Monday, April 07, 2008

The Cat, the Tree and Me

As I was in Warsaw last month, I have stayed at my friend's place. She has a house, a cat, a dog, a garden and a tree. A very particular Tree. One morning as we had our coffee in the garden, the Cat climbed on the Tree. It sat there for a while. At some point the Cat tried to climb down but it couldn't.

The Tree was probably a Salix matsudana (Chinese Willow), as I estimate. so we watched the Cat trying desperately to get down, and we laughed imagining firemen taking the Cat down.
Finally I have decided to be a hero, just like in a movie, and climb the Tree myself to rescue the Cat. And so I did. After a long hassle, I managed to get the Cat - I took it and put it in my friend's loving arms.

But then I have realized that I cannot get down, it was not a big Tree, however I couldn't remember as in the childhood I used to climb trees, how was it to get down... jump? and break a leg? So I sat there for a while. A while. Thank god it was after my morning coffee.

Finally my friend, Frau, she brought me a chair and, as you see - I sit at my computer and write this wonderful and dangerous* adventure down, I managed to get down.
* dangerous - yes, yes, it is a dangerous nature out there...

Open letter to Scott Matthew

Dear Scott,
thank you for the invitation to your concert in Berlin in April, however I cannot come - I am in Italy that day (oh, a business trip). I wish you all the best for the concert, and I hope your hand is fine. Next time!
All the best, Anna

Not About Art

As from nature I am quite critical, I will not write about the 5. Berlin Biennale. I am not writing a single word about art on this blog any more, since my long entry about the art fairs in Berlin last year. Some of you were saying I am not fair, too critical, whatever. So this time, no a single word about art... about artworks which cost 40.000 EURO to put up... ok ok.

The Capital

Last month I went to Warsaw - to work. Yes, I do work in Poland. As I go there, it is usually for few days only. I get out on the train station (what a place!), run to the Złote Tarasy shopping centre to get cigarettes and newspapers, and then to work. Day and night I usually spend in front of the computer, checking layouts etc, and after sending the magazine to print, I go to Złote Tarasy again, for more newspapers and more cigarettes and get on my 6-hour train to Berlin. Basically that is how it looks like. But the reason I write about Warsaw is that I wanted to share some observations, maybe some of you will understand this city, well I don't. And I mean architecture.

I admit I love the Palace of Culture. I know, I know, it is a symbol of the soviet occupation - the palace was a gift from Stalin, but still, it is a symbol of the city as well, after all these years. It could be used in a cool way, just taking examples from Berlin's Palast der Republik! Ah, but who would listen?
Instead the Palace is surrounded by a very sprawled urban tissue, no sense, no planning, no idea. It is the Capital for God's sake!
Coming back to Złote Tarasy - a big shopping center near the main train station. I admit - it is practical, while traveling, as practical as Berlin's pink Alexa (a shopping center on Alexanderplatz). It is not the only thing these two places have in common. Their function, "practical" location... and form. An ugly form. Let's say - very ugly form. As for Alexa, ok, I like pink as a color, but not on such a building. As for Złote Tarasy ("Golden Terraces") - oh, they are definitely not golden. Gray, they are gray.
Here you have a detail from Złote Tarasy:

And here is Alexa:

Dear Capitals, take an example from this provincial city called Poznań (my hometown). Shopping centers can be designed differently, they can be visually pleasant.



There are many things which people throw out and leave homeless on the streets. You can check out our previous exhibition in ZERO - we had a show by Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur - there we go, a link:
While walking around Berlin streets I have noticed that the most popular unwanted and thrown-away objects are old monitors. Buuuh! Old machines which are too clumsy and too fat to stay alive on young artists' and whatever creative peoples' desks. And here some sad old-time monsters:

Once you go to a flea-market - the most popular books being sold are by... who? Yes, right, by Stephen King! Long read the King!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sinus_3 reloaded

The reason I wasn't writing recently was that (one can imagine) I was a bit busy - before Easter I have decided to take part in one competition (art / architecture) and I called on my 2 other friends with whom I had out Sinus_3 design group. Some of you might remember us, some of you don't know about Sinus_3. Basically we were 3 girls, all architects, and we did some art and architecture projects (video, installations, performances), back then, in Poland. We stopped for a while because we all live in different countries now. However I thought there is a reason for us to try again, on different conditions - in the virtual reality. So we have made a project together with invited artist/ architect from NYC. So there you have people in Berlin, Holland, UK and US working together on 1 project. We did it, we have sent the proposal - of course we didn't win, I don't mind that - this project showed us how and if it is possible to work together online. It works. And the competition? I will not say too much about it, makes no sense. It was a polish competition, and from experience I know that all those competitions end with something stinky. Well, I know we didn't win, not because we have got a letter saying "you lost, suckers" or anything like that, not even an email saying "thank you for participating, but you didn't win" - I know we didn't win because I saw on the Internet who won, although it seems an unofficial information. Whatever, a polish competition. If you ever take part, don't fool yourself to be treated in a civilized manner. Examples? National Art Museum competition where Kerez won (or didn't he?), Elisabethan Theatre architecture competition (the jury chose 1 project, then denied and then the jury fell apart). There are other examples. Ok, the good thing is, we did something, we have realized we can still do something together despite the distance. Fine!

Here is one of our older projects, just for the idea - a mirror ball installed in Wrocław, 2000.