Travel Essay in Art: Bergen

March 17, 2019

The most photographed view of Bergen

I’m staying at the Zander K Hotel in Bergen. It won a price for its architecture. My room has very high ceilings, concrete walls with wood furniture, wall paper, atmospheric lights and a huge mirror. 
Zander K Hotel is close to the library and that's where Cecilie A. Storksom takes me on my first evening. The library has a café with nice sandwiches, salads and soups. You can read books in the café and the first book I see is one about Andy Warhol. This is how I imagined Norway to be - perfect.

Zander K Hotel in Bergen

Soup at the library


Bybanen is the name of the new subway from the airport into town. It moves so smoothly that you feel like being in a better, more ecological future. We stop at places like "Paradisa" and every stop has a different jingle to it that is not loud or obtrusive but just playful, light and jazzy. I feel like I'm sliding into town.

On my flight to Bergen I'm sitting in the back of the plane. I don't like sitting in the back because it's more shaky. But then somebody tells me that there's less air in the back so you fall asleep. This sounds good but at the same time it's also a bit discomforting.


My neighbor in Berlin tells me that he only knowns about Bergen from a murder series on German TV. As it happens, when I am having breakfast at Zander K Hotel and draw my coffee cup, A. remarks on my drawing: “Are there fingers coming out of your coffee?” A murderous cup of coffee in Bergen? 


Murder in Bergen

Bergen lies in between seven mountains. Cecilie tells me it's like an island. It rains a lot in Bergen because the clouds get stuck in between them. When Cecilie moved to Bergen, it rained for ninety days. I’m lucky; I'm there for three days and it’s blue sky all the way through.

Cecilie is one of the directors of Tag Team Studio. In 2019 Tag Team Studio decided to have no exhibitions but instead writers are invited to have a desk in the space and write about art. The idea is to stimulate art criticism in the local art scene of Bergen. When Cecilie takes me out gallery hopping. I notice a lot of photographers around. “Yes,” Cecilie nods, “We don’t write in Bergen. We photograph. Documenting events is very important here.”


Writng at Tag Team Studio

In a flyer of Bergen Kunsthall I see that Eileen Myles is teaching a writing class in March. I'm a big fan. Her workshop is called "Radical reading and silent writing practice with Eileen Myles." I'm a bit surprised at first and tend to have an allergy for the word "radical" but then I get it: it asks guts to do a silent writing workshop, doesn't it? I check Eileen Myles' website and see that she's also giving a "write-in" in London. At this "write-in" you can bring your work material and write in the vicinity of other thinking writing bodies. Kind of like writing in the library but then consciously... I myself always tend to over-prepare for my writing workshops with too many exercises, as I did for Bergen. I consider to be more radical in the future. 

During my gallery hopping night out, my attention is drawn to a vase of tulips in the corner of the art space. I’ve also noticed this in Helsinki. To put flowers in an art space looks like a competition in beauty in which contemporary art can never win. In the space with the tulips an artist performs a minimalist performance, drawing and erasing a white circle on a black background. It takes utmost concentration but I wonder if the artist took into account the flowers. 

On my way to Tag Team Space on Sunday morning, I see a lot of people walking around with ski outfits and ski equipment in the city center. Even a baby has something on its back that looks like a mini-sledge in the form of a green plastic bathtub.

Instagram a photo of what I'm told later is the most photographed view of Bergen: on a clear day the city mirrors almost perfectly in the water of the lake. 

I'm surprised to find out that there is no sauna culture in Norway. But there is one thing that seems to make up Scandinavian culture: coffee. People drink coffee all the time. Cecilie tells me her parents drink coffee till 11pm. She says they don't suffer from any effects although her mother sleeps lightly. 


Norwegians have different names for their coffee: "midwife coffee" is strong, "ferry coffee" is sour. They always drink their coffee black and don't understand the concept of a cappuccino.

On the last night Cecilie takes me to a pizza place that has the name of a serpent: Hoggorm. It's the only serpent in Norway that is poisonous, Cecilie explains to me. "Cool," I say, and take a bite. 



