Can someone please explain the meaning of the phrase:
Bieder war gestern.
It is used for example in this article. I am not sure I understand it and cannot find any explanation online.
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It's not easy to translate "bieder" because its modern meaning derives from German (cultural) history and is also a bit context-dependent. Maybe "conventional" would be appropriate here. But "bieder" also means "narrow-minded", so there is definitely a negative connotation.
The phrase means something like "conventional is not in fashion anymore". I think the construction "... war gestern" was invented by the marketing industry.
However, I'm not a connoisseur of performance art and I might be misinterpreting the meaning intended by the artist. The full quote "Bieder war gestern – Recyceln ist in." is confusing to me. But that's often seen as desirable by artists since it provides opportunities for different interpretations and hidden meanings.
The meaning of bieder is around simple, oldfashioned, not open for change. For example someone who does things in old fashioned ways, and is unwilling to change. It’s a negative word if used for a person, and mostly negative for things as well, coming close to boring.
It can be used to describe people, things, and even whole interiors of appartements for example.
bieder war gestern
just means in that context those times are over now and to start fresh with new ideas, unconventional, freaky, really anything who cares.