Let’s set the stage. In Berlin.
“Berlin is the ugliest, most boring city there is.” The artist about weak Germans, lazy UdK students and what happens when China has a cold.
Excerpt from interview (Google translate)
What do you know about the corona virus?
The real crisis is not this unknown disease or the virus. It is about China not disclosing its information, not telling the truth, not involving the international community. How could such a closed society become one of the first nations? And Germany’s best partner! Doesn’t that scare German society? They enjoy their honeymoon because China produces everything that Germany cannot produce cheaply. Cheap work and human rights violations. No protection for workers’ rights. Corruption. The Germans have found the best partner for their so-called democratic society. What kind of society is it if you don’t protect essential values? If you only take profit with you?
So you think it’s all about the economy?
Yes, and if that’s the case, you can’t blame anyone. Then Washington Post journalists in Turkey can be killed, or a journalist in the Saudi consulate there. Sure, it’s just about the economy. Germany sells arms to Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis use it to kill people in Yemen. Trump is at least honest when he says America First.
Are you saying that Germany is not honest?
Germany is deeply dishonest. They want to be proud, they want to do the right thing, because they have such a dark past, they have made a great effort. But does it really work, or are they just doing it? I don’t like it if someone just pretends. If there are new Nazis, I appreciate it because they are real. I don’t like liberals who only pretend to be liberal. But deep inside they have internalized Nazi culture.
You previously accused the Berlinale of censorship. Did you submit your films there?
Naturally. I am an artist working in Berlin. Three or four of my films are German productions. But they weren’t chosen, so I had to offer them to other festivals. Venice for example. And Venice said yes. And a dozen other festivals too. My film about the 43 missing students in Mexico – they didn’t take it at the Berlinale. He was now running in Sundance.
I taught at the University of the Arts for three years. Do you know why I left there?
Because your visiting professorship ended?
It is impossible to teach German students. They are lazy, they don’t do their homework. And the system is extremely corrupt. I should let these students graduate with honors. I asked how it could be. They said they would always do it that way. All professors raised their hands for this. It is intellectually unbearable, so I am gone. I could write an entire book about Germany.
Will you keep your studio here?
If the Germans keep putting me under pressure, I have to give it up.
Who is putting you under pressure?
I don’t want to tell you that. I am under pressure from German society. That’s okay. I know her story, I know who her grandparents are. But I’m trying to imagine that they can improve their society.
There is more good stuff (in German).