Ingmar Bergman's Afterlife as a Fly

July 18, 2018



On Monday I attended Liv Ullmann Live at Babylon Kino. German director Margarethe von Trotta talked with the Norwegian actress on the occasion of Ingmar Bergman 100th birthday. It was a fun talk although I didn't make it till the very end. It was super hot in Babylon Kino. I was at times also a bit bored about the main focus of them being women. They must have had a hard time as women in the film world but why repeat again and again the categorisation for themselves? Liv Ullmann was quite "elegiac" and I liked how Margarethe von Trotta always killed it with a deadpan matter of factness. Talking about Ingmar Bergman as a ghost, Liv Ullmann said that life without tales of ghosts and spirits, would be... She was looking for the right word but Von Trotta finished it for her: "... annoying..." Liv Ullman talked about how Ingmar Bergman came back to her as a beautiful bird that flew twice into her hotel room. Von Trotta on the other hand had a story about Bergman appearing as a big fly in the kitchen. The fly story is, I think, much more fitting for Bergman, anti-social as he was in life, to be bugging people as an annoying fly around their ears in his afterlife. 
On Monday I attended Liv Ullmann Live at Babylon Kino. German director Margarethe von Trotta talked with the Norwegian actress on the occasion of Ingmar Bergman 100th birthday. It was a fun talk although I didn't make it till the very end. It was super hot in Babylon Kino. I was at times also a bit bored about the main focus of them being women. They must have had a hard time as women in the film world but why repeat again and again the cate…


On Monday I attended Liv Ullmann Live at Babylon Kino. German director Margarethe von Trotta talked with the Norwegian actress on the occasion of Ingmar Bergman 100th birthday. It was a fun talk although I didn't make it till the very end. It was super hot in Babylon Kino. I was at times also a bit bored about the main focus of them being women. They must have had a hard time as women in the film world but why repeat again and again the categorisation for themselves? Liv Ullmann was quite "elegiac" and I liked how Margarethe von Trotta always killed it with a deadpan matter of factness. Talking about Ingmar Bergman as a ghost, Liv Ullmann said that life without tales of ghosts and spirits, would be... She was looking for the right word but Von Trotta finished it for her: "... annoying..." Liv Ullman talked about how Ingmar Bergman came back to her as a beautiful bird that flew twice into her hotel room. Von Trotta on the other hand had a story about Bergman appearing as a big fly in the kitchen. The fly story is, I think, much more fitting for Bergman, anti-social as he was in life, to be bugging people as an annoying fly around their ears in his afterlife. 

"To Think in A Room"

July 9, 2018

Invitation card for Sonya Schönberger's exhibition Colette

On Friday night, at Berlin weekly in Linienstraße, I visited Sonya Schönberger’s show Colette, which consists of cups. I like cups. I draw coffee cups myself. Sometimes artists also work with its content, like Bruce Nauman in 1966, Coffee Spilled Because the Cup Was Too Hot. But Sonya Schönberger took cups from the GDR and plastered them on top of each other in towers. Here and there they’re broken. They reminded me of the Coffee Cantata of Bach: “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht.” (“Be still, stop chattering.”) But as plastered and broken they might have been, Sonya Schönberger’s cups kept chattering alright, as if the towers of fragility were slightly swaying from side to side.

Two group exhibitions opened on Saturday. One was at Blain Southern. “Nothing special,” P. told me. We were talking in the courtyard of Tanya Leighton Gallery where another group show was opening. Nothing special either, although Tanya Leighton is celebrating her 10 years. But why bother when the collectors are out of town? “It doesn’t really matter,” P. said, drinking his free beer. P. introduced me to a British friend. I asked the British friend what he was doing in Berlin and he told me he did projects. I thought he was being ironic so I laughed: “Right, don’t we all have some projects!” He started a rant of five minutes about how in Berlin nothing gets done because of this sort of attitude towards projects. “Very unfortunate,” I mumbled before he turned his back on me. “Am I cynical?” I asked P. He said it was Belgian humor. How is French humor? I asked P. since he’s French. It always involves sex, he said. 

