Thursday, October 30, 2008

Berlin Art Fairs part I.

Part I: Berlin Preview & 5. Berliner Kunstsalon
Starting from Berlin Preview...
As usual I am not writing any comments on the Art really. Just one remark, yes, abstract geometry in 80's colours is in (still and again).

As for the buffet - I managed to get the last Spritz (my favourite drink: Aperol & white wine) before they ran out of glasses. And they did run out of glasses very soon, too soon.

Moving north, stopping at the Berliner Kunsthalle, where Wowi had a speech about art, was hot, crowded and smelled with food...
...towards Kunstsalon.
And as always, Kunstsalon was great. I was a bit afraid that the works exhibited in those vast industrial spaces may disappear, but they didn't. It was a good mixture. Many great works (much more than at the Preview) and of course some not that brilliant. We call an exhibition good when there is an artwork with a monkey or a helicopter. There was a monkey collage (I don't have a photo) and a helicopter sculpture. So the Kunstsalon wins as for the first part of fairs I saw.

That is also a cool sculpture... could have easily been exhibited at Preview.

However art at Kunstsalon is punk... I guess one of the most popular events was a concert and the naked singer... So in which order should we take all that: art, music and tits? Or tits, music and art? I am for the latter one.

One of the trends was definitely gay art... in various forms...

Buffet - partly for VIPs, partly for the mortals... just those meatballs were a bit too heavy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

29.10.2008 - Art Marathon in Berlin

Who can take so much art in one city? As tonight there are 3 art fair openings in Berlin. Three on the same day! Who came up with the idea? I mean in the last years satellite fairs to Art Forum were opening every other day, one after the other, but now! Preview, Liste and Kunstsalon - all tonight! And it is cold and raining... ok, maybe the good thing is, once you see all three openings one one evening, you've just had it, all at once. And guess what, apart from the Art Forum, 3 satellite fairs, there i another fair, a brand new one, even more - american! Bridge Art Fair opens however on October 30th. Fine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy Curators

It seems we will be having some gigs in November. We - I mean - the Curators (the band). First of all we play in Warsaw, in Jadłodajnia Filozoficzna (a cool club) on November 8th. It is a special project we are now preparing - the Curators featuring (that is what curators do) an artist and musician Thomas Wagner (Sensor/Herr Blum). It will be a concert with live panting, video and music - all looped and connected. And the cool thing is that we will play Tenori-on (again!). Those of you who are not familiar with Tenori-on – it is this cool Yamaha instrument, designed by Toshio Iwai (costs 900 euro! but we have it… for free).

So you are all welcome to see our gig in Warsaw!

This is not all however. We will also play in Berlin, with Doc Schoko (tribute to the Godz) which is a very private event (closed) and once with Thomas Wagner again. But the second gig is less private… all of you who read my blog (yes yes! a bonus for faithful readers) and want to see us live with Thomas in Berlin, just email me, skype me, call me – I will let you know where and when we play.

In any case - link to the Curators myspace is on the right side >>>

Design in Prague

2 weeks ago I was in Prague - a business trip - VOX Design was media partner of 2 polish exhibitions at the Designblok (design festival). The festival itself was quite interesting - mainly Czech designers and mainly glass. In various forms... sometimes also filled with lovely fluids... like wine, vodka or simply Bombay.

Bombay Sapphire glass... at the Designblok
When you say Czech design, you think of Qubus. They design porcelain, glass, basically everything. And they are great. At some point we wanted to give a present to our friend, who let us stay in his flat, Marek, and we gave him a Qubus cup (bought in a designer shop). But then he was honest enough to say - well guys, I am selling Qubus, I have plenty of their stuff in my studio anyway. oh! Why didn't we think that every Czech person has a Qubus already, bringing wood to the forest... And yes, he uses Qubus in many various ways...

Qubus' plate in front of Marek's studio.

Few things caught my attention. Once, while walking around we found a strange piece of metal garbage. We were not the only ones who found it inspiring and very "design"-like.

Designer Garbage on the street
Later on that evening at one art exhibition opening there was this metal sculpture... which I must admit was less gorgeous than that simple thrown away garbage. This is art world!

The Sculpture... in fancy art gallery.
Prague is lovely, full of contrasts... once you go to the new and cool art center DOX (where Designblok exhibitions were) and on the next street you see all that funny local situations. Many people have mobiles, like everybody - you can even get a tram ticket by SMS. And then, again, you find that shop windows, where you think - hello! Is it already 21st Century or is it already gone?

