Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Artists... Ego-Shooter

Recently I was thinking a lot about artists... as such. I had a brief talk with one of our artists, who is exhibiting now and he was constantly saying how great his works are. That is of course a bit annoying. Finally I told him, he had a super EGO, so he answered that each artist has. Hm, I disagree. As I know many different artists, I noticed that the really good ones do not talk about their works, their art, how great they all are. It is the "small" ones who do. It is actually very cheap to walk around praising own artworks. I don't know, maybe I am wrong, but I think it is cheap.
Great artists don't have to tell everybody about their "gretaness" - their works speak for themselves. It is similar with architects, I remember that from all lectures or presentations of various more and less famous, more and less "great" architects, the only two who were really "normal" and humble were Frei Otto (yes, then he was still alove, is he still?) and Jacques Herzog. All the other "star" architects were only saying that they are the BEST. I think that also has to do with respect.
Sometimes some artists come to me to the gallery and talk and talk about their great works. Ok, for some time it is ok, it is good to know what are other people doing, but a self-oriented monologues... oh, that is so poor. There are also people who come to an opening of an exhibition of some other artist, and they don't even glance the works - they just sit there talking about themselves. But am I wrong? Maybe that is the way a BIG ARTIST should behave? Oh, but all this role-playing thing, pretending to be the best artist in the world, playing important... that is so fake. One can really see it at once, who is playing and who really makes great art.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Censorship in Warsaw

Funny, this is a photo of a billboard I saw some months ago in Warsaw Metro. Yes, yes, Warsaw has only one line, from north to south. Whatever. The issue is that the billboard is an ad of the new book by Coelho ("The witches are still burning" - rough translation from polish). But then, someone censored it - the image shows the cover, in bookstores one can find this book without this stupid black square which covers the nipple. Oh, but in public space the nipple is covered. Poland is becoming as prudent as USA. Even though the nipple is in a context of a mother's breats, which should be something of a great polish value - archetypical polish mother. But no, the black square has appeared to say that even a milky breast of a polish mother is bad. Bad bad bad! What would children say?!
I don't really like Coelho's books. I read the "Alchemist" and some other ones. But I am not a fan. In Poland he is very very well known, pleople love him. As much as they love Wharton. I don't understand that. But it has to do with... women magazines. I remember when some years ago Wharton was praised in magazines like Elle or Viva. Then everybody was reading it. Whatever Viva says, people do. It is the same now with Coelho. Whatever.

Design, Design

So one of my summer activities is working on VOX Design. We are preparing summer issue now, number 7. It is my second issue now. I am Editor-in-Chief since April/May. I must say it is fun, although not easy. However it is a new experience. Now I am on the other side of journalist barricade, I don't write (well, only a little) but I ask other people to write, then I read it, make corrections etc etc. I decide what should people write about. Hm, that is really cool, but on the other hand it is responsability. But again, it is fun.

This is the cover of our last issue. As I came to VOX Design, I made some changes, for example now in every issue there is a title story. Last issue was about nature and design. I wanted to show that environmental design doen't have to be boring, it doesn't have to be like some people think - it is not about hippie ecelogists dancing in the moonlight, no esotherics, no poor materials. sustainable design can be also cool. When I wrote for other magazines, architecture magazines (I still do write), they never wanted anything about sustainable architecture. Hm. Of course now in Poland it becomes a trend, a fashion, but then, some years ago, nobody wanted to know about that. And now, as I have a say, I made the whole issue of VOX Design about environmental design. See? It can be cool.

Music and art

My parents came again, a week ago, to visit us. We had some coffee. That was, as always, great to see them again. I should go to Poznan soon, just no idea when. Now Jacek is in Poland, I have to stay here, at least to keep the gallery open. But maybe I will find a moment to go to Poland. Maybe...

My Mom is playing our great (made in china) electric violine. I imagine she could play, she has some background in music. I don't.

That was few days before our (The Curators) third concert. We performed at the Block Party at Planet Prozess. There were lot's of people, however not at our little improvised stage. We played on second floor. Everybody was outside or on the first floor, where the bar was, and other bands played. I think it was better like that - we played in an art space not in a concert hall - our idea is to perform in art spaces anyway. So we did. We played nex to the mural by M-City - a polish street artist. In the second set Wolfgang Seidel took over the E-violine. Johnny Zabala, who was around, just came to see what we do. So we said, if you have your guitar with you, come and jam with us. And so he did. I admit I liked our improvisation. Maybe Johnny was a bit too much of a "star" (I mean musical attitude) but it was all right. It was cool, but then we had to stop, the party was over. Oh!

Old Photo

It is an old photo, which I found in my vast computer archive... this is Defne, the girl I mentioned earlier, and Ale - our "class mate" from AA. Oh, such a beautiful memory. We went with our whole calss to Greece to have an architecture workshop in Santorini. That was 2001. It was May. so not many turists out there on the island. After the workshop everybody left back to London, but we three skipped... we run away to Crete. There we spend a great pre-longed holidays, in a wild place in the south of Crete. Ok, enough of memories, now is now, summer in Berlin.

Confused August

Well I am confused, my looong looong list of things to do is really long. I thought August will be all right, I can have some free time. But no. That is fine, anyway. What is cool is that I will take part in an exhibition at the Illustrative Festival - finally something to do with illustrations! I love to draw, so it is a right place for me. I will be showing "Hens" (Kury).

I was inspired by our recent exhibitions, and I just remembered that drawing and painting is such a great thing, maybe my low mood is because of that - I draw to little. Drawing is such a great therapy. So... I am levaing my PC for a while to... take a pen in my hand... that will do me good.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Favourite things

There are only two things I like to talk about. Architecture and men. There is only one thing I like to write about. Architecture.