I’m staying at the Zander K Hotel in Bergen. It won a price for its architecture. My room has very high ceilings, concrete walls with wood furniture, wall paper, atmospheric lights and a huge mirror.  Zander K Hotel is close to the library and that's where Cecilie A. Storksom takes me on my first evening. The library has a café with nice sandwiches, salads and soups. You can read books in the café and the first book I see is one about Andy Wa…
The most photographed view of Bergen

I’m staying at the Zander K Hotel in Bergen. It won a price for its architecture. My room has very high ceilings, concrete walls with wood furniture, wall paper, atmospheric lights and a huge mirror. 
Zander K Hotel is close to the library and that's where Cecilie A. Storksom takes me on my first evening. The library has a café with nice sandwiches, salads and soups. You can read books in the café and the first book I see is one about Andy Warhol. This is how I imagined Norway to be - perfect.

Zander K Hotel in Bergen

Soup at the library


Bybanen is the name of the new subway from the airport into town. It moves so smoothly that you feel like being in a better, more ecological future. We stop at places like "Paradisa" and every stop has a different jingle to it that is not loud or obtrusive but just playful, light and jazzy. I feel like I'm sliding into town.

On my flight to Bergen I'm sitting in the back of the plane. I don't like sitting in the back because it's more shaky. But then somebody tells me that there's less air in the back so you fall asleep. This sounds good but at the same time it's also a bit discomforting.


My neighbor in Berlin tells me that he only knowns about Bergen from a murder series on German TV. As it happens, when I am having breakfast at Zander K Hotel and draw my coffee cup, A. remarks on my drawing: “Are there fingers coming out of your coffee?” A murderous cup of coffee in Bergen? 


Murder in Bergen

Bergen lies in between seven mountains. Cecilie tells me it's like an island. It rains a lot in Bergen because the clouds get stuck in between them. When Cecilie moved to Bergen, it rained for ninety days. I’m lucky; I'm there for three days and it’s blue sky all the way through.

Cecilie is one of the directors of Tag Team Studio. In 2019 Tag Team Studio decided to have no exhibitions but instead writers are invited to have a desk in the space and write about art. The idea is to stimulate art criticism in the local art scene of Bergen. When Cecilie takes me out gallery hopping. I notice a lot of photographers around. “Yes,” Cecilie nods, “We don’t write in Bergen. We photograph. Documenting events is very important here.”


Writng at Tag Team Studio

In a flyer of Bergen Kunsthall I see that Eileen Myles is teaching a writing class in March. I'm a big fan. Her workshop is called "Radical reading and silent writing practice with Eileen Myles." I'm a bit surprised at first and tend to have an allergy for the word "radical" but then I get it: it asks guts to do a silent writing workshop, doesn't it? I check Eileen Myles' website and see that she's also giving a "write-in" in London. At this "write-in" you can bring your work material and write in the vicinity of other thinking writing bodies. Kind of like writing in the library but then consciously... I myself always tend to over-prepare for my writing workshops with too many exercises, as I did for Bergen. I consider to be more radical in the future. 

During my gallery hopping night out, my attention is drawn to a vase of tulips in the corner of the art space. I’ve also noticed this in Helsinki. To put flowers in an art space looks like a competition in beauty in which contemporary art can never win. In the space with the tulips an artist performs a minimalist performance, drawing and erasing a white circle on a black background. It takes utmost concentration but I wonder if the artist took into account the flowers. 

On my way to Tag Team Space on Sunday morning, I see a lot of people walking around with ski outfits and ski equipment in the city center. Even a baby has something on its back that looks like a mini-sledge in the form of a green plastic bathtub.

Instagram a photo of what I'm told later is the most photographed view of Bergen: on a clear day the city mirrors almost perfectly in the water of the lake. 

I'm surprised to find out that there is no sauna culture in Norway. But there is one thing that seems to make up Scandinavian culture: coffee. People drink coffee all the time. Cecilie tells me her parents drink coffee till 11pm. She says they don't suffer from any effects although her mother sleeps lightly. 


Norwegians have different names for their coffee: "midwife coffee" is strong, "ferry coffee" is sour. They always drink their coffee black and don't understand the concept of a cappuccino.

On the last night Cecilie takes me to a pizza place that has the name of a serpent: Hoggorm. It's the only serpent in Norway that is poisonous, Cecilie explains to me. "Cool," I say, and take a bite. 



