Interns

My name is Katrin and I am the new intern in the Cultural Department at Deutsches Haus at NYU. I am about to finish my Master`s degree in European Literatures and Cultures at the University of Freiburg. Before finishing my studies I wanted to gain practical knowledge in the promotion of German culture, preferably in an English speaking country. Located in the cultural capital New York, Deutsches Haus at NYU seems to me to be the perfect place to widen my cultural horizon.

This is my third time visiting New York. In retrospect, being on top of the former World Trade Center in 1999 was probably one of the most impressive things I experienced during my first visit to New York. My second trip to New York was characterized by many visits to museums, which I`m planning to do again during my present stay.

I was welcomed with warmth here at Deutsches Haus and I am very much looking forward to many exciting and inspiring events!

Hugh O’Rourke

Could you tell us a bit about the exhibition Berlin Becoming

Berlin Becoming, is a show that celebrates Berlin’s effect on NYU students who have traveled and studied abroad with the NYU program, it is the third annual exhibition that the 80WSE Gallery and Deutsches Haus have worked on together.

What was your inspiration and how did you make your selection of artists?
I have never been to Berlin but have always hoped to go. The urban design of Berlin contributes in so many ways to why it has become a magnet for artists and that is something I’ve really wanted to experience firsthand. It is a cultural epitome at the moment, and everyone who has been talks about how much creative energy is felt by just being there.

Are you familiar with Berlin? What is your impression of the city?

We selected the artist for this year’s show a little bit differently than in years past. We wanted to have a wider breath of work and allow more artists to be involved so that it had an organic feeling that captured some of the energy that people felt about the city and their experience.

Where are you from? When did you move to New York and why?

I grew up just outside New York City in Westchester County. I received my BFA from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and then earned an MA from NYU. I have been living in Brooklyn and working there or in Manhattan ever since, so I’ve been lucky to have gotten a well-rounded New York experience that isn’t just based solely on the city as an environment.

Could you speak about John Logan Criley’s Wish Upon a Satellite, which won the $1000 NYU Berlin Culture Brewery Prize 2014? What sets this work apart?

Logan’s piece felt to me to be based in ideas of communication. The television, the satellite dish, and the mouth, to point out a few details within the overall sculpture, are all methods used to communicate, and Logan managed to entwine these in a such a decisive way that it also connected with the idea of expanding conversation between New York and Berlin. The idea of communication really came across clearly in both the sculpture and as a stand-alone image, which we used for the poster and advertisement to represent the entire show in general.

You work at 80WSE, NYU’s Washington Square Park Gallery. Could you explain your work at the gallery? What was the most exciting project you worked on at 80WSE?

Currently, I’m working as the NYU Gallery Manager, but I’ve been working with 80wse Gallery for the past four years in varying roles and it has given me a lot of different art experiences — curating and installing along with countless opportunities to meet all types of artists and converse and be involved directly with them and their specific ideas. This has had a direct impact on my own art making practice and my thinking about art in general. I have a lot of respect for curators. Curating seems like an obvious role within a gallery, but it is actually something much more nuanced then people imagine. Negotiating the space, along with the artists and artwork featured, in a way that in the end, allows everyone to feel that their ideas were correctly represented can be much more difficult then it may initially seem. Often times negotiating has to happen because of basic limitations within the architecture of a space, and this is where you can really see someone be creative when forced to reconfigure a show or an idea in a short amount of time dealing and responding directly with their restrictions.

You received your M.A. in Studio Art from NYU. How was your experience at the school and what would your advice be to students wanting to pursue this degree?

I try to confer to most of the artists just starting out that showing and being an artist in most cases is not a quick ascension, being in exhibitions and garnering recognition isn’t like getting shot out of a cannon, it is much more like climbing a ladder. If I could give anyone advice about being involved in the arts as a profession, I would say it is one of the hardest fields to be involved in but also one of the most rewarding. It has to be something you really love, because there are so many people who want the same things, and you really have to stick it out and be willing to work hard, learn, and be humble.

What’s next for you? What would a dream project look like?

I have lots of dream projects. I would really love to curate a show of my peers in a unique non gallery environment or have a show of my own art work in a large open space. Being a full-time artist and curator is also a luxury I’ll have to keep dreaming about for now.

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Lea Schönfelder

How did you come to Deutsches Haus at NYU?

Last year in October there was an exhibition at Deutsches Haus at NYU called „What’s your Spiel?“. Franziska Zeiner, a student worker at Deutsches Haus and student at the NYU game center, curated this wonderful show about Austrian, Swiss and German game design. Deutsches Haus at NYU was kind enough to invite me in person to the opening event, where I presented my most recent project: „Perfect Woman“. Martin Rauchbauer, the former director of Deutsches Haus and Juliane Camfield, the current director asked me to become their first game-designer-in-residence. Of course I agreed!

