February 19, 2016

German Progress, Art Gossip on the Train, and the Richard Meier Style Room in Frankfurt

Me sneaking at my neighbour's magazine. Photo: Silke

Train rides can be surreal in Germany. First of all they change your perception of Germany as an efficient, punctual country. But they also defy your idea of what progress is supposed to mean. Take the ticket controller who protested about my wrinkled ticket, saying that her new equipment is very sensitive and that such wrinkles don’t register. Ha! One would think that progress makes sure that equipment is so sensitive that it can even register your code through all wrinkles, spots, smudges etc. But no, progress means that technology is developed so that only the wrinkle-free, spotless surface can be registered. This made me think of flawless art like the one of Alicja Kwade that is very popular now. Art reveals so much about society, doesn’t it? 

I had a good time on the train to Frankfurt though. I always bring heaps of work because I have this wrong positive perception of myself as someone who will take advantage of 4 hours concentrated time on the train. Unfortunately, as always, I started staring out the window, contemplating the German landscape and wondering what people are doing in remote areas, how do they survive outside Berlin? I’m always in awe. Then I got distracted by the magazine of my neighbor, a woman reading Freitzeit Woche. It was about how to get rid of the nasty callused skin on your feet, and another one about nobility living in a castle. Such magazines always fascinate and repulse me simultaneously, and here my self-destructiveness manifests itself in that I just can’t stop reading. The same happens when I'm at the hairdresser where I always read Gala Magazine. Will these magazines die out together with the elderly generation? I asked myself. Silke from the press office caught me in the act and because she didn’t want to disturb my fun, she only showed me the photograph when we had arrived in Frankfurt. Very nice indeed.

Happy in the Richard Meier Style Room. Photo: Silke

I spotted a few more art people on the train who were on their way to Karsruhe for a regional art fair. Trains are great for gossip because people are bored and reveal things they would otherwise never say to you. So I can tell you that Julia Stoschek is moving to Berlin, also her art space, since she is pregnant, and her boyfriend lives in Berlin and he is a very good “partie” as they say in Germany. They didn’t want to tell me more, and asked me worriedly if I do a society column. I wouldn’t call my blog like that, would you? Anyway,  aim was the exhibition in Frankfurter Kunstverein, about which I will tell you in the near future. After visiting the show and eating Frankfurt’s famous green sauce with eggs, I had an hour left before taking the 4 hours track back to Berlin, and I took advantage to see the Museum für Angewandte Kunst. I just went to see the one room curated by Thibaut de Ruyter since I’m a fan after his show at Eigen + Art Lab. Finding it, the green hairy carpet underneath the Corbusier chairs caught my attention immediately. WTF! Hairy green! Even wearing green clothes is problematic. I scanned the flyer twice to find out where it came from, but no trace of the carpet’s source, whereas every other item in the room is labelled. Thibaut told me later he had consciously placed it in the Richard Meier style room, because he wanted to reenact the environment Meier’s furniture had been shown in - that is rich people who do their villas to the perfection, but they always get it wrong somewhere somehow. Haha!  

Grüne Soße

On the train ride back I sat next to an art critic from the famous Artforum. We started talking about the anthropological phenomena we spotted in the art world, which was very interesting but I can’t reveal to you more about the content. .. he told me he would take revenge if I did so. I got very excited about that, thinking he would write badly about me in Artforum. You know how bad publicity is good publicity anyway.  Oh, he said, they wouldn’t publish it because you’re not known enough. Hehe! I’m scared anyway (I do secretly think I’m big enough for Artforum...) Shouldn’t the press office scan its people better? he wondered while looking at me... 

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