During an online studio visit for Node Curatorial Center, I asked Taylor Renee Aldridge from ARTS.BLACK how she would define curating. “To think in a room,” she said. I like that idea very much. I was reminded of it when, on Sunday, I saw the show Neolithic Childhood curated by Anselm Franke at HKW. Franke always pulls the same trick in curating. It’s as if he’s doing a PhD in a room. But with such an overload of facts and books that I myself can’t think anymore. It feels as if I’m gonna surf for hours on the internet from one Wikipedia site to the other. But I was impressed by the wall that crossed the space. And I took a picture of a book that showed how the depiction of eyes and ears on Greek vases developed. On my way back to the city, waiting for the bus 100 to come in the most sweltering heat, a tour guide biked by with his group, pointing to Tiergarten: “Manchmal sehen sie auch nackte Männer in den Garten.” (Sometimes you can also see naked men in the garden.)






On Friday night, at Berlin weekly in Linienstraße, I visited Sonya Schönberger’s show Colette, which consists of cups. I like cups. I draw coffee cups myself. Sometimes artists also work with its content, like Bruce Nauman in 1966, Coffee Spilled Because the Cup Was Too Hot. But Sonya Schönberger took cups from the GDR and plastered them on top of each other in towers. Here and there they’re broken. They reminded me of the Coffee Cantata of Bach…
Invitation card for Sonya Schönberger's exhibition Colette

On Friday night, at Berlin weekly in Linienstraße, I visited Sonya Schönberger’s show Colette, which consists of cups. I like cups. I draw coffee cups myself. Sometimes artists also work with its content, like Bruce Nauman in 1966, Coffee Spilled Because the Cup Was Too Hot. But Sonya Schönberger took cups from the GDR and plastered them on top of each other in towers. Here and there they’re broken. They reminded me of the Coffee Cantata of Bach: “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht.” (“Be still, stop chattering.”) But as plastered and broken they might have been, Sonya Schönberger’s cups kept chattering alright, as if the towers of fragility were slightly swaying from side to side.

Two group exhibitions opened on Saturday. One was at Blain Southern. “Nothing special,” P. told me. We were talking in the courtyard of Tanya Leighton Gallery where another group show was opening. Nothing special either, although Tanya Leighton is celebrating her 10 years. But why bother when the collectors are out of town? “It doesn’t really matter,” P. said, drinking his free beer. P. introduced me to a British friend. I asked the British friend what he was doing in Berlin and he told me he did projects. I thought he was being ironic so I laughed: “Right, don’t we all have some projects!” He started a rant of five minutes about how in Berlin nothing gets done because of this sort of attitude towards projects. “Very unfortunate,” I mumbled before he turned his back on me. “Am I cynical?” I asked P. He said it was Belgian humor. How is French humor? I asked P. since he’s French. It always involves sex, he said. 

During an online studio visit for Node Curatorial Center, I asked Taylor Renee Aldridge from ARTS.BLACK how she would define curating. “To think in a room,” she said. I like that idea very much. I was reminded of it when, on Sunday, I saw the show Neolithic Childhood curated by Anselm Franke at HKW. Franke always pulls the same trick in curating. It’s as if he’s doing a PhD in a room. But with such an overload of facts and books that I myself can’t think anymore. It feels as if I’m gonna surf for hours on the internet from one Wikipedia site to the other. But I was impressed by the wall that crossed the space. And I took a picture of a book that showed how the depiction of eyes and ears on Greek vases developed. On my way back to the city, waiting for the bus 100 to come in the most sweltering heat, a tour guide biked by with his group, pointing to Tiergarten: “Manchmal sehen sie auch nackte Männer in den Garten.” (Sometimes you can also see naked men in the garden.)






Between You and Me

June 20, 2018

Bruce Nauman as an artist with pure inspiration bubbling out of him

I have no time at the moment to visit exhibitions. So I'm left with hear-say, gossip, and news I get from Facebook:

The New York Times recently organised in Berlin during Gallery Weekend a two-days conference about art. It was quite expensive and important guests were invited to talk. A friend revealed it was all very awkward: "They were talking about art with no artists present." 