Tell us a little bit about your residency here in New York City.

Like everything in New York, my residency was a restless time filled with impressions, events, work and acquaintances with interesting people. When I first came here I walked around a lot to get to know the city. I started a sketchbook which I filled with my impressions of New York City on a regular basis. You can find these pictures at “The-alien-writer-in-NYC” Tumblr of Deutsches Haus. With the help of Franziska Zeiner I was also able to quickly establish some connections to the NYU Game Center. New York has a big, innovative and vivid independent games scene and I felt very comfortable being a part of it during my time here. Through this connection I met Nina Freeman and Emmett Butler, two super nice and talented game designers and programmers. We produced a game about Deutsches Haus at NYU together: „Haus Quest“. It was Juliane’s idea that I produce a game, presenting the three programs of Deutsches Haus: The language program, the kids program and the cultural program.

The final event of my residency will take place tomorrow on Friday, March 28th. Daniel von Bothmer, Nina Freeman, Toni Pizza, Franziska Zeiner and I will be having a panel discussion about sex in video games.

What is your favorite place in New York?

There are so many: My apartment, because I love to enter the spacious and bright living room in the morning and enjoy the amazing views of Manhattan. I love Deutsches Haus at NYU because everything there is so small and special and it is like a calm oasis in the middle of Manhattan. I also like the waterfront of New York, like Coney Island, where I had a wonderful walk on the snowy beach. But I do love the loud and crowded and vibrant streets in the city as well!

What do you miss about Germany?

I grew up having „Abendbrot” every day. This is a traditional German supper with bread, sausage, cheese and other snacks. I really miss German bread.

Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming panel discussion “What’s Sex got to do with it?”?

We will have a panel discussion about sex in computer games. Computer games are in the process of slowly growing up. They are evolving from being a rather light-hearted and fun medium, to a medium that can be used like books or films to tackle humanistic topics as well. We are talking about the representation of sex in computer games and want to compare computer games to poetry and comics. Where are the differences? Where are the similarities? A lot of examples will be shown and after the panel discussion, visitors themselves can play and read games, comics and poetry about or including sex.

Gisela Morales

1.Could you tell us a bit about the exhibition Berlin Becoming?

The exhibition is a result of a collaborative effort between, NYU Berlin, NYU Steinhardt’s Art and Art Professions Department, and Deutsches Haus.  It is meant to showcase artwork that resulted and/or is influenced in some way by students’ semester abroad in Berlin. Berlin Becoming marks the third anniversary of this annual exhibition. It really is a great fit for all involved parties and I am glad it provides the students with an opportunity to show their work to a wider public.

2.What was your inspiration and how did you make your selection of artists?

In the preliminary conversations about the exhibition, we really wanted to focus on Berlin’s dynamic energy and state of flux/evolution, but we also wanted to allow for a narrative to come forth from the submissions.  To my happy surprise, all the standout entries in some way dealt with these themes of development/progression/evolution and a kind of energy that results in something new.  Something else Hugh O’Rourke, the co-curator, and I were able to do through the selection process was include different approaches and mediums like sculpture, painting, video, etc.  So, I think the show feels varied but also very intimate, sharing with the viewer each student’s personal experience.

3.Are you familiar with Berlin? What is your impression of the city?

I was lucky enough to visit Berlin last summer. Unfortunately, I only stayed there for a few days.  My impression, although limited, is that Berlin is amazing.  I had the best time.  Berlin has great people, art, music, transportation, both a relaxed and exciting atmosphere, and it’s not too expensive - what’s not to love?  It really does seem like a place where people can discover themselves creatively.

4.Where are you from? When did you move to New York and why?

I was born in Mexico City, but grew up between Tijuana, San Diego, and LA.  I have spent most of my life in LA, and I adore it.  I moved to New York in 2012 to attend my graduate program.

5.Please tell us a little bit about your M.A. in Visual Arts Administration. How has your experience at NYU been?

The Visual Arts Administration program has been a great experience and provided me with really cool opportunities such as spending a summer working in London and being involved with this exhibition!

6.Do you have any advice for other graduate students who would like to pursue an M.A. in Visual Arts Administration?

If you want to get to the next level in your arts career, then go for it!  Also, know exactly what you want to get out of it.

7.What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming shows? What would your dream project be?

I am moving to Boston in June to work for Outset Contemporary Art Fund.  It is a foundation that was founded in London, but recently established a U.S. branch.  Outset USA has an ambitious program to support amazing new art.  In the future I would very much like to continue being involved in the organization and curation of shows as an independent pursuit.  For now, I am very excited about the opportunity of experiencing the foundation/granting side of the equation.

