25 years of Germany reunification. 5 years of indepence for me. In Oct. 2011 I had quit my last regular job on a spontaneous notion with vague hopes to survive as a fully selfemployed artist with no security net. I was offically unemployed for 1 day, then I was suddenly my own business & my own boss. I was lucky to get a one year support for small businesses by the German government to start off. But I now realize I could not have survived without the help and support of my friends and artist collegues. I am extremly thankful to all of you!
Juha Valkeapää & me in Sysmä, Finland, 2011
True, I was also facing many obstacles. The biggest obstacle was my discomfort of seeing art as a business & being a boss to myself. It also means there is usually no one else to blame. You are completely responsible for all your decisions. Scary. And still I am not as well organized & disciplined as I should be. It was a big surprise to find out that beeing a “free artist” means you have to do a lot of non-artistic management work. Accounting is the worst for me since I was never a friend of numbers. My “creative space” now seems smaller than it had been before.
My incredible stage at Museo Vostell, Malpartida de Caceres, Spain, 2011
On the other hand I made so many great experiences, met new colleges in many different countries & some of them have become good friends. I was invited to far out places like India or Mexico & to my own surprise Finland had become the most important destination to me. Thanks to the late filmmaker & art curator Erkki Pirtola who died so unexpectedly this year.
The other surprise was that my art developed from poetry to intermedia art. I was able to perform, lecture & even teach in the fields of visual art, sound art, performance art, music & still feel as a poet.
Lecture-Performance at sfd, Vienna School of Poetry, 2013
And I should not forget to thank Poetry Slam that taught me so much about stage presence, poetic dynamics and respect for the audience.
They say that most new businesses fail after 3 years. So here I am – still alive. Cheers.
On a field near Frankfurt – my first independent day Oct. 2011