Every city is always changing, on its own trajectory.
I don’t know a single collector or museum director who says: ‘Oh, he’s on a list, so I think I’ll buy something of his.’ The people who buy my art put a little more thought into it than that.
I myself have already spent a third of my life in Germany, first in Cologne and then, since 1994, in Berlin.
I was in Beijing a month ago working on the smoke project in collaboration with an architect there, and I was asked very directly whether it was safe to breathe in the smoke. They did not have confidence in the museum not to use harmful smoke, and they certainly didn’t have confidence that the city would protect them from harmful smoke.
I’ve walked a lot in the mountains in Iceland. And as you come to a new valley, as you come to a new landscape, you have a certain view. If you stand still, the landscape doesn’t necessarily tell you how big it is. It doesn’t really tell you what you’re looking at. The moment you start to move the mountain starts to move.
If I have the choice of traveling to Russia, India or New Zealand alone for a week for preliminary discussions or to spend that week with my family, I routinely choose my family.
In the past Berlin was much more radical and extreme and now it’s becoming much more of a conventional European city.
It would be wrong to say that the city of Berlin is not regulated. What I think is more interesting is to what extent a city creates a sort of safe haven for its users, so that people feel confident that the city works on their behalf.
It’s hardly even noticeable that so many artists, designers and architects live here. It isn’t reflected in the cityscape or in the museums. Many of the artists, for example, exhibit around the world, just not in Berlin.