"Vielleicht bin ich auch berühmt," W. says, "und merke es gar nicht!" (Maybe I'm also famous and I just haven't noticed it!") 

W. and I are considering what to eat for dinner: "There must be something one could eat without getting fat!" 

On the window of the bookstore is written: "Bücher sind die einzige Zeitmaschine die funktioniert." (Books are the only time machine that functions.) Inside it still smells of the GDR. 

I asked artist C. if she ever met some famous people. She gave me three stories:

1. C. met Karl Lagerfeld in the hallway of his home in Paris. He has a floor in a Palacio and the artist’s uncle was living upstairs. She was introduced and they shook hands. I forgot to ask C. if Lagerfeld had his gloves on.  

2. When C. was waitressing in a fancy restaurant in Paris, Mick Jagger arrived at the door. The restaurant was fully booked and he didn’t get in. 

3. In a New York bar, C. was sitting at a table with musicians and one of them was Lenny Kravitz. She didn’t get to talk to him. 

I'm reading a text of which the author keeps referring to something he already mentioned before: "...die ich bereits erwähnt habe..." - "...ich habe es eben angedeutet..." I wonder if he wants to check if I was paying attention: In case you didn't hear me!  Or maybe it can also be translated as: "Ich muss das Zeichenhonorar bekommen!"( I'm getting a fee based on the number of characters!)

I know I shouldn't get into Facebook discussions. But then sometimes I can't stop myself. So I got into a discussion with a friend artist about an Agnes Martin quote, which said that the artist is a source of pure inspiration coming from the inside, uninfluenced by the outside. A few days before I had been listening to a great BBC4 art documentary with amazing archival audio.  I heard Man Ray saying that "there is no art without being influence.” And a bit later Marcel Duchamp commented on how even your paint brush influences what you do. 










I have no time at the moment to visit exhibitions. So I'm left with hear-say, gossip, and news I get from Facebook: The New York Times recently organised in Berlin during Gallery Weekend a two-days conference about art. It was quite expensive and important guests were invited to talk. A friend revealed it was all very awkward: "They were talking about art with no artists present."  "Vielleicht bin ich auch berühmt," W. says…
Bruce Nauman as an artist with pure inspiration bubbling out of him

I have no time at the moment to visit exhibitions. So I'm left with hear-say, gossip, and news I get from Facebook:

The New York Times recently organised in Berlin during Gallery Weekend a two-days conference about art. It was quite expensive and important guests were invited to talk. A friend revealed it was all very awkward: "They were talking about art with no artists present." 

"Vielleicht bin ich auch berühmt," W. says, "und merke es gar nicht!" (Maybe I'm also famous and I just haven't noticed it!") 

W. and I are considering what to eat for dinner: "There must be something one could eat without getting fat!" 

On the window of the bookstore is written: "Bücher sind die einzige Zeitmaschine die funktioniert." (Books are the only time machine that functions.) Inside it still smells of the GDR. 

I asked artist C. if she ever met some famous people. She gave me three stories:

1. C. met Karl Lagerfeld in the hallway of his home in Paris. He has a floor in a Palacio and the artist’s uncle was living upstairs. She was introduced and they shook hands. I forgot to ask C. if Lagerfeld had his gloves on.  

2. When C. was waitressing in a fancy restaurant in Paris, Mick Jagger arrived at the door. The restaurant was fully booked and he didn’t get in. 

3. In a New York bar, C. was sitting at a table with musicians and one of them was Lenny Kravitz. She didn’t get to talk to him. 

I'm reading a text of which the author keeps referring to something he already mentioned before: "...die ich bereits erwähnt habe..." - "...ich habe es eben angedeutet..." I wonder if he wants to check if I was paying attention: In case you didn't hear me!  Or maybe it can also be translated as: "Ich muss das Zeichenhonorar bekommen!"( I'm getting a fee based on the number of characters!)

