Blixa Bargeld was born in West Berlin on January 12, 1959. He grew up in Friedenau, a quarter in the Schöneberg district that was in the American sector. Berlin was divided into four sectors. The Berlin Wall was built around the three western sectors in the summer of 1961 and West Berlin became a walled city, an island city. Cold War: “There was a noise around my generation that aroused fear, a noise which could cut through the sky.”
KALTE STERNE (COLD STARS) is the title of a single released by the EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN in 1981. “We are cold stars – you can see us sparkling – after us there will be nothing”. Blixa Bargeld made his debut with the group he founded in April 1980. Among the original band members, only N. U. Unruh and Blixa Bargeld are still involved. Bargeld’s work with the EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN constitutes an essential part of his life. “We can’t play” is the first rule of the game that Blixa Bargeld initiated, begun with a tape recorder, steel and vocals under a West Berlin freeway bridge and developed twelve times over into TWELVE CITIES, which has spread throughout the continents and into the third millennium: Studios, clubs, concerts and theater stages; a HAMLET(-MASCHINE) over the radio microphone; a ½ MAN for Sogho Ishii's camera; site specific performances on Hitler’s Reichsparteitagsgelände (Nazi Party Rally Grounds), in the Mojave Desert, on the roof of an automobile factory in Turin and in the asbestos-free Palast der Republik shortly before its demolition; and through GRUNDSTÜCK and MUSTERHAUS 1-7 on the Internet worldwide. Berlin remained the basic topographical model for the four-story West Berlin HOUSE OF LIES with basement and attic, after the Fall of the Wall the SHAFT OF BABEL in the new center: ISLAND TO GIVE AWAY and ENDING NEW.
Scene change. In a hotel room in The Hague in 1982, Nick Cave saw a television recording of an EINSTÜRZENDEN NEUBAUTEN concert: “He was the most beautiful man in the world. He stood there in a black leotard and black rubber pants, black rubber boots. Around his neck hung a thoroughly fucked guitar. His skin cleared to his bones, his skull was an utter disaster, scabbed and hacked […] Blixa Bargeld.” Blixa Bargeld played guitar in THE BAD SEEDS until 2003, the band he founded in West Berlin in 1984, together with Nick Cave, Mick Harvey and Barry Adamson. Blixa Bargeld’s countless tours and trips around the world doubled, multiplied and became entwined. For more than two decades restless passages mounted into contrapuntal dynamics.
Changing media. Since the 1980s Blixa Bargeld has expanded his oeuvre as an artist in numerous collaborations, as well as repeated solo events, within all branches of the performing arts. He appears in changing roles and functions in films, radio plays and audio books, theater productions, performances and installations. He is a singer, narrator, actor, director and author, musician, poet and experimenter. His main instrument remains his voice, and language is his distinctive medium. The works he creates should be understood as experimental designs. He devises a game where rules are discovered and broken in perpetual transformations. What exists is variable.