December 23rd, 2012
Temporarily relocating to another city is a quick way to make you realise what you take for granted from the home you just left. Living in Berlin, I know all of my favourite and interesting corners. So if I want something, I know exactly where to go. For instance coffee. I am not a regular coffee drinker. But since friends of my set up their coffee shop, Passenger Espresso, over the canal from me, I have never had want for any other coffee. I am now spoilt.
Now I find myself in Vienna and I am on the hunt for good coffee. Vienna, famed for its coffee culture and coffee houses, so far has disappointed. A Latte is half foam, in a glass that is already small and equally so is the flavour lacking.
Georg, one of the Passenger Espresso crew gave me a list of Vienna coffee shops to explore. But there appears to be a catch. Since Vienna is an ardently Catholic town, there is not much of night life culture, and certainly little is open or moving on a Sunday, albeit in the tourist areas.
Ah Berlin, how you have spoilt me.
I will report back on my findings. In my search I came across Der Espresso Freak blog. He seems to have done a bit of exploring in Vienna, so I will be taking a look at his list also. I’ll also have to point him towards Passenger Expresso
February 15th, 2012
The other week I wrote about the ice crystals that formed on my studio windows. This week I ventured out into the subzero temperatures to see the people frolicking on the ice of the frozen canal nearby. It is a world away from the balmy Summer evenings I spent there with friends and a bottle of wine watching the sunset and people paddling about in their canoes, who were also intent on enjoying the atmosphere with friends and an alcoholic beverage.
So, some six months later, where there were once small water craft were people cavorting on the ice. Some dusted off their ice skates, others took to walking, I took my bicycle. There was adequate snow cover on the ice that I could get traction. It is an interesting to be standing where you normally can’t and to look at everything from a new perspective. It is also interesting to see how people use this new found public space.
There were small ice hockey areas, along with a few strips where you run and then take a slide. However, perhaps strangest of all was the sounds of Summer that had returned to this spot. Someone had hired a small truck and driven it into the park that borders the canal and set up a sound system, a grill with sausages and hot mulled wine. All of this was then completed with a disco ball and people gathered for the beats. However, to my observation, I think most of the movement was more to keep warm than any real form of dancing.
February 4th, 2012
Last Witner was hard. For three weeks Berlin suffered through -20C, and I also. The old building that is our artist project house, Atelierhaus Mengerzeile, is not in good shape. It has has been through much more and now with time it is need of some repairs. Such repairs being the windows in my studio. So after discovering last Winter that my windows were the culprit of my ever chilly studio and the subsequent very large heating bill, this Autumn just past, I set about to ensure that I would not be shivering and pining for warmer climates.
So, here I am now, with our first snow for this Winter and some biting subzero temperatures. I can happily announce that the repairs have succeeded in keeping my warmer and happy.
To amuse me a little more, Mr. Frost has paid me a visit and shown me his own artistic abilities on my studio windows in the form of some very intricate ice crystal patterns, more often referred to as “Eisblumen” (ice flowers). So when you wonder at these images, wonder at how cold it is outside.
And yes, for those of you who live further east in Europe, or up there in Canada, the temperatures here in Berlin are a walk in the park.
January 19th, 2012
Tomorrow morning I am travelling from Berlin to Hamburg to attend the opening of the H.R. Giger Retrospective exhibition. I will be there to photograph and video the event for Fantastic Visions. I am rather hoping I can get some good footage of Giger, and perhaps, if I am lucky get him to say a few words on camera.
Hamburg artist, Dennis Konstantin will be joining me at the opening. Many thanks must go to Cornelia Mensdorff-Pouilly for getting us into this exclusive event.
More information about the exhibition and its opening times can be found on Fantastic Visions.
November 24th, 2011
I am in Paris to attend two exhibitions. The first is the GENSO exhibition organised by Shoji Tanaka and Hugues Gillet. It is two years ago since I was last in Paris when I exhibited with Shoji’s group, the IFAA from Japan. This time however, I will be a visitor instead. I look forward to seeing Shoji again and to also enjoying the quality exhibition that he has organised. He and Hugues, a Paris native, have assembled an impressive array of artists, including the likes of Claude Verlinde, HR Giger and Gérard Di-Maccio.
The other exhibition I will be visiting is the “Phoenix and Dragons” exhibition organised by artist Lukáš Kándl and his wife Françoise. Lukáš’ exhibition projects involve a select number of artists. The invited artists then work to a specific theme.
Through an number of email exchanges I organised for Shoji to meet with Lukáš and Françoise as their exhibitions are happening in very close time frames. I felt they all have similar aims and would benefit from meeting each other, and if they take a liking to each other, then perhaps more opportunities will be opened to the each other’s projects. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this meeting works out.
I am also very much looking forward to visiting Paris again.