For Spike Art Daily, Timo Feldhaus interview Lauren Boyle and Marco Rosso of Dis magazine about parenting in the art world. Dis is based in both New York and Berlin as they’re curating the upcoming Berlin Biennale, and have plenty to say about the different child rearing environments in the two cities. Check out the full interview on SAD.
Timo Feldhaus: How old are your children?
DIS: They’re 1.5 years old.
Sometimes I see the both of you strolling with your twins in a buggy through Berlin Mitte and the art world. How has your way of working changed through the birth of your children?
Time is scarce but more structured and focused. You can’t say yes to everything you want to, so you really need to prioritize because it’s impossible to work 12-hour days. Your inbox is like a ticking time bomb. You’re always playing catch up. But you’re more decisive; you trust your instincts and question yourself less.
Because DIS is curating the Berlin Biennale in 2016, currently you live in New York and Berlin. What is the difference between raising your children in these two cities?
In practical ways the cities could not be more different. For starters the standard maternity/paternity leave in the United States is two weeks. That wasn’t our situation but it gives you an idea of the laissez faire stateless support for families in America. New York is no exception; you’re on your own for childcare until they go to school. Before that you pay for private babysitter or day care. It’s nothing like Berlin’s one-year maternity leave and then kita [kindergarten] kicks in!
It really is a microcosm of the two cities.
New York / industrial complex of metal jungle gyms and waterparks with rubber tiles edging up against handball and basketball courts. Thousands of children of different ages and backgrounds darting around, bikes speeding by, and gangs of pre-teens acting grown up. 12ft tall iron gates keeping the kids from running into the street. Nannies with sleeping babies and grandparents watching children from a distance. Endless phone calls with insurance companies. Fresh Direct and Diapers.com deliveries.
Berlin / A bespoke playground on every corner. All natural materials. Wood, rope, sand and 2 foot tall gates. Sharing toys with strangers, balls, shovels, buckets, even an occasional “sippy” cup. Young parents with more than one child. Kita. Daily trips to the market for milk, diapers, groceries. No bathtub but plenty of elevators. Kita.