8.Could you speak about John Logan Criley’s Wish Upon a Satellite, which won the $1000 NYU Berlin Culture Brewery Prize 2014? What sets this work apart?

John’s work explores concepts of adaptability and reconstruction which reflect the exhibition’s theme very well.  His work is layered and textured - that and his color palette - it all works together to capture the essence of Berlin.

9.How was your experience at Deutsches Haus?

Awesome! It is such a supportive and friendly environment. Juliane and all of you do such a great job.  It is really fantastic that you have so much programming and are willing to let us come in and experiment with your space.

10.What fascinates you about culture and art?

The infinite outcomes and their ability to change and set perceptions.

11.Could you describe your personal New York?

School, work, school, work, sometimes play.

12.What is your favorite spot in New York City?

When it’s sunny and warm - hopefully soon - I like to go to Smorgasburg in Dumbo and enjoy the food and the view from Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

Cultural Program

Sarah Girner holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University College of Dublin. From 2006 through 2013 she worked as an Assistant Editor at the New York office of DER SPIEGEL and completed the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Certificate Program at the International Center of Photography. Before her move to New York she worked at the Museumsquartier in Vienna and supported the coordination of an art auction benefiting the work of the Austrian NGO SOS Mitmensch. 

What makes Deutsches Haus unique?

First of all, the location is quite unique! I remember passing by the gates of Washington Mews many years ago and wondering who the lucky people were who worked there on a daily basis – now I am delighted to be a part of the team.

Deutsches Haus is a unique place also because it is brimming with creativity and passion for the German language and culture and takes its mission of creating a dialogue between German-speaking and American culture very seriously. I have attended countless events at Deutsches Haus at NYU and always left feeling invigorated and with a broadened horizon.

What was your best moment at Deutsches Haus so far and why?

I was lucky to start working at Deutsches Haus just as the Festival Neue Literatur was wrapping up and attended a dinner with the organizers and the authors. Meeting everyone who had made this event happen was wonderful and the theme of the festival “Border Crossings” struck a personal chord, seeing as I myself grew up between two cultures. This successful collaborative project of New York’s leading German-language cultural institutions was a wonderful introduction for me and shed some light on what lay ahead.

What fascinates you about culture and art?

Culture and art are powerful vehicles that can communicate profound feelings and complex concepts and they enrich our lives on every imaginable level. One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to stroll through the art galleries in Chelsea and see what shows I stumble upon.

Where do you see the future of the cultural programs at Deutsches Haus?

We want to continue providing an excellent and exciting cultural program that makes people think and get truly inspired about the art, the books, the films and the great thinkers and academics the German-speaking world has produced. There is such a wealth of talent and rich cultural history (as well as future) and it will be our pleasure to introduce them to our New York audience!

You have been living in New York for a long time now. Why did you decide to go to New York in the first place?

I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, but moved to New York with my family at the age of six and remained here for ten years. At the age of 16 I moved back to Germany in order to complete my Abitur in Cologne, Germany. I studied at the University College of Dublin, Ireland, and lived in Seville, Spain, for a year in order to learn the language. However, deep down I always knew I wanted to move back to New York. There is such an incredible energy here and you can never really run out of steam.

Can you describe your personal New York?

I’m all over New York – there are so many facets to this city. My brother lives in Queens, my sister in Brooklyn, and my husband and I live in Manhattan, and we have a lot of fun exploring the different boroughs. Whether it’s a dim sum brunch in Flushing or a stroll through the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – things are never dull. I love going to the Metropolitan Opera and the theater and make time to see exhibitions at museums and gallery shows. The days are never long enough in my personal New York.

What is your favorite spot in New York City and why?

Honestly, right now my favorite place might just be the courtyard behind Deutsches Haus at NYU. There is beautiful light there and tall trees and the birds chirp as they fly overhead – it is a peaceful oasis right in the heart of Manhattan. The second it gets a bit warmer I plan to have many happy cups of coffee there and brainstorm with my colleagues.

What is your highlight of the week (or upcoming weeks)?

I am excited about tonight’s opening of Berlin Becoming. The show focuses on Berlin’s constant physical and psychological renewal and I am curious to discover the artists’ thoughts and inspirations that shaped the works that have been installed here at Deutsches Haus.

