Mostly sad

                                 Steppenwolf

photo: Kaddi:H

Quote from “Der Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse:
(english version below)

“Nun, sieh dir doch ein Tier an, eine Katze, einen Hund, einen Vogel oder gar eins von den schönen großen Tieren im Zoologischen, einen Puma oder eine Giraffe! Du mußt doch sehen, daß sie alle richtig sind, daß gar kein einziges Tier in Verlegenheit ist oder nicht weiß, was es tun und wie es sich benehmen soll. Sie wollen dir nicht schmeicheln, sie wollen dirnicht imponieren. Kein Theater. Sie sind, wie sie sind, wie Steine und Blumen oder wie am Himmel. Verstehst du?” 
Ich verstand.   
  “Meistens sind Tiere traurig”, fuhr sie fort. “Und wenn ein Mensch sehr traurig ist, nicht weil er Zahnweh hat oder Geld verloren, sondern weil er einmal für eine Stunde spürt, wie alles ist, das ganze Leben, und er ist dann richtig traurig, dann sieht er immer ein wenig einem Tier ähnlich – er sieht dann traurig aus, aber richtiger und schöner als sonst. So ist es, und so hast du ausgesehen, Steppenwolf, als ich dich zuerst gesehen habe.” 

(…)
“Animals are sad most of the time,” she went on. “And when a man is sad—I don’t mean because he has a toothache or has lost some money, but because he sees, for once in a way, how it all is with life and everything, and is sad in earnest—he always looks a little like an animal. He looks not only sad, but more right and more beautiful than usual. That’s how it is, and that’s how you looked, Steppenwolf, when I saw you for the first time.”

 

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Was werden soll

runaway_web
“Aber heute weiß ich nicht mehr, was ich eigentlich will und wünsche. Früher war alles einfach, so einfach wie die Buchstaben in einem Lesebuch. Jetzt ist nichts mehr einfach, nicht einmal mehr die Buchstaben. Alles hat viele Bedeutungen und Gesichter bekommen. Ich weiß nicht, was aus mir werden soll, ich kann jetzt nicht an solche Sachen denken.”
– Hermann Hesse, Narziß und Goldmund

Berlin meets Los Angeles

Yesterday I was at a vernissage of the Berlin based artist Andrea Wilmsen at “Internationaler Club” in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin.
I know Andrea from a group exhibition we did together at the “48 Stunden Neukölln” art festival in Berlin.

“Berlin meets Los Angeles” is showing a series of photographs by Andrea that she made in both cities during a period of 2 years.

“Berlin Meets Los Angeles offers no glamour shots and consciously avoids perpetuating stereotypes, which are often attributed to both cities. Andrea Wilmsen directs her attention to hidden corners of both metropoles, which show similarities in their expansion, by the absence of a real city center, and the variety of as yet undefined spaces. Both cities stand out more by its charisma than by their beauty and attract “outsiders” from all over the world, in search of freedom and self-realization, often far from their roots.
This vaguely undefined, open space is what Andrea Wilmsen is interested in. The constant change, the unfinished and often imperfect character, which both cities embody for her. What just recently seemed inseparable from the cityscape has already disappeared again, or exists now in a different context. The focus is less on what has happened in these cities than on a vision of what might happen. Suggestion, rather than logic, guides the course through this exhibition.
The photographs are interwoven by personal statements of artists who work in both cities and have been interviewed by Wilmsen during the two-year period of the elaboration of her project.”

The exhibition will be open until 17th of January 2018.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kurstraße 36, 10117 Berlin

Artist website: www.andreawilmsen.com

57th Venice Biennale, 2017

Last week I was for a few days in Venice at the 57th Biennale.

My favorites:

Jesse Jones (Irish Pavilion)
“Tremble Tremble”, 2017
video/performance/installaton
Political work about feminist archetypes.

Vajiko Chachkhiani (Georgian Pavilion)
“A Living Dog in the Midst of Dead Lions”, 2017
A small, abandoned wooden hut, which as been found in the Georgian Countryside.
It is raining inside.

V.C. quote: “Through my sculptures and installations, I seek to address psychological conditions such as loneliness, violence and angst and to interweave them with topics from religion, politics, literature, and poetry”.

Koki Tanaka (Pavilion of the Earth)
“Of Walking in Unknown”, 2017
Video installation linked to the 2011 Fukushima disaster.