Travel Essay in Art: Sofia

At Structura Gallery, Sofia with an art work by Kirik Kuzmanov

It’s springtime in Sofia. Maria Vassileva gives me a Martenitza to pin on my jacket. It’s a pagan tradition for the beginning of spring, a bringer of good health and good luck. On the first of March you give the Martenitza to friends and when you see the first blooming you can take it off and hang it in the tree. 



When I arrive, it’s an overcast day in Sofia. It’s very quiet in the city. “Is it always like this?” I ask Maria. “This weather makes our blood pressure goes down,” she laughs. When the sun comes out the next day, the volume turns up.  

Maria advices me to look down while walking on the sidewalks in Sofia. There are holes everywhere where you could easily stick your foot in. But renovations are on their way in the city. Maria is skeptical. The new pavements are aesthetically ugly, she says. Traffic regulation is basically the only thing the city is really good at. When you cross the street, cars actually stop. 

From my hotel window I observe the cats in the backyard. Sofia is a cat city. They multiply in the backyards. Although it’s a wonderful 20 degrees outside, hotel Diter keeps its heating on in the breakfast room. The cheese melts before it gets on my toast. 

Around the corner of hotel Diter there is Sun Moon. It’s a fancy café where you can eat self-made vegan cookies. I send A. a picture. “Why are you sitting there?”, he says, “You can also eat that in Berlin.” At the neighboring table a woman puts her fork straight in her beet burger and brutally scratches it on the surface of her plate. It’s ear-crunching and I consider suggesting to the staff the use of chop sticks. It would enhance their slow food concept.  


On the terrace of Sun Moon

I do my best to have an authentic Bulgarian food experience. The first night Maria invites me to her brother’s restaurant Spaghetti Kitchen. I have a moussaka that unlike the Greek version doesn’t contain aubergines, which makes it less greasy. Afterwards Maria buys us some baklava. The second day I have a kind of börek with yoghurt sauce, spicy meatballs and a salad in the colors of the Bulgarian flag: tomatoes, cucumbers, and white cheese. Just the looks of it makes me feel satisfied. 


Bulgarian salad

I’m told to visit the Natural History Museum. It’s the oldest museum in Bulgaria. In 1886 it opened with Prince Ferdinand’s personal collection of birds, mammals and butterflies. Apparently Ferdinand liked to shoot until he was shot himself and the First World War started.


At the Natural History Museum, Sofia

Maria shows me the Sofia City Art Gallery where she was a chief curator. We walk by twice and each time Maria points out in amazement: “I worked here for seventeen years!” She seems to have a hard time believing it herself. 

Now, after having been a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art and a chief curator at the National Gallery, Maria is the director of her own institution: the Structura Gallery, which has the most amazing architecture. A young Bulgarian architectural team renovated the building and if you look out of the large front window you see the back of the central post office. It has a New York’s meat-district-feel to it. While I’m there, artists hop by at Structura Gallery to say hello to Maria. So does Kirik Kuzmanov, who made the curtain for the front window. Upstairs in the office I see other works by Bulgarian artists. One drawing is by Christo. This is the moment it dawns on me that Christo is Bulgarian. 

At the Gallery, Maria is assisted by the wonderful Zoya Petrova. Zoya has an Instagram that tells the life of a dog and a gallerist. Besides dogs, Zoya and I also share a love for French design. She tells me that a lot of French design gets produced in Bulgaria so you can sometimes buy it for cheap in outlet shops. Many things get produced in Bulgaria because of the cheap production costs. The man next to me in the airplane flies monthly to Bulgaria to work at the production site of his company that produces packaging.  

I’m in Sofia to talk about gender in the arts in Germany. Maria tells me she was part of The 8th of March Group, which started out in 1997 and she gives me a publication "The 8th of March Group. A Brief History of Art in the Last 25 Years in Texts and Images". Later I read in a interview with Maria about her “failed attempt to explain to several intellectuals in New York that a group of female artists does not necessarily make it a feminist one. Firing back promptly they assured me that a group is already feminist when more than three women gather together.”

There is the news that the Zaghreb collective What, How & for Whom is appointed to direct Kunsthalle Wien. People in the Sofia art scene are excited. It’s is a good sign for the Balkan, they agree.

