September 13, 2017

Berlin Art Week: Who Wears It Better?

I started Berlin Art Week in a VIP fashion. 

At Hamburger Bahnhof I hear that a whole lot of birches have arrived to be installed in the Historical Hall for the Future Now Festival. “How high?” I ask. “Six meters,” the guard tells me. I get pre-stomachache. 

KW press conference takes place in the cafĂ© for some reason. It’s cramped, obviously, and the director and artist refuse to use a microphone so that nobody can understand them. This does not keep them from talking on and on and on.... 

That’s why during the press conference I’m sitting outside in the garden of the KW on these horrible green chairs of the last Berlin Biennial that make your but hurt. I ask my colleague: “Do you still write poetry?” “Na, I stopped smoking. I don’t know if I can do writing without.”

Willem de Rooij’s newest work for the KW exhibition is a sound piece with howling dogs in Greenland. This has been done before by Dieter Roth but then in Spain. So we (the press) play the game “Who wears it better?”  De Rooij makes the howling elegiac and pleasing so that it bores the hell out of you. In Roth’s piece, the dog’s barking is hardly bearable, it gets under your skin and it’s merciless towards your sense of aesthetics. And he doesn’t need to darken the space to create an existential feeling.

Crossing the street to go to an art space, the person next to me tells me to watch out for the approaching car: “Mit Diplomaten muss man aufpassen...” (you have to watch out with diplomates)

Listening to the welcome speech at the next art reception, I ask my neighbor: “Why is she reading from a paper?” My neighbor answers: “Because she has nothing to say.”

Annemie Vanackere and Miet Warlop

At HAU it’s fun to hear two women talk with a Belgian accent. I always wondered how my accent sounds and now I know it  sounds cute. I’m a new fan of Annemie Vanackere, the director of HAU. She’s awesome, isn’t she? Miet Warlop performs Nervous Pictures, which is a great title and she herself is great too. Very strange because most Belgians make me crinkle my nose. 

I decide not to go to Monica Bonvicini’s exhibition at Berlinische Galerie. Just not my thing. I mean "Sex and lube" would be a show i'd check out, but not "3612,54 M³ VS 0,05 M³"

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