Thursday, January 24, 2008

Poetry Spam

There we go - you are all invited to Transmediale08, where I will be doing a short performance "Poetry Spam".
Café Global (in the main building)

When: 30.01.2008 at 5pm (17Uhr) (Wednesday!!!!!)
and here about the project:
Poetry Spam is a reading of spam emails, of which computer users get hundreds daily. We all know the same spam emails about Viagra, Penis Enlargement or false help requests from poor African people. As many people find it annoying - tons of rubbish on their desktops, which they have to delete constantly, I found poetical beauty in those messages. Poetry Spam is a reading, which is conducted by Anna Noonan (the artist's Second Live avatar) and me.

more info:

The Curators' First Album

Yes, we did it - we recorded our first album. Ok, not in a label, but in a real studio. Our friend, Wolfgang has a brilliantly equipped studio in the Tempelhof airport (being there was an experience in itself!). He recorded gigabytes of music, amazing. And Wolfgang also joined us, playing all kinds of strange instruments. So, I guess, as soon as we edit and cut all the bad moments out, we will have a real album! I will keep you posted on that!

Friday, January 18, 2008

David Rosen with love...

Normally I don't write about the gallery stuff here. This time, however I have to. Last Friday we have experienced something amazing. As you might guess, it is our dream to find a rich sponsor. We even wished ourselves for the New Year's Eve that something like that happens...
Last Friday I were there at ZERO. There were 2 people wanting some money from me. That happens quite often. Yes, Germans are coming often to get some money from me, a young polish immigrant. Isn't Berlin wonderful? That day one man came in, I had to run to open the door for him (I hate that!). And honestly his face was violet.

- I want to see the manager - he said, holding some papers in hand.
- It's me - I answered annoyed.
He looked at me with anger and disappointment, and asked - Do you have time?

- No - I said quickly - I'm on the phone. (which was true - I was on skype)
- Ok - answered the man with the violet face and left.
Later I saw a Turkish boy wanting to come in. He had a mop with him - wanted to wash our window, I suppose, but i sent him away waving my hand from the office. I didn't even get up.
Around 4pm an older man came in. I saw him passing by before, looking through the window, but so there he came. I was running around a bit.

I thought, ok, another guest... wonder what this one wants.

Then he asked me about the paintings of Ann McCoy - we have her exhibition at the moment. I told him all I know, the story behind the images, same staff, as always. He said that he is looking for art works because he has some hotels and wants to buy some art. When I heard that I became sweet and nice. Of course.
Then he asked - what is the style? I didn't get that - there is no "style" in it. Finally I managed to say something sensible. He must have heard my accent and asked if I was Russian. No, I am Polish. Then he said he owns casinos in Poland and actually in Poznan - my hometown. Wow! What a guest! I became really attentive.

We spoke about (typical) polish stuff. somehow he mentioned he was Jewish. Oh, I though I will call Jacek - he is a better talker than me when it comes to serious business. I was afraid I will say something stupid again and he man will leave. So as Jacek and the old man talked they went to our small office (it's full of things!!) and talked further. The man sat down at our guest desk, I made him polish-turkish- coffee. He said he is old now and he wants to sell the casinos and invest in art. Possibly in young Jewish artists. (oh! oh!) Of course we don't have many Jewish artists - if any, we don;t care about that, but we were thinking if we could find any artists, who might be Jewish and whose art we could sell to a hotel. There were some, which we thought could be Jewish (from the sound of names, whatever). That can be big, we thought. The old man introduced himself as David Rosen. We spoke about everything - Poland, our jobs, life, Jewish matters, war etc, art... He said he would come back the next day with his daughter who is the manager and they would talk more serious about us and the art. Then 2 of my friends came to talk to me, i installed them in the kitchen where they could smoke, besides in the office there was no space for more people. So I was traveling between the office and the kitchen. Who came also? Yes, our artist, Ann McCoy. She was telling David about all her projects, her works, she even dig some Jewish friends and family members out. Beautiful! Ann also mentioned that she forgot her mobile phone charger and she needs an american one. David said that all big hotels should have all kinds of chargers. He asked Jacek to find the telephone number to Adlon Hotel. Then he took out his mobile and called Adlon.
- Rosen here - said David with a bossy voice - I have some guests here from the US, and we need a telephone charger...
In the end he made it - a certain Herr Lehmann had everything set for Ann - she could go to Adlon Hotel anytime and get a charger. Wow! Ann was thrilled. What a guy!
I was sitting with my girls in the kitchen when Jacek came to me excited - Ania, David says that he also likes natural catastrophes!
That was unbelievable! You see, I love natural catastrophes! I love them! I collect catastrophe movies, I read about catastrophes and I even wrote my PhD proposal (rejected so fuck it). However IT IS my subject! So I ran quickly to David. He said natural catastrophes are a good theme - paintings of catastrophes can sell. He said he will give me paint and i can just pint that - he would sell then to some rich Jewish people (who apparently love natural catastrophes, as David mentioned). Wow! My dream! My deepest dream came true - there comes a rich guy and wants me to paint catastrophes! I couldn't believe that! I am in heaven!!!! So we talked and talked. Slowly others were leaving - my girls left, Ann as well. There were only 3 of us. David said he has to wait till 11 pm when his daughter comes with money from Düsseldorf - actually his bag with money and all the documents was stolen today as he went from Poznan (sic!) to Berlin with a train. Bad luck. But his daughter canceled all his credit cards and booked a hotel for him. However he couldn't go there earlier. Slowly we thought he would stay here forever - we slowly wanted to go. It was 6pm! and then as he said he has to wait somewhere till his daughter comes, Jacek said we could lent him some money till tomorrow. Just for something to eat. David refused. We talked some more about possible cooperations, Jacek gave him his visit card. Then at some point David said, without any context - yes, when my daughter only knew I am borrowing money she would kill me. So there, we came back to the subject. Finally I took my purse out and gave him 15 Euro.
- Oh, thank you, tomorrow you will get 30 back! - he said putting th money in his pocket.
- No big deal - I said feeling anyway ashamed when I imagined how much money he has and what is my lousy (polish!) salary compared to his!
- What flowers do you like? - asked David.
- Well, white. I like white flowers. - I answered.
- But I will not buy you white lilies.
- Of course not - I said politely, thinking, shame!
- What about red roses? - David continued.
- Oh, everybody lives red roses, they suit fine - I lied.
Ok, so then David was getting to leave. Jacek asked him to sign our guest book. David said he would do that tomorrow, but Jacek insisted. And so he wrote some words and signed.