On Thursday night everyone is going to the Christo documentary for the opening of the Sofia film festival. I rather go to the opening of the exhibition Chain Reaction at Aether, an experimental platform run by Voin de Voin. At the opening I meet artist Izkra Blagoeva. Izkra tells me she’s working on a series about female murderers.  She also tells me it’s not a good thing to live in a city like Sofia that lies in between two rivers. “Why not?” I  ask her. “The humidity gets into your bones,” she says. 


The fishy shoes of Voin de Voin

Izra is skeptical about Bulgarians. On Woman’s day she plans to demonstrate with a sign that reads “Stop producing Bulgarian kids.” It’s true that Bulgarians can give you that kind of deadpan look. First I thought it was because of the foreign language that nobody welcomed or talked to me while walking into stores. But after Izra’s explanation it seems that Bulgarians are just not into nice small talk, not even as a sales strategy. 

Back in Berlin I come upon a group of Bulgarian expats in the backroom of art space Barbiche. Ina, herself an artist, tells me there are not two rivers in Sofia. There is one quite far away from the city and a very small canal in the city itself. Bulgarians like to make problems, she says, they enjoy to criticize. Ina gives me an example: the new stones on the platforms of the streetcars. First people thought they were too big so they shortened them but now people say they are too short. I point out that, despite their sense for criticism, Bulgarians must like each other. Otherwise they wouldn’t get together in Berlin, right? 

It’s springtime in Sofia. Maria Vassileva gives me a Martenitza to pin on my jacket. It’s a pagan tradition for the beginning of spring, a bringer of good health and good luck. On the first of March you give the Martenitza to friends and when you see the first blooming you can take it off and hang it in the tree.  When I arrive, it’s an overcast day in Sofia. It’s very quiet in the city. “Is it always like this?” I ask Maria. “This weather makes …
At Structura Gallery, Sofia with an art work by Kirik Kuzmanov

It’s springtime in Sofia. Maria Vassileva gives me a Martenitza to pin on my jacket. It’s a pagan tradition for the beginning of spring, a bringer of good health and good luck. On the first of March you give the Martenitza to friends and when you see the first blooming you can take it off and hang it in the tree. 



When I arrive, it’s an overcast day in Sofia. It’s very quiet in the city. “Is it always like this?” I ask Maria. “This weather makes our blood pressure goes down,” she laughs. When the sun comes out the next day, the volume turns up.  

Maria advices me to look down while walking on the sidewalks in Sofia. There are holes everywhere where you could easily stick your foot in. But renovations are on their way in the city. Maria is skeptical. The new pavements are aesthetically ugly, she says. Traffic regulation is basically the only thing the city is really good at. When you cross the street, cars actually stop. 

From my hotel window I observe the cats in the backyard. Sofia is a cat city. They multiply in the backyards. Although it’s a wonderful 20 degrees outside, hotel Diter keeps its heating on in the breakfast room. The cheese melts before it gets on my toast. 

Around the corner of hotel Diter there is Sun Moon. It’s a fancy café where you can eat self-made vegan cookies. I send A. a picture. “Why are you sitting there?”, he says, “You can also eat that in Berlin.” At the neighboring table a woman puts her fork straight in her beet burger and brutally scratches it on the surface of her plate. It’s ear-crunching and I consider suggesting to the staff the use of chop sticks. It would enhance their slow food concept.  


On the terrace of Sun Moon

I do my best to have an authentic Bulgarian food experience. The first night Maria invites me to her brother’s restaurant Spaghetti Kitchen. I have a moussaka that unlike the Greek version doesn’t contain aubergines, which makes it less greasy. Afterwards Maria buys us some baklava. The second day I have a kind of börek with yoghurt sauce, spicy meatballs and a salad in the colors of the Bulgarian flag: tomatoes, cucumbers, and white cheese. Just the looks of it makes me feel satisfied. 


Bulgarian salad

I’m told to visit the Natural History Museum. It’s the oldest museum in Bulgaria. In 1886 it opened with Prince Ferdinand’s personal collection of birds, mammals and butterflies. Apparently Ferdinand liked to shoot until he was shot himself and the First World War started.


At the Natural History Museum, Sofia

Maria shows me the Sofia City Art Gallery where she was a chief curator. We walk by twice and each time Maria points out in amazement: “I worked here for seventeen years!” She seems to have a hard time believing it herself. 