I know I shouldn't get into Facebook discussions. But then sometimes I can't stop myself. So I got into a discussion with a friend artist about an Agnes Martin quote, which said that the artist is a source of pure inspiration coming from the inside, uninfluenced by the outside. A few days before I had been listening to a great BBC4 art documentary with amazing archival audio.  I heard Man Ray saying that "there is no art without being influence.” And a bit later Marcel Duchamp commented on how even your paint brush influences what you do. 










Berlin Biennale: Klaus Biesenbach Talks

June 8, 2018



I'm not in town to check out the opening of the Berlin Biennale. But luckily I follow Klaus Biesenbach on Instagram, where I saw he visited the Hello World exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof and, rightly so, called it the worst exhibition title ever. And now Klaus Biesenbach has also written down his memories about the 1990s when he founded the Berlin Biennale. Mainly his memories consists of him saying how he worked together with all these artists that time has proven to be "important." I 've written before about the Importance of Being an Important Artist

"Famous" in Biesenbach's dictionary equals mainstream, think of Carsten Höller  and Olafur Eliasson, or "the avant-garde of today is the salon art of tomorrow." Biesenbach remembers meeting Jonathan Meese, and apparently finds it to be a touching scene that demonstrates Jonathan Meese's dedication to the arts (aka its system of hierarchies). It made me feel sick to the stomach. A friend of mine found a new term for it: "Hyperaffirmatives Superschleim."


"He left after we finished meeting, and then came back and said, “Oh, I don’t know if I was really saying goodbye, and I just want to thank you for the time I spent discussing my work. I know it’s performance based. I know there’s not much to see in a studio, but I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to explain my work.” So, he left again, went perhaps 30 feet, and came back to basically say the same thing. So we were very appreciative, and thanked him profusely, and reassured him that it was a great visit. Then he would go again, and he would go perhaps 45 feet, and he would come back and do the same and the same and the same. The whole goodbye at some point seemed longer than the conversation we had had before. This was actually such a convincing, over-the-top gesture, and Jonathan became a fixture in our community and his work became a very important part of the Biennale."
I'm not in town to check out the opening of the Berlin Biennale. But luckily I follow Klaus Biesenbach on Instagram, where I saw he visited the Hello World exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof and, rightly so, called it the worst exhibition title ever. And now Klaus Biesenbach has also written down his memories about the 1990s when he founded the Berlin Biennale.  Mainly his memories consists of him saying how he worked together with all these art…


I'm not in town to check out the opening of the Berlin Biennale. But luckily I follow Klaus Biesenbach on Instagram, where I saw he visited the Hello World exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof and, rightly so, called it the worst exhibition title ever. And now Klaus Biesenbach has also written down his memories about the 1990s when he founded the Berlin Biennale. Mainly his memories consists of him saying how he worked together with all these artists that time has proven to be "important." I 've written before about the Importance of Being an Important Artist

"Famous" in Biesenbach's dictionary equals mainstream, think of Carsten Höller  and Olafur Eliasson, or "the avant-garde of today is the salon art of tomorrow." Biesenbach remembers meeting Jonathan Meese, and apparently finds it to be a touching scene that demonstrates Jonathan Meese's dedication to the arts (aka its system of hierarchies). It made me feel sick to the stomach. A friend of mine found a new term for it: "Hyperaffirmatives Superschleim."


"He left after we finished meeting, and then came back and said, “Oh, I don’t know if I was really saying goodbye, and I just want to thank you for the time I spent discussing my work. I know it’s performance based. I know there’s not much to see in a studio, but I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to explain my work.” So, he left again, went perhaps 30 feet, and came back to basically say the same thing. So we were very appreciative, and thanked him profusely, and reassured him that it was a great visit. Then he would go again, and he would go perhaps 45 feet, and he would come back and do the same and the same and the same. The whole goodbye at some point seemed longer than the conversation we had had before. This was actually such a convincing, over-the-top gesture, and Jonathan became a fixture in our community and his work became a very important part of the Biennale."