Just as we closed the door after David Rosen I stared to collect all the dishes from the desk he was sitting at. Then, by chance I saw a staple of books lying there. My eye stopped at one book back... it said "100 Naturkatastrophen aus aller Welt".

And then, something clicked in my brain. I knew it. I knew it. David Rosen will not come back with his daughter tomorrow. He will not be back at all.
We couldn't believe it. Somehow it all made sense - it was a trick. Just like in a movie. To be honest we wouldn't get a better one-man performance for that price - 7,5Euro pro ticket! Not bad! And we didn't have to go anywhere - the theater came to us! And it was really interactive. Jacek said he had fun taking part in this scam, that the old man was really good. Like in a movie. However I was upset. Not only because I felt like an idiot - I got all caught up but because he was saying things I dreamt about. All my dreams, my hopes, they will not come true. I will not paint catastrophes for him. I guess that hurt me the most. But yes, he was good. After we realized the bitter truth Jacek called Bristol hotel in Frankfurt, the one which supposedly belongs to David Rosen, asking to speak to him - but they didn't know him. True, the manager of this hotel is a Rosen, but not David. And real David Rosen is some kind of a chairman of some Jewish committee and travels often to Poland. Whatever.

I tried to make a memory portrait of David Rosen, like a identikit, but it was very difficult. I didn't pay attention to what he looked like, but what he said. Funny, next time he talks to other people he might be called Jacek Slaski, the gallerist. I am sure I will see David Rosen again, somewhere, some time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Orte des Grauens

In the last TIP Berlin magazine, in the title story "Orte des Grauens" (more or less meaning: places of horror) there are different spaces in Berlin described as horrible. Well, I agree with some of the choices, however I am surprised and disappointed that my favorite Warschauer Brücke is not there. This is a place of horror, honestly.

Therefore I present my contribution to the TIP Berlin magazine, about a place they definitely missed. It is my version of the Warschauer Brücke:
Warschauer Brücke (german version)

Punk, Kleingeld, Kleingeld, Punk, Zigarette, Punk, Zeitung, Punk, Kleingeld, Punk, Zigarette, Zeitung, Kleingeld, Zeitung, Punk, Kleingeld, Kleingeld, Punk, Zigarette, Punk, Zeitung, Punk, Kleingeld, Punk, Zigarette, Zeitung, Kleingeld, Zeitung...
Warschauer Brücke (english version)

Punk, change, change, punk, cigarette, punk, newspaper, punk, change, punk, cigarette, newspaper, change, newspaper, punk, change, change, punk, cigarette, punk, , newspaper, punk, change, punk, cigarette, newspaper, change, newspaper...

and so on, and so on, especially on Saturday night...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bearded Softies

Last year we went to Scott Matthew's concert in Berlin. It is one of those singer-song-writers and he composed music to the "Shortbus" movie.

He had his hand injured so he couldn't play guitar - I liked it better. It is a memory sketch - I didn't see him to well from the distance - I didn't have my glasses... anyway...
I was surprised not only how many people came to the concert, but that there was a special sort of people... of men. Apart from all kinds of gays, there was a very special type of men - how can I describe them? Bearded Softies? I noticed this trend now, or rather in the last season, it is difficult to say if it will hold till spring.

They all look like that:

A Bearded Softy contains of: 7-days beard; short hair, not combed ("soft-crazy version" - that means he doesn't care...); doggy-eyes, possibly wet with tears; scared look; woolen sweater in pastel tones; shirt also in pastels; jeans (could fall down a bit, showing sweet underwear).

Sweet sweet Boys!
Seems that this is the trend for boys-men, maybe it is an answer our long-forgotten emancipation or rather the
masculine side of girls which was very popular in the last years.

Often Softies are also fathers - you can see them pulling a cool pram, proud of having a paternal leave in the name of sexual equality. I also saw some of them on TV - definitely the show master and trend-spotter Stefan Raab presented few of them in his SHESKANDEIWNDNSJKXW (whatever, something DSDS-like) show on Pro7. And the audience liked them.

Girls, be careful with Softies, they are sensitive (isn't it what we always wanted?) and they cry sometimes (is it?).