November is my month. My month to relax, my month to settle into my new apartment and my month to explore my new home town. Düsseldorf is a lively city along the Rhein with something going on every day of the week.
This month it was my intention to explore why Düsseldorf has always been considered one of the art capitals of Germany. I’m going to be honest, art has never been something I’ve particularly taken an interest in, but I was pleasantly surprised that art is more than just paintings on the wall here. One joke I tend to make quite often is that if someone who paints a yellow dot on a white canvas can become rich, why can’t I?
All jokes aside, there are actually some incredible exhibitions here in Düsseldorf. There were a couple which I took a real interest to and are currently ongoing in the city, The Ego Update and KUNST IM TUNNEL: KOMM. Düsseldorf is home to Germany famous Kunstakademie (Art Academy) and features more than 100 galleries and over 25 museums.
The Ego Update | NRW Forum
Depending on the degree of artistic understanding you have, you may find different words to express this exhibition. For myself, being immersed in the world of social media every second of the day, this exhibition I found to be very thought provoking and interactive. The Ego Update was different. Alain Bieber, curator of The Ego Update, pushed art to another level and connected it to the future of digital identity. Something that really resonated with me during the exhibition was the quote, “I think, therefore I am” which has more recently turned into,
“I photograph, I document, therefore I am.”
Bieber uses this exhibition to showcase how social and digital media have changed the way we as humans interact and express ourselves. The outcome is all yours to discover, whether you see digital media as a positive advancement or a burden to social norms.
If you get the chance to check it out, one of my favourite pieces was created by female activist, blogger and Instagrammer Arvida Byström. Through her social media feed, Byström features important issues in our world today – sex, gender and femininity. A few of her Instagram photos were shared in this exhibition and then partnered with comments from viewers – what you read here will blow your mind.
KOMM “Come” | KIT
Kunst im Tunnel (art in tunnel) is a place I’ve biked past many times before, but never thought to stop in and explore. I always understood the English translation to Kunst in Tunnel (KIT), but never really thought much about it. This is in fact an exhibition space in the tunnels of the city. Above ground, the KIT boasts a wonderful bar and restaurant along the Rhein River, and underground they feature various exhibitions. I was lucky enough to experience the opening night of the KOMM (“Come”) exhibition produced by the class of Buetti at the Kunstakademie. This piece is a collaboration of artists who developed one 35 minute loop which invited you into experience the complex and thought-provoking work of art. The 35 minutes spent underground in the KIT tunnel are 35 minutes that are meant to be reflected upon. A mix between conversations, music, voices and noises provoke the attendees to ask questions like how do I feel? Do we enjoy what we are hearing? Are we feeling threatened or welcomed? etc.
Though for me, this is a very tough piece to explain, I hope that if you’re around to experience this exhibition, you take the time to reflect on your own.
I was lucky enough to join in on a press trip filled with art critics and press professionals. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to art, but it was a pleasure to be able to join in on this journey. My favourite part of the weekend was the fact that I got to explore Düsseldorf from a tourist point of view. I was spoiled with delicious food and drink from the hottest restaurants in town and had the honour of touring some of the cities coolest hotels. Check out the list below:
Hotels in Düsseldorf
- Melia Hotel Düsseldorf
I have actually stayed at the Melia before, last year when my mother came to visit me over the holidays I wrote a post about 2 valid reasons we decided to spend Christmas in a hotel. The Melia is a beautiful and romantic hotel in the centre of the city. My favourite part? It’s right outside the Hofgarten (the cities large green space filled with wildlife and beautiful birds).
- Hotel De Medici
It’s funny, I didn’t even stay over in this hotel but it was a wonderful experience. The Hotel De Medici is more of a museum than a hotel. From the minute to enter the door it is an event. The hotel features the history of Jan Wellem and Anna Maria Luisa. Wellem, the Elector Palatine and Anna Maria Luisa, the archduchess of Austria married and resided in Düsseldorf. Their passion for art is a huge reason the city today has such a lively art scene. The Hotel De Medici features their story so delicately and beautifully along the corridors of the hotel. If you have the time to come visit, this is certainly worth a peak!
Restaurants in Düsseldorf
- Brasserie Stadthaus: The restaurant and fine dining experience located within the Hotel De Medici was a romantic experience. We indulged in a delicious 5 course meal and a few glasses of wine. This is a great place to go if you’re looking for a romantic place for ‘date night’.
- Pardo Bar: We stopped over at the Pardo Bar mid day for lunch. The food was delicious and the location is extremely central. However, I wanted to mention this one because of their breakfast menu. I haven’t had a chance to try their breakfast, but I was excited to finally find a proper breakfast place in the city!
- Hausmann’s: If there were one way to explain Hausmann’s it would be home sweet home. For the first time since living abroad, Hausmann’s made me feel at home. Their family style dining and rustic decor was wonderful. It’s also worth mentioning that Tim Mälzer, German TV chef is the creator of this awesome place.
For inspiration about travelling the world, check out the following posts: Why You Should Travel Now, How to Create Your Own Blog, How to Break Out of Habit and Travel the World, The Best Quotes to Inspire You to Travel, The Bucket List.