Architects' hard life

I must admit that there are many things I miss, many people I miss. One of them is definalety Defne, my good good friend from AA. We studied together, and I really miss her. She is now in Turkey where she is a succesfull (FEMALE!!!) architect. I am so proud of her, in the profession dominated by men, in a country dominated by men, there she is, has her own office and makes architecture!
It is not only difficult to run own office, to actually get clients and build, but to build good architecture. Investors and clients can be pain in the ass for architects, usually they are. One has to convince thay would want something good, a good design. Mostly however architects have to build what investors want, and aften that is tasteless. Architects have to give their ambisions away, sign their names under something they are not proud of, they are ashamed of. Architecture, as profession, is/might be prostitution. People often criticize architects for whet they build, they don't know that it is not only/always architects who decide how should things look like. Me myself, I criticize architects a lot, in my texts. But usually the big ones. My favourite is Lord Foster. Almost in every text I write, doesn't matter what about, I mention the Lord's name in it. It is my hobby, my habit. But still, I know that architecture is not such a creative profession, one has to compromise with the client, who has the money. Second, the creative part, is usually the first 5 minutes, th eprocess of making the sketch, the idea, the design. Afterwards it is the craft and tachnology. I am writing as I would know, well, once I worked in an office. Long time ago. The smallest office in the world, just him (the architect) and me. But at some point I quit. I had my own project (though it was art... but still).

Anyway, as I said, I am proud of Defne! She is really cool.

Ok, this is the Millenium Bridge (a very old photo, 2001), designed by Lord Foster. I remember how funny it was, when they opened this new fresh new bridge, on the next day they had to close it. I started to wobble as people walked on it. Yes, I was laughing with my demonic laughter! Ha ha ha ha! Poor Lord, he tried so much, he was frustrated, that it was Herzog&DeMeuron, who did the Tate Modern, not him, sorry, not Him. So he really wanted to have something of his in the area. And that was the wobbly Millenium Bridge.
Of course I have no idea whose "fault" that was, either the engineer (Chris Wise) ot Foster - again, it is hard/unfair sometimes to blame the architect only. On the other hand, it is the archiect's name that appears in connection to the design, so they also should be blames it things go wrong. It is not only fame, life has always 2 sides.


(this is a very old photo, I took it in... 1992? in Kaszuby...)
For the last weeks I was writing a paper, a proposal, (I will not say for what, just in case...), however it was a scientific paper. I haven't been writing scientific papers since ages. It is of course a completely different style, than in a journalistic article, different language, vocabulary. Howvere I managed to send the paper on time, a day before deadline. We will see. I was writing about architecture and catastrophes and media. My themes. I collect disaster movies, I love disasters. I love when building collapse... why? No idea, maybe because I am an architect... a non-practicing architect? Anyway, who cares, I just love catastrophes. However, I just feel so relieved that I finished this paper, now I can breathe and relax, concentrate on other things, like work maybe? Yes, yes, I have to get back to reality and concentrate on the next issue of VOX Design. But that is a pleasant thing. And I have to do some drawings for one magazine, and write a text about Second Life. Fine.
But why was I mentioning all that? Ah, the reason was thi sgreat feeling of accomplishing something, even more, finishing something, submitting it and being "free". Now I can go and have a coffee and relax. Untill I find myself another "task"... When I was younger, I always thought that after finishing something, I can have holidays. I still think so, but after one thing, there is ALWAYS another thing. I naver experience a completely "free" time, so I can just do nothing. Amazing. Is it? It was the same when I was in France, when I was 18, on a bike tour with 2 other guys. We rode around north west France, Brittany. I must admit that was brave of me then, these guys were crazy about bicycles, they practiced before, their muscles were so hard! And me, ha, I bought a bicycle a week before the trip. However, as we rode, (ca. 80km/day) and we were climbing up a hill (yes, Brittany is hilly!), I always imagined how lovely it will be on the other side, to cycle down fast and without any truoble... but there was always ANOTHER hill... this view, as we were going down a hill, of another hill, was so shitty, so dramatic, I will never forget that there is always another hill.

After Show Thoughts

Emiter vs the Curators

Ok, it was not the best concert we ever played, since we had only 2... it's not that bad. It's stupid to look for the blame, but I do have some thoughts why we playes as we did. Emiter was super, I must say, he makes cool music. We did, what we did. Patrick said a very beuatiful sentence to me, afterwards... "Manchmal so, manchmal so". I think that in german, certain words express feeling so well, that when I say that in other language, it's just not the same. That is why I (finally!) like german. I really do. It is so cool to invent words, and in german it is very much possible. Or building them up from various other words... like... hm, for example, I could com eup with a new word, any minute, that would describe for example my guitar. In english it is just a pink guitar, but in german, let's see... Rosagitarre. Ok, that's it - eine Rosagitarre. One word. And it means a rosa guitar, no just a guitar... ok, I do it even more specific, Rosaelektrischegitarre. How about that? Even longer word. Ok, coming back to the concert, I know one thing, we should have make a reherarsal before, we should have. And then, there was too much fuss with everything, to take care of the gallery, the guests, the beer, spilled beer... I was glad that my parents came, and they did come, just for the concert (after that they drove back to Poland). I appreciate that. My Dad liked Jacek's performance the most, he he. One thing I know for sure, we will never perform in our gallery again. That is too much, we have to take care of so many things, that we cannot concentrate on our music. At least we've learned something. Manchmal so, manchmal so.

Eine Rosaelektrischegitarre