5 days alone in Dublin...here are the stats: 2 novlels, 9 movies, 1 French film star, 3 new dresses, 0 Irish boyfriends (unless you count the bum I gave a cig to who offered me a date). The upside is I have learned to appreciate my own company more, or at least entertain myself so I don't go stark raving mad. I can always fall back on my inside kid tendencies and read or draw, good time killers (though do little for making me seem like less of an unaproachable douche bag). However my love of drawing with pencil has been saved from the annals of history, if only because Im sick of a dreary selection of ball point or sharpie. In little over 5 days my grand European dream will reach its natural conclusion. Ive been here forever, but also not so long. I never want to leave, but Im also desperate to get home. I'll miss moving to a new town every two weeks. I'll miss my wild pack of feminists. Fuck this I want do overs. Oh well, theres always Yuck.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I walked home tonight through the park and the cold burns my cheeks in the most pleasent way. Then coming inside to the warmth feels that much better. Also beer with ginger syrup is the best thing I ever had and amounts to less than three dollars. On Sunday I had the most delightful intelluctual date with myself. First a tour of all the galleries I could find in walking distance, which on the lords day are mercifully FREE! its like they WANT people to look at art. Weird. Next was the most luxurious sit in the "art bunker" cafe. It over looks the park, and I could look up from fighting my way through Deleuze, to smoke and watch people walk by. Also I ordered a sandwich and it came with a side of three dipping sauces which was a relief to some one with as much sauce scarcity as myself. It is a freedom I may never know again, to sit there and not have one troubling thought about what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, or when I have to work next etc. To not feel the constraints of time is the ultimate privilage. Then I wandered through the square listening to Franz Liszt and watching the moon rise. Last stop, a lecture at this neat bookstore cafe about the comparison of the Polish solidarity movement to what is now being called the Arab spring. Cool to sit in a cafe in Krakow with a room full of feminists from all over the world and hear them talk about current affairs. I felt for a very brief moment apart of something larger than myself. It was the most perfect Sunday of my whole life. I want to thank you Krakow, for showing me what simple pleasure life can be. I don't ever want to go home.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Krakow is lovely and amazing. It is a late fall, the weather is unseasonably pleasant, and I am here in time to watch the leaves change. walking through the park is pure romance. Also the food is better than anywhere ive ever been. AND THE VODKA. It is a whole different animal. tonight I tried greapfruit, honey pepper, and wormwood at the vodka bar across the street from my apartment. It comes in tiny frosted goblets and is sipped with great relish. My Polish classmate is convinced that in my heart and soul I am secretly Polish too, I am pleased to think maybe she is right. Krakow is edging in on the imense room Berlin has taken up in my heart. Perhaps there is room for both. The end of the program is very clearly in sight. I don't want to go back to real life.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Officially out of the great slump, which the all knowing Max pointed out is mostly self induced and stupid...so I decided not to do it anymore. Had a free day so I grabbed Prague by the balls and went to the Czech National Gallery. A treasure trove of old and new and completly bizzare, which seems to be a running theme for my art experiences here. I have noticed a trend of assemblage pieces that are overwraught with hot glue glitter fantasy...whole wall sized landscapes that look like my twelve year old self raided moms stash of puff paints and sparkles and hid in the garage until I felt like I had created a spirit portrait of the inside of a fairies magical asshole. I also saw an equal number of really well crafted and deeply felt pieces, im just saying...what an interesting phenomena, Im probably just jealous I didnt think of it first, and am not hanging in the czech national gallery. ANYWAY...this trip marks a very important personal first for me, and that is my first KLIMT live and in person. I have loved him since I made my mom buy me one of his books when I was young. I would pour over it and felt that first incling that maybe I could do this too, be an artist. A pivital moment commemorated in ink on my right arm. So to stand there in front of the real thing, see his brush strokes and little daubs of color, that no reproduction can ever translate...whoa, kind of a big deal. I gawked and marvled and paid homage the best way I knew how, with my pen and paper. Top ten experience for sure. The Czech National Gallery is a hulking behemoth, six floors, too much to really absorb in one go round. I dare say it bested me. Robin and