Mobile Garbage or Mobile Museum?
There are animals in Prague. Some of them real and living, some of them are just avatars... in a way.
A cat... (a street away from DOX)

A real dog (on the same street where DOX is)

Another dog... (somewhere)

and more dogs... (even more somewhere)

What to think of that?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bad Hair Life

I am a happy person, basically. As a Gemini, I am torn between extremities - chaos and order, love and hate, as a polish person I am somewhere (as most other polish people) between wild Russians and precise Prussians. When we (the polish) are emotional, or we drink (like I like vodka, yes yes) then our eastern Russian soul wakes up, when we work, we can be as precise as the Prussians are. We are in between, at least I am. Just to mention - my grandmother was Russian.
I am in control of many things, but one - my hair. The chaos on my head is just wild. Sometimes I cover it with the crown, sometimes I try to comb, but that usually doesn't help. It was always like that. As I was a child, I used to have short hair, that was helpful. But the other side was - as I was not really a girly-girl, when I was like 3 years old, I thought I was a boy. Well, short hair, trousers, climbing trees, doing all that, yes, I thought I was a boy. Till I felt in love for the first time, when I was 4, I felt in love with a boy. Since then I am constantly in love. Platonic or not. Since then also I keep my hair growing, till I get bored. I cut it then, short, just to skip brushing. Then I let it grow again. Like now. Every day for me is the same - just literally Bad (Wild) Hair Day.

This is an old photo I found in my computer. I had short hair, it was back in 2001. And actually that photo was taken in Berlin, long before I moved here. (Photo: Ale Arizmendi)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rain in Venice

It is a bit outdated post, but I thought I should write that anyway. As every 2 years I went to Venice for the Architecture Biennale (September 2008). I go there since... oh, 10 years now. And I must admit I like the architecture better than art Biennale. Why? Maybe I just like architects more. This time I went with 2 of my friends, instead of going alone. Was funny, because I remember some years ago, the polish pavilion was closed, with a big lock on the door, there were no Polish fans around, now - it is a new hip for the Warsaw chic people to show off in Venice, being as important as they know everything. Times change. But I will not write here about the polish pavilion, since we took part in the competition for it and we (apparently, as you see) lost. Besides, being called a "Schwabe" (it is a negative description in polish for a German) due to my german-sounding last name, and the fact that I live in Berlin, by some polish architect, I won't even mention all that polish-in-Venice situation. For a change, though, I was warmly welcomed in the German pavilion, not only by the beautiful Matthias, but also by a press lady, who knew my name. So what was cool in Venice? Apart from meeting some good old friends? As usual - buffets, openings, champagne, parties... same old, same old. Of course, as always, Venice was full of famous architects, just the way I like it.

So here a little riddle for you, my faithful readers, who's that girl with such a round shape (in the middle)?
Solution on the bottom of that post.

And the openings, yes, one was especially funny... the Chinese Pavilion in Arsenale. We went there not only because we were interested in the projects but I was expecting a good buffet. And we were not disappointed.

However Betsky (the director of the Biennale this year) wanted us to go beyond the buildings, it was the weather hat made us long for real wall and ceilings. One day it was like 30 deg C, the other day it was pouring with rain. I just remember my immortal pink umbrella.

Ok, you read through that long post... here is the solution for my puzzle: This is... we all know.

She really goes with the time. Last time I saw Miss H. in Venice or even in AA, she was always surrounded by young beautiful boys (how does she do that? ok, it's money and fame, stupid). Anyway, this time, however, she went with the flow and picked up a group of young girls, Japanese (like Gwen Stefani) or maybe Chinese (like the fashion tells). This is what I call being trendy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Got hit (hard)

Today I got out from the house and that is what I saw...

That morning I got hit by a leaf, twice. I was riding my bicycle and a yellow leaf just hit me (hard) on my face. Few hours later, again, another leaf hit my face. What a nature! Did these leafs wanted to tell me something?

Monday, October 06, 2008

No boycott for Cohen

So I didn't boycott the O2 arena, no. I don't feel good about it, but I have decided to go to the concert of Leonard Cohen last Saturday. We were like 5 people, so it was ok. And besides we didn't really pay for the tickets, so that is ok as well. Visiting O2 arena is a dubious experience. We all know it is big, some of us hear the music while opening the windows on the other side of the river. And if not the free ticket we would have spent a fortune on this evening. The most horrifying thing was that the parking costs like 5 euro! And once inside you want to have a glass of wine you spend 6,50 euro! It was not even a glass glass, it was a plastic cup. Ok, with glitter so I took it home.