Another event I am looking forward to is the screening of Beatrice Moeller’s documentary Everything We Want about women and gender roles in the 21st century and the tricky question of “How to be a woman these days.” I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Student Workers

Well, hello there! Grüß Gott! I am called Tony Baiz. I hail from Southern California, and I am currently working on my Master’s here at NYU in Humanities and Social Thought (emphasis European Politics).I came to New York for the incredible opportunity to study at an erudite university like NYU, as well as to get the privilege to live in this extraordinary metropolitan, where in one instant I could feel like I’m in a neighborhood in Shanghai, enjoying a delightful meal, to the next moment, being in a lively soirée in a Berlin apartment. Other than my ongoing intrigue with the German culture, what attracted me most to working at the Deutsches Haus was researching and discovering the eclectic assortment of events that take place here.These events range from topics in my field of interest, to German art, music, film, and literature; a truly genuine and unique German cultural enclave, that is wonderful to discover, in the already esoteric Greenwich Village. Working at the front desk at the Deutsches Haus has been a highly positive experience. Meeting so many different people from Germany, and the world has been a real treat, and there often seem to be a lot of interesting things that occur at DH that makes working here always interesting. Our staff is always helpful, friendly and easy going to work with, which makes the work environment pleasant. While in New York I hope to travel along the eastern seaboard, and when there is money and time, pay another visit to Germany!

"Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.”

He who doesn’t know foreign languages knows nothing about his own

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Student Worker

This week we’d like to introduce you to one of our student workers, Alyssa.

Hi, my name is Alyssa, I am originally from Princeton, NJ, and am currently a Junior at NYU! I am a Psychology major, minoring in German and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Although I have only been working here for about 5 months, it has already been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the Deutsches Haus team!

Deutsches Haus caught my eye when I was still in high school visiting on an NYU campus tour. Its quaint location on Washington Mews and beautiful architecture intrigued me and I was looking forward to learn more about the language and cultural programs here!

German language and culture is very dear to me as my entire extended family lives in Hamburg, Germany. And although I was born in the United States, I grew up speaking German as my parents moved to America only ten years prior to my birth. Being a part of the Deutsches Haus community allows me to not only meet wonderful guest lecturers, musicians and scholars, but it also allows me to have the ability to thoroughly practice my German speaking skills twice a week! This has truly been beneficial to keeping my German fluency, which of course makes my Oma and Opa back in Hamburg very happy :)

I look forward to perhaps taking a year between my undergraduate and graduate studies to spend some time studying in Germany, and in the meantime learning more about German culture from behind the front desk here at Deutsches Haus! 

Student Worker

My name is Lena, and I’m a sophomore majoring in French and Linguistics with a possible minor in Latin here at NYU. I moved to New York in autumn after transferring to NYU from USC, and discovered Deutsches Haus. After attending some events and finding out about its language programs, I thought that this would be a great organization for me to get involved with. Through working at Deutsches Haus, I get to stay in touch with German culture and language, and engage with interesting people and events.  So far, I am really enjoying working here. Everyone is so welcoming and passionate about what they are doing, which creates a dynamic environment for the exciting events, exhibitions and discussions that Deutsches Haus hosts. It’s a lively place that makes German culture and language accessible to anyone, and I think this is really important.

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Interns

Hi, my name is Amelie and I am an intern with the Cultural Program at Deutsches Haus NYU. Before coming to Deutsches Haus, I graduated from the London School of Economics with a Masters in cultural psychology. My passion for different cultures has brought me to many interesting places but the cultural melting pot I found here in New York City, fascinates me like no other place in the world.   In my free time I like to explore the city by bike and enjoy the breathtaking views of Manhattan when riding over one of the bridges. While biking in the city often poses quite a challenge, I am optimistic that the new biking system will get New Yorkers and especially cab drivers more used to Europe’s favorite means of transportation.

 I decided to intern at Deutsches Haus at NYU because I am very curious about how my own culture is represented abroad. I think the events organized at Deutsches Haus not only offer a unique perspective on contemporary German culture but also add to the great cultural scene here in NYC. I especially enjoy the open and friendly atmosphere and our little Haus on Washington mews feels like my own “little Germany” in NYC.

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Interns

My name is Stephanie and I am one of the two new interns at Deutsches Haus at NYU. I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in German Studies and Politics and am now enrolled in the Master’s program of the German Institute at the University of Bonn. During my studies in Bonn I did a semester abroad at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. This experience made me realize that I want to gain more practical experience in the area of German as a foreign language and German culture in an English speaking country. Since I already got to know the Scottish point of view on Germany, I thought it would be nice to go a little farther and get more familiar with the U.S. perspective.   

This is my third time in NYC and definitely my longest stay here so far. The first time I came to NY was in 2008 when I was part of an exchange with Clements High School in Texas. I fell in love with NYC and its welcoming people immediately. It has such a great energy and I am very happy to get the chance to be a part of Deutsches Haus and work with so many amazing and kind people. 

Besides doing my internship I enjoy spending time in Central Park and exploring the different neighborhoods of the city. During my stay in the U.S. I would also like to visit other cities such as Washington D.C. and Boston since I have only been to Texas and NY before. This is only the beginning of my internship in the Language Program of Deutsches Haus and I am very much looking forward to the next three months.