Now, after having been a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art and a chief curator at the National Gallery, Maria is the director of her own institution: the Structura Gallery, which has the most amazing architecture. A young Bulgarian architectural team renovated the building and if you look out of the large front window you see the back of the central post office. It has a New York’s meat-district-feel to it. While I’m there, artists hop by at Structura Gallery to say hello to Maria. So does Kirik Kuzmanov, who made the curtain for the front window. Upstairs in the office I see other works by Bulgarian artists. One drawing is by Christo. This is the moment it dawns on me that Christo is Bulgarian. 

At the Gallery, Maria is assisted by the wonderful Zoya Petrova. Zoya has an Instagram that tells the life of a dog and a gallerist. Besides dogs, Zoya and I also share a love for French design. She tells me that a lot of French design gets produced in Bulgaria so you can sometimes buy it for cheap in outlet shops. Many things get produced in Bulgaria because of the cheap production costs. The man next to me in the airplane flies monthly to Bulgaria to work at the production site of his company that produces packaging.  

I’m in Sofia to talk about gender in the arts in Germany. Maria tells me she was part of The 8th of March Group, which started out in 1997 and she gives me a publication "The 8th of March Group. A Brief History of Art in the Last 25 Years in Texts and Images". Later I read in a interview with Maria about her “failed attempt to explain to several intellectuals in New York that a group of female artists does not necessarily make it a feminist one. Firing back promptly they assured me that a group is already feminist when more than three women gather together.”

There is the news that the Zaghreb collective What, How & for Whom is appointed to direct Kunsthalle Wien. People in the Sofia art scene are excited. It’s is a good sign for the Balkan, they agree.

On Thursday night everyone is going to the Christo documentary for the opening of the Sofia film festival. I rather go to the opening of the exhibition Chain Reaction at Aether, an experimental platform run by Voin de Voin. At the opening I meet artist Izkra Blagoeva. Izkra tells me she’s working on a series about female murderers.  She also tells me it’s not a good thing to live in a city like Sofia that lies in between two rivers. “Why not?” I  ask her. “The humidity gets into your bones,” she says. 


The fishy shoes of Voin de Voin

Izra is skeptical about Bulgarians. On Woman’s day she plans to demonstrate with a sign that reads “Stop producing Bulgarian kids.” It’s true that Bulgarians can give you that kind of deadpan look. First I thought it was because of the foreign language that nobody welcomed or talked to me while walking into stores. But after Izra’s explanation it seems that Bulgarians are just not into nice small talk, not even as a sales strategy. 

Back in Berlin I come upon a group of Bulgarian expats in the backroom of art space Barbiche. Ina, herself an artist, tells me there are not two rivers in Sofia. There is one quite far away from the city and a very small canal in the city itself. Bulgarians like to make problems, she says, they enjoy to criticize. Ina gives me an example: the new stones on the platforms of the streetcars. First people thought they were too big so they shortened them but now people say they are too short. I point out that, despite their sense for criticism, Bulgarians must like each other. Otherwise they wouldn’t get together in Berlin, right? 

Art Observation at Sammlung Hoffmann

January 26, 2019

Looking for Jesus. Photo: Kasia Szumska

Being a critic has an impact on my personality, or maybe I always had this personality and it turned me into a critic. Take for instance Thursday night at Sammlung Hoffmann. My friend F., an art restaurer, was sitting tranquilly next to me, listening with genuine interest to the artist Katarzyna Kozyra talking about her latest documentary Looking for Jesus. I in the meantime was getting more and more agitated. I felt like whispering my comments on what was being said into my friends' ear but then decided not to disturb her peace. From the beginning, the artist was sitting on her chair with her legs folded up underneath her, which already annoyed me. Artists taking the right to sit however they want in front of an audience because they are the artist. "Sit straight!" I jelled (but then I didn't). 

Before the talk I had seen the artist's newly cut video based on her documentary about people in Israel who think they are Jesus. I found it a cynical video. Kozyra pulled an eternally bored, mocking face while she interviewed, playing with her fingers. At one point a camera focusses on the pants of a man she's interviewing and apparently he has an erection. The camera stays there for a while to show I don't know what: maybe it is to laugh with the fact that somebody who believes he's Jesus has an erection, or just to make fun of men in general, or to point out that Kozyra is so sexy she turns men on. A few minutes later we can hear the guy pee in the bathroom: apparently Kozyra didn't turn of the sound recording while he went to the loo. Such a teenager joke. In short, Kozyra makes her interviewees look like fools and I found it sad how she used them. In my opinion art is humanistic and this video wasn't. 

