, at the site of the House of World Cultures (also called the “pregnant oyster”), 101 hours of conferences, workshops, installations, performances, concerts, films, excursions, discussions and readings, attempt to address the main question that the title of the exhibition evokes, “can a new “art of living” also ensure our survival?”

Strategies for change are proposed in both philosophy and action.

Do I buy new products? Or do I try to find uniqueness, additional value and use in old ones?

Do I eat sushi made out of overfished tuna and un-environmentally friendly-farmed salmon? Or do I try somewhat “exotic” sushi made out of local herring?

Can I have fun finding ways to save energy? Is “freedom through play” really possible?

Über Lebenskunst presents the kind of contemporary art that does not stop within the space of exhibition but will follow the audience’s “insurrectionary imagination”, now awakened, to a vision where art and sustainable living are in perfect harmony.


Additional Information

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Festival Über Lebenskunst
Exhibition: August 17 – 21, 2011
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 (click here for map)


Blog entry by Amee Lê in Berlin; Friday, August 19, 2011. Photographs by Amee Lê, poster provided by Jens Mayer.

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