Writer Mathieu Leroux Lost in Berlin

| Photo (detail): Mathieu Leroux

Recipient of a Goethe-Institut grant for a one-month stay in a German city of his choice where there is an Institut, Montreal writer Mathieu Leroux chose Berlin. "Lost in Berlin", or impressions of his stay in the metropole.

To write. 
For 3 months. 
Berlin full speed.

To discover, it, question it, devour it. Eating every bit of it, even if it means getting swallowed. To see it all, do it all. Au maximum.Theatre, dance, concerts, readings, openings, movies, museum, galleries, performances, bars, night-clubs. 
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.1

Walking. Taking pictures. Thinking. Orgy of stimulating places to be at; gigantic bacchanales that don’t quench the thirst. 

Die Orte : Schaubühne, Volskbühne, Berliner Ensemble, Gorki, Komische Oper, Sophiensaele, Hau, Radialsystem, Lido, Huxley’s, Heimathafen, Columbiahalle, Kesselhaus, Arena, O2, Tempelhof, Beelitz, Bernauer Strasse, Mauer Park, Checkpoint Charlie, KW, KOW, ME, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Bauhaus-Archiv Museum, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Hamburger Bahnhof, Neue Nationalgalerie, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Museum für Fotografie, Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Schwules Museum, Moviemento, Kino International, Santa Maria, Filmkunstbar, Privatclub, Neues Ufer, Himmelreich, Möbel Olfe, OHM, Berghain.

Walking. Thinking. Getting lost. Always. Berlin’s scale makes me high and chokes me at the same time. As if there would never be a way to seize any bit of it.

Charlottenburg’s apartments. 
Mitte’s galleries. 
Friedrichshain’s venues. 
Prenzlauer Berg’s outdoor dining. 
Schöneberg’s bookstores. 
Neukölln’s random spots. 
Tiergarten’s visitors. 
Kreuzberg’s general chaos.

Coffee shops, bars, flea markets. Everywhere in Berlin.

Walking. Seeing/feeling. Dancing. My body is turning into pure liquid.

Die Ereignisse : MDF Berlin, Berlin Art Week, Berlin Festival, Porn Festival ; Twin Shadow, Editors, The Acid, Austra, Zoot Woman, Karen O, Pharell, Gaga, Azealia Banks, We Have Band, WhoMadeWho, SOHN, London Grammar, FKA Twigs, The Knife ; Ostermeier, Ronen, Waltz, Nübling, Richter, Forced Entertainment, Pasolini, Bowie, Goicolea, Newton, Barney, Leydik, Trecartin, Wasmuht, Moholy-Nagy. 

There are 652 355 events, places, people to see every night. There is the constant feeling of missing out. There is the fact that I am an ogre, that I orgasm mentally and emotionally in front of art, culture and music, and that Berlin is all about art, culture and music. There is the unsettling feeling of being home because everything comes so naturally, but also the numbing impression of being un imposteur that shouldn’t be here. Just another visiting artist. Again. I hang on as much as I can, trying to get into the stimulating/unnerving Berlin spiral. "Berlin suits you well, you totally blend in. And you really are making the most of it. It’s actually impressive."

So why do I feel that it’s spitting me out constantly… 
No traces. I’m a light wind that barely passes on the city.

Stop. Now, let’s go again. Go, don’t stop again. No, I don’t want to be alone.2

Walking. Talking. Celebrating. Seeing the sun rising an uncountable amount of times. To not miss anything.

Die Freunde : Mariano, Victoria, Marwan, Thames, Marina, Jean-Charles, Grashina, Fabian, Dennis, Asa, Malte, Alex, Birte, Jennifer, Mattias, Henrik. 
Die Besucher : Angie, LK, 2N, Dominique, Sophie, Marie-Ève.

Walking. Working. Like a maniac. To the point of losing my mind. Sucked in by the computer that throws me in the city, which spits me back and chains me to the machine. I am torn between ignoring what’s happening in the streets under my balcony to move forward with the work and doing nothing but tasting every single drop of Berlin. 

The rhythm is incomprehensible to me. There is a frantic energy, an hallucinating offer of activities, a flow that never stops— Berlin is always open. It never shuts down —, but everybody seems calm, chill, indifferent almost. Nothing’s rushing, nobody runs, the U-Bahn is never overwhelmingly full. There is always space. Everywhere. No insane suffocating crowds or energy. Aside from the tourists hot spots.

Berlin breathes regardless of its immensity. Or because of it.

Had to get the train from Potzdamer Platz. You never knew that, that I could do that. Just walking the dead.3


Coming back. 
Being lost, out of focus, burned. With the impression of accomplishing nothing, seeing nothing, living nothing, writing nothing, leaving nothing. 

Berlin you’ve eaten me alive.

And I’m still hungry for you.

An author, director and actor, Mathieu Leroux is a graduate of the L'École Supérieure de théâtre de L'UQAM. Co-founder of the collective Les Néos, he has created and performed in over a hundred short productions over the last five years, in addition to being the company’s artistic director. He created the solo show, La naissance de Superman, and his most recent piece, Scrap, closed the 2012 season at Espace Libre. In the spring of 2013, he was part of the important cast of the theatrical series, Atrides, in addition to co-authoring the adaptation of six pieces of this family saga (director: L-K Tremblay). Leroux will also be part of the production team of Ludi Magni to be presented at the NTE in the spring of 2015.

He also danced for Helen Simard and Champion, as well as puppeteering for the Théâtre Sans Fil for eight years. Mathieu Leroux has a Masters in French Literature from the Université de Montéral (2011). 

(B)rut, Ouvrir le clandestin, Neige-galerie, 2015
DD BY, Sortez-moi de moi, L’instant même, 2015
Rocks in the Pocket, Rue Bernard, Flaneur Magazine, 2014
Dans la cage, Héliotrope, 2013

1. First We Take Manhattan, Leonard Cohen, 1988
2. Dancing in Berlin, Berlin, 1987
3. Where Are We Now, David Bowie, 2013