So I didn't really want to stay to hear the artist but F. convinced me and then trapped me on the second row. Kozyra told us that she obviously didn't prepare for her trip to Israel and she laughed how stupid she was in many of her questions. Oh my, those artists who believe they can just pull that innocence trick off because they're "artists." To go unprepared to interview people, if you're an artist or not, is basically disrespectful. Kozrya said she learned a lot from the people she interviewed. What she learned didn't really come across, not in the video and not in the talk. By the end of the talk I was totally on edge and my friend F. was looking at me in amusement. Why did I get so excited? 
Being a critic has an impact on my personality, or maybe I always had this personality and it turned me into a critic. Take for instance Thursday night at Sammlung Hoffmann. My friend F., an art restaurer, was sitting tranquilly next to me, listening with genuine interest to the artist Katarzyna Kozyra talking about her latest documentary Looking for Jesus . I in the meantime was getting more and more agitated. I felt like whispering my comments …
Looking for Jesus. Photo: Kasia Szumska

Being a critic has an impact on my personality, or maybe I always had this personality and it turned me into a critic. Take for instance Thursday night at Sammlung Hoffmann. My friend F., an art restaurer, was sitting tranquilly next to me, listening with genuine interest to the artist Katarzyna Kozyra talking about her latest documentary Looking for Jesus. I in the meantime was getting more and more agitated. I felt like whispering my comments on what was being said into my friends' ear but then decided not to disturb her peace. From the beginning, the artist was sitting on her chair with her legs folded up underneath her, which already annoyed me. Artists taking the right to sit however they want in front of an audience because they are the artist. "Sit straight!" I jelled (but then I didn't). 

Before the talk I had seen the artist's newly cut video based on her documentary about people in Israel who think they are Jesus. I found it a cynical video. Kozyra pulled an eternally bored, mocking face while she interviewed, playing with her fingers. At one point a camera focusses on the pants of a man she's interviewing and apparently he has an erection. The camera stays there for a while to show I don't know what: maybe it is to laugh with the fact that somebody who believes he's Jesus has an erection, or just to make fun of men in general, or to point out that Kozyra is so sexy she turns men on. A few minutes later we can hear the guy pee in the bathroom: apparently Kozyra didn't turn of the sound recording while he went to the loo. Such a teenager joke. In short, Kozyra makes her interviewees look like fools and I found it sad how she used them. In my opinion art is humanistic and this video wasn't. 

So I didn't really want to stay to hear the artist but F. convinced me and then trapped me on the second row. Kozyra told us that she obviously didn't prepare for her trip to Israel and she laughed how stupid she was in many of her questions. Oh my, those artists who believe they can just pull that innocence trick off because they're "artists." To go unprepared to interview people, if you're an artist or not, is basically disrespectful. Kozrya said she learned a lot from the people she interviewed. What she learned didn't really come across, not in the video and not in the talk. By the end of the talk I was totally on edge and my friend F. was looking at me in amusement. Why did I get so excited? 

Gallery Hopping

January 13, 2019


Mat Collishaw at Blain Southern

It was the second time I visited Sprüth Magers to see John Bock’s latest movie. The first time I had O., A.’s dachshund, with me and that didn’t work in the darkened space. I must say I also didnt’ really like what I saw. As an historian I have a horror of historical costume films. Very strange indeed. Anyway, Saturday I decided to try again because people on social media are so enthusiastic about this show. I stayed now for 20 minutes, looked at a scene in which pus was distracted from a horrible abscess in some medieval hut. Again, I tried my best to get interested. I talked about it with a friend later and she said she had the same experience. We decided we probably need to read more background information to appreciate it because, so my friend said: “I trust John Bock.” 

Amen to that. 

