"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.)






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