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Culture

Germany's Top Five

Retreat indoors as the weather turns cold and put on your thinking cap to explore taboo-breaker Pasolini, compare Cranach and Picasso and get some light relief from Germany's best-known marionette theater this week.

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Candida Höfer's work is part of a Cologne show on migration

Projekt Migration

Rosemarie Trockel's drawing is also part of the Cologne exhibition

Turn the tables on a burning social issue at the Cologne Art Association. As Germans grapple with the complexities of immigrants in their society, Project Migration takes a different approach, looking at migrants as a force for social change. Developed by academic institutes in Frankfurt and Zurich with artistic works commissioned by the Cologne Art Association, the vast show focuses on Germany's two main waves of migration: the arrival of "guest workers" in the 1950s and 1906s and the Eastern European immigration after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The exhibition showcases visual art, film, photography, and architecture from over 80 contributors, including Vito Acconci, Candida Höfer, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rosemarie Trockel, as well as historical documents and objects until January 15.


Glückliche Holzköpfe

Augsburg's marionettes have been delighting children and their parents for over half a century

Get a taste of German childhood at the Augsburger Puppenkiste, Germany's most famous puppet theater. Generations of Germans grew up with Tomcat Mikesch, Urmel the dinosaur and Lukas the locomotive driver, all marionettes from Augsburg's workshops. Since 1948, the puppets have shown their stuff on television and on stage in adaptations of "Puss in Boots," "Sleeping Beauty" and Mozart's "Don Giovanni." The shows are designed for children between 3 and 80 years, and you don't need to know German to appreciate them.

Bild von Lucas Cranach dem Älteren

Dr. Christoph Scheurl by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1504

Compare old and new masters in Chemnitz. The eastern German town's Art Galleries hosts one of the largest ever exhibitions of 77 paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) and his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586). Until March 12, visitors can examine the artworks that not only left a lasting mark on German painting but on modern master Pablo Picasso as well. Thus the Art Galleries are also showing 17 of works the Spaniard created between 1942 and 1958 based on the Cranachs' motifs.

Pier Paolo Pasolini, italienischer Filmregisseur

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Acquire insight into the work of a controversial artist in Munich. Best known as a film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) was also a writer, playwright, journalist, poet, graphic artist, painter and infamous taboo-breaker. The Pinakothek der Moderne's current exhibition, "P.P.P. -- Pier Paolo Pasolini and Death," explores the Italian's different facets, tracing the development of a thinker focussed on humanity's fate, religion, sexuality and death. "As long as I am not dead, no one will be able to claim they really know me," Pasolini once claimed. Perhaps now, 30 years after his assassination, it's possible.

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen

And if you're weary from all that thinking, get a boost from the music of Mahler during the Philharmonia Orchestra's 60th anniversary tour. Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the London orchestra's performance of Mahler's jubilant 7th symphony in Stuttgart, Freiburg and Frankfurt this week. And even if you can't make it to the concerts, you can follow the musicians' tour day by day on cellist Katherine Wood's Weblog.

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