La question revient souvent : pourquoi Berlin?
C est en défendant l indéfendable que l 'idée d une nouvelle rubrique pour le blog a mûri. Cette rubrique ira chercher les personnalités qui ont, à un moment dans leur vie, embrassé la ville. Et qui, pour les plus marquants, l ont en retour marqué à jamais. Du coup pas de meilleur nom que BERLINER. Avant Bowie et sa clique, Hemingway, Eugenides et d autres commencons sans raison par Hedi Slimane.
Sans raison, pas tout à fait. Si on reprend les thèmes chéris sur diebertranden, entre rock, culture, design et mode, personne n incarne mieux la génération que l égérie Slimane. Son ombre, on la retrouve partout, des premiers concerts d Arcade Fire à l Elysée Montmartre aux projets de régime de Lagerfeld. Slimane aurait à lui seul posé la capitale allemande sur la carte de la mode.
Le Berlin de Slimane, c est celui de 2001-2002. Il est immrotalisé dans un recueil de photos qui retrace la collaboration avec la KunstWerke, dans son quartier de résidence de la Auguststrasse, et s intitule sobrement BERLIN (et visible sur son site hedislimane.com).
Et si depuis il lui a préféré Londres, on retrouve son coup de foudre pour Berlin dans un interview de 2002 au magazine Index. Extraits:
KLAUS: In Paris you're surrounded by so many people, and you drive around with a crew. But in Berlin I see you dragging your stuff to the neighborhood laundromat in plastic bags. How do you survive that jump? I mean, what is it that you like about Berlin?
HEDI: Berlin is an open space for me I don't feel like I need to make any effort when I am here. I take the overnight train from Paris, and I arrive really early in the morning, when the city is only slightly awake and silent. The train going from west to east creates a sort of urban intimacy. It's a very pleasant, slow journey.
KLAUS: Not needing to make an effort doesn't necessarily sound like a good thing. What do you really appreciate about the city?
HEDI: Well, I don't know many people in Berlin. In addition, I don't speak German. So my rapport with the city is quite easy and immediate, without any particular expectations. It's almost as if I were autistic.
KLAUS: So you go there to escape Berlin is your countryside.
HEDI: Yes, my friend Jean Jacques Picart always jokes that the Kunst-Werke is my country house! When I arrive here, I feel like my time is really my own.
KLAUS: You actually prefer the city to the beach or the mountains?
HEDI: When people say they've found an incredible, empty beach with no one around, I understand why they're excited. But to me, the idea of a holiday by myself on a beach I'd have a nervous breakdown! I need to have lots of things around to observe. I don't necessarily need to interact with people in fact, I usually don't but I need to see people interacting.
KLAUS: Do you like Berlin because it's a young, wild, improvised, vacant space?
HEDI: It offers a totally different perspective from Paris. Berlin is constantly being reinvented. It draws a very individualistic crowd. Also, it doesn't seem like anyone there was actually born a Berliner, so that makes me feel at ease. It has a particular mood that the East Village had in the mid and late '80s. Of course, there's a very strong youth culture in Berlin, which is totally nonexistent in Paris. There's a feeling of activism, and yet there's also a side that appears disenchanted. I find all of that attractive.