Then I visited n.b.k to see an exhibition about A 37 90 89. The “A” stands for Antwerp and the number is the phone number of the project space that was founded the 1960s in Belgium. I got excited by this show. It’s beautifully curated and it was great to see how small events and actions can be big art. I loved the Jef Cornelis film of Marcel Broodthaers on the bus together with the visitors of the finissage of his museum exhibition in Brussels, driving to the opening of a new show at the project space in Antwerp the same evening. Doesn’t that show that Broodhaers had a great mentality?

Charlotte Dualé at Thomas Fischer Galerie

I had a little intermezzo at Café Einstein in Friedrichstrasse before I headed to Potsdamer Strasse. I can really feel I’m in Germany when I’m at Café Einstein and that gives me pleasure. At Potsdamer Strasse I first ran by Thomas Fischer because I knew Charlotte Dualé was exhibiting there in a group show. I’m a fan so although I know the work, I like to see it again and again. Then I visited the Mat Collishaw exhibition at Blain Southern. I got excited there, which I hadn’t expected because Blain Southern has been disappointing me too many times lately with its high-flying artists. 

Mat Collishaw at Blain Southern

First of all, the mise-en-scene of the Mat Collishaw show was immaculate. And the craftmanship was superb, which could be boring but there was such a humor to it. The whole exhibition had a baroque feel to it. It was over the top, it entertained but in such a voluptuous way it was fantastic. I enjoyed. On my way to the subway station I stopped at Gallery Klosterfelde where I saw a new publication on Ingrid Wiener. It wasn’t yet available for sale but on February 6, so Herr Klosterfelde told me himself, there will be a book presentation. Maybe Wiener will sing her Bananas song
It was the second time I visited Sprüth Magers to see John Bock’s latest movie. The first time I had O., A.’s dachshund, with me and that didn’t work in the darkened space. I must say I also didnt’ really like what I saw. As an historian I have a horror of historical costume films. Very strange indeed. Anyway, Saturday I decided to try again because people on social media are so enthusiastic about this show. I stayed now for 20 minutes, looked a…

Mat Collishaw at Blain Southern

It was the second time I visited Sprüth Magers to see John Bock’s latest movie. The first time I had O., A.’s dachshund, with me and that didn’t work in the darkened space. I must say I also didnt’ really like what I saw. As an historian I have a horror of historical costume films. Very strange indeed. Anyway, Saturday I decided to try again because people on social media are so enthusiastic about this show. I stayed now for 20 minutes, looked at a scene in which pus was distracted from a horrible abscess in some medieval hut. Again, I tried my best to get interested. I talked about it with a friend later and she said she had the same experience. We decided we probably need to read more background information to appreciate it because, so my friend said: “I trust John Bock.” 

Amen to that. 

Then I visited n.b.k to see an exhibition about A 37 90 89. The “A” stands for Antwerp and the number is the phone number of the project space that was founded the 1960s in Belgium. I got excited by this show. It’s beautifully curated and it was great to see how small events and actions can be big art. I loved the Jef Cornelis film of Marcel Broodthaers on the bus together with the visitors of the finissage of his museum exhibition in Brussels, driving to the opening of a new show at the project space in Antwerp the same evening. Doesn’t that show that Broodhaers had a great mentality?

Charlotte Dualé at Thomas Fischer Galerie

I had a little intermezzo at Café Einstein in Friedrichstrasse before I headed to Potsdamer Strasse. I can really feel I’m in Germany when I’m at Café Einstein and that gives me pleasure. At Potsdamer Strasse I first ran by Thomas Fischer because I knew Charlotte Dualé was exhibiting there in a group show. I’m a fan so although I know the work, I like to see it again and again. Then I visited the Mat Collishaw exhibition at Blain Southern. I got excited there, which I hadn’t expected because Blain Southern has been disappointing me too many times lately with its high-flying artists. 

Mat Collishaw at Blain Southern

First of all, the mise-en-scene of the Mat Collishaw show was immaculate. And the craftmanship was superb, which could be boring but there was such a humor to it. The whole exhibition had a baroque feel to it. It was over the top, it entertained but in such a voluptuous way it was fantastic. I enjoyed. On my way to the subway station I stopped at Gallery Klosterfelde where I saw a new publication on Ingrid Wiener. It wasn’t yet available for sale but on February 6, so Herr Klosterfelde told me himself, there will be a book presentation. Maybe Wiener will sing her Bananas song