Paloma Varga Weisz
I was deeply confused, because there is so much influence from so many sides. I mean there are the other colleagues, and jealousies, and competition, and when we had these yearly exhibitions, and all this stuff, fighting for place. And focusing on your own was, for me, during this period, was a fight. And then we had, in Dusseldorf, this system that we had — we have a class system. So, you have a professor with his students. And in Dusseldorf, there are a lot of very well-known artists from around the world who teach there.1 And so, they have their students, like 20 to 40 students.
And you have your — it depends from professors, but you have your talks, your weekly talks, or monthly talks, or meetings. And yeah, as I said, it depends from the professor, if he does it person by person, or in the group. And in that time, a huge confusion, I went to a professor called Gerhard Merz who was a very strong conceptual artist, much more known in the ’80s than now. And I think he was like an antipode to me. And I was like growing up on his side, in being against him. He was like a father, where you have to grow up in being the opposite of what he is saying. And I think this was a chance for me that I took this position as a chance to develop something in my mind.
And this was helpful, but I think it’s a super hard time going through this academy period. And this life somehow starts afterwards when you are out of this whole thing and really stand on your own feet, and really feels hey, I’m a person standing on the ground, and what do you want to say? I’m not a student from here or da-da-da, from there. I’m just this one person. And it’s just, we — everybody needs to give himself this time to grow up, and to develop. And in Germany, I think we can be happy that this Dusseldorf Academy has kind of an open space, but as more as it becomes academic and school system like, with notes and all this, the harder it becomes to grow up an artistic mind.