I had to go find the nearest place with duck and beer for a much needed period of reflection, this happens to by my favorite cafe...where Dvorak came for a bite before heading over to the big music hall near by. Delicious pork and dumplings. So then we tried to go to see this Czech movie that is supposed to be really good, Alois Nebel (steve...netflix) but we got the time wrong because military clocks don't make no sense. So we saw the Soderberg virus movie instead, liked it. Especially the part when some government official tells Jude Law that blogging is like grafitti with punctuation. I guess it is in a way. So, I have been to a theatre in every country, Berlin of course had the edgiest indy theatre, but CR wins for luxury. The screen was big and the seats were comfy as hell, but the best part was the schwepps tonic water from the fountain and hand selected Haribo gummies. Now everyone knows Haribo makes the best gummies, but I feel we in the states arent being given access to their bredth of products like here in Europe. That little yellow bear in a bowtie is everywhere. Go to the grocery store, they have a WHOLE AISLE devoted to them. At the theatre there were drawers and you could tell the nice lady from which numbers you would like a scoop. Genius. I want all gummy cokes all the time. Was this as exciting as seeing Klimt? Almost. It was so good I went back for a double feature the next day. And now? I am on a train to Krakow. I love riding the train.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Its bone cold, I haven't spoken in two days, Im wandering the labrynthine streets of Praha alone. I have reached some kind of alternate universe of desolation. I went to some freak show art exhibit, had enough, and now Im sitting inside the worlds most gaudy gold encrusted church because I have nothing better to do. I am tired of only having a peice of shit sharpie to draw with, I miss sitting at my work table and having everything there in front of me, a buffet of materials waiting for my abuse. But all for naught because my artistic intuition is shot to hell. I miss talking on a fucking cell phone and driving a car, and having a place that belongs to me, not some strangers bunk bed. The end of this trip is some foggy finish line I have to live long enough to cross, a countdown until I can collapse in a heap and think about all this shit I am so oversaturated with. On the bright side the kraut is amazing and the beer is cheap and my pants are clean for the first time in a month, not to mention my roomie has a wellspring of xanax they are more than willing to share. And it is still strange and mysterious that I am here, or that I am alive at all. Ok there, Im done...
Thursday, October 13, 2011
During my weeklong stay in Istanbul I was suprised and delighted to learn it coincided with the Istanbul Biennial. What a fucking mind blowing privelage, what a life changing exhibition. It was held inside two very large bunkers, that were modified to recreate the feeling of wandering the narrow streets of Istanbul, the confusion and wonder of its mazelike design, makes moving through the exhibit an active and engaging experience. It was curated with the work of Felix Gonzales-Torres as a foundational element, he believes that the personal is political and vice versa (very feminist) and art is an important transmission of this idea. "His pieces probe issues such as traveling from one place to another, and the challenges of leading a settled life in this world...the visual identity of the exhibition are based on his minimal aesthetics. Most important of all, the philosophy of the show is based on situating the artists thoughts- his specific views and actions regarding politics, society, and the individual- in the context of Istanbul" (from The Companion text accompanying the show). Some of the subjects approached were difficult ones, AIDS epidemic in Africa, gun violence, bombings in the West Bank. But in equal measures there was also a great deal of works that were funny and touching and romantic. There is room in art to explore all of these things and thats why I think its so amazing, and powerful and important, as a transmition of the full range of human experience. Because it is always both/and. The things I really connected to were the simplest, I think. The things that are paper, cut out, taped together, inked up, the human touch still evident. It feels easier to approach, to understand. I like when the process is evident, when its not removed from the fact that these things are made by the hands of other people, and they have a life, and a particular viewpoint, and a politic. It has taken me a full week of rest in berlin to think about it and work up to even begining to talk about why this was so good, special, disturbing, life altering. But a good show can do so much to a person, change the very fibre of their being, the course of the rest of their life. I think I left knowing without a doubt that art is the most important part of my life, to make it myself as a means of expression, but more importantly to look at it as a language with which to understand the experience of others...