The concert was much better than I thought. I was afraid I would be disappointed, and I wasn't. Cohen was as great and as beautiful I saw him in Lörrach. And I also cried half the time. I must admit the video projections were really amazing, not only a great image quality but the cut! Real pro! What was rather not so good was actually the acoustics in the big hall. I guess nobody really thought of that, maybe they forgot to include that in the brief, but the geometry of the hall is like... acoustically bad? So that was it, Saturday night. I did go there, and once was enough.

Red Lord

So yesterday I wrote a 10.000 characters long text on Venice Architecture Biennale for "Architektura&Biznes" (a polish architecture magazine). Somewhere in the length of the text I managed to write: "nieustraszony Lord Foster" (in translation fearless or dauntless). So you see, I follow my hobby (read post below). I just hope the editors will not cut it out.

While writing this text and researching, I stumbled upon a very interesting news on the Internet. You see our immortal Lord Foster was just honoured with a a China Friendship Award by the People’s Republic of China. He was an only architect among other 50 people who got the prize. It was for the Olympics, actually for the new Beijing Airport. That is the news from Sept 29th, 2008. Very new news. Read what the Lord said about all that:
“I am deeply honoured to receive this most prestigious award. We have been privileged to work in China for over ten years now, from the Jiushi Headquarters in Shanghai to the new Beijing Airport – the largest and most advanced in the world. I was very proud to see the new terminal fulfil its role as a gateway to Beijing in good time for the Olympics. I would like to pay tribute to all the talented individuals and collaborating teams that have, with the BCIA, worked together to realise this project.”
I don't need to comment on that, do I?


In short: I just heard that somebody burned a Porsche in Mitte. Well, well, better but still - this does not solve the problem. If whoever makes that, wants to get to the rich of this city, burning a car... makes no sense. Why? Well, first of all the rich have insurance for their cars (they get the money back!) and second, the rich have few cars, that Porsche wasn't definitely the only car that person has.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Our Lord (Foster)!

So the next issue of Vox Design officially went to print today. Those of you who will have a chance to read it (ok, it is in polish) may stumble upon my little hobby. So in the next Vox Design, in our calender section, we have info about some architectural event - a competition (don't remember which one), where the Lord is chairman of the jury. In a moment of craziness, as I was editing this text, instead of leaving the text as it was "architect Norman Foster" I changed it to "Lord Foster". Later on, our editor changed it again to "lord Norman Foster", but I thought it was too... casual. So in the last moment I changed it again to "Lord Foster". I also wanted to add "immortal Lord Foster", but I guess that was too much. So, go and find the Lord in Vox Design nr 11.
You see, as I write about architecture (for architecture magazines) I always try to mention Lord Foster. Even if there is no context, I find one. Why? Apart from a hobby, I really think the Lord is so popular, he is everywhere, so why not writing his name all over again. Once I met him, sorry, Him, again, in Berlin at the UIA Conference in 2002. He was getting another prize, I don't know which one was that. Anyway, that was the time when He was getting prize after prize. I was bored with that so I went to Him to congratulate. Shaking His hand I said: "How does it feel to be Michael Jackson of architecture?" He was confused and answered "oh, I am just a normal man..." and he ran away. Well, the Lord is not normal at all. And for me, He is a pop icon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

LMD again

Sometimes I publish my drawings in Le Monde Diplomatique Polska (polish version of LMD). This time it will be about the US presidential campaigns... These are actually "old" drawings which I did for Beyond Baroque, a magazine from L.A., in 2004 for the bushy Bush elections. Somehow they are still actual. This is funny. So, hands on the polish (October? November?) LMD!

To burn or not to burn?

How sad can it get? Few days ago somebody burned 2 cars on our street in F'hain. It is a very peaceful and small street, and still! I know, they do burn cars here, especially in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain, as part of the fight with the system. I can understand that. And one of the cars burned on our street was a Deutsche Bahn - Car Sharing car. Ok, understandable, to some point. But the other car, as I read in Berliner Zeitung, belonged to a young girl, who didn't have insurance... F'cked up for her. So that dubious fight against the system, got actually bad for an innocent girl, a Friedrichshain girl, a student? or a hippie? young mother? Why don't they burn all these BMWs, Mercedeses or Porsches in Kudamm? Or in Zehlendorf?