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Die Antwoord, Berlin

26 Jan

23 January 2015

Back from Berlin. I didn’t take a single photo, but we did have a good time. Remember, I was quite sick again beginning of this week. So it was risky, but there was simply no way of missing out on Die Antwoord! The concert had been sold out for weeks, ticket prices sky-rocketed on Ebay. For me it was revisiting some childhood nostalgia, like really childish childhood period, haha! >:-)

So we went. Travel was not particularly smooth, with a broken tire 10 min before arrival but we had enough time. Arriving in Berlin, it was damn cold and windy. Imagine railway stations and an icy wind constantly blowing. It was rather uncomfortable. But therefore we had a really nice place to stay.

On the way to the concert hall we got stuck again due to some demo and police cordoning off part of the area where our train had to pass. In a way it was one of the many instances occurring this week I’d connect to Mercury retrograde…

We arrived 20 min late at Columbiahalle, where people had been gathering outside and were hardly moving forward, even though doors were said to open by 8pm. It took over one hour of freezing in the cold until we finally got inside. The concert hall was full packed with people at the time we entered. And I spent another 20 min in a waiting line until I could finally hand in our jackets at the cloakroom.

Die Antwoord had already entered the stage when I was finally back in the audience. Like all their other German concerts this one had been sold out and the place was really full packed. The show was great though. With each song we could venture forward and by the middle of the concert, had ended up close to the stage. People were jumping around and crowd surfing like crazy. At times the whole crowd was jumping up and down synchronously, even the folks on the balcony. It looked mad. We were waiting for someone to jump or fall down (which didn’t happen.)

Die Antwoord played all their known hits and the show was choreographed in large parts. There was plenty of twerking combined with 90ies style dance moves. The chaotic elements were first and foremost Ninja’s stage diving actions and the audience’s responses. The whole show was a single burst of energy with no particular lows. A climax was certainly “Fok julle naaiers“. On one of the banners was scribbled “Hello Charlie” along with a little devil face, which made us smile.

We were definitely most impressed by Ninja’s rapping. Altogether the show and level of professionalism was greater than I’d expected and certainly worth the ticket and travel. But it was the crowd that made this event really special.

Enter the Ninja” was the scheduled bonus for the night, with a little blond girl entering the stage and performing the choreography from the video alongside Yolandi. They were certainly also making a point with taking a kid on stage, where the main message was “fuck your rules”. Die Antwoord are in a way children themselves, or addressing the child within with their music. Which is totally okay. It made us feel like 16 ourselves (or even younger, haha). And I was crazy enough to spend 40 bucks on a tour shirt (the last in size S). Usually I wouldn’t do this (and even less can I afford it), but this shirt is now a reminder of that child within – and also it does look pretty zef. >:)

Besides, the day after we visited the Berlin museum of natural history. The museum has some of the biggest known dinosaur skeletons on display, which was another reminder of a childhood fascination of mine (for a while I had my walls plastered with dino posters). But there were tons of other awesome things, like thousands of stuffed animals and specimen preserved in glass jars… the room with the jars was tangibly colder and in the dim light all the glasses, with pale serpentine and coiling fish specimen piled up to the ceiling, reminded of some freakish Frankenstein horror cabinet.

Still in awe we spent the evening with our lovely host until taking the bus back to Dresden. I slept like a stone and there were certainly some of the experiences from these days entering my dreams…

Today we took it easy and went for a walk to a nearby castle. There was moss all over, and strange masks carved in stone… it’s that type of old, abandoned building that makes for a perfect horror movie setting. I wonder what it would be like to live there…

But it’s late and I must end this brief written summary. No photos this time, you’ll have to use your imagination…

Gallery

The Electorial Chapel

13 Nov
Gallery

More of Meißen: The Dome

13 Nov

More of Meißen: The Cloister

13 Nov

Cloister, belonging to the Dome of Meißen; there hardly gets any sunlight into the yard, which is covered in ivy and fern. Strange figurines carved into sandstone watch from the side. It’s a beautiful mysterious place.

Meißen Windows

11 Nov

In October we also visited Meißen. I was especially happy to finally get to see the Dome from inside. Above is a selection of photos of from this short trip. For this post I chose windows as a main theme, inspired by a photo taken through the distorted window glass inside the castle and the details on a gothic window flanked with arrows..

 

Moritzburg

26 Oct

Last weekend we visited the newly restored castle in Moritzburg and afterwards had lunch at restaurant Seeblick. Below photos of the castle and lake in the golden October sun. On our way back we stopped once more to take a picture of the castle as sun was setting…

Seeblick / Lakeview

Moritzburg Castle

Favorite view towards the castle from the distance through the tree branches; castle reflection in the remaining water of the lake as it slowly empties before the winter; grey goose gathering; reed and chestnut trees by the water; people riding out by the lakeside

The statues on the balustrades all around the castle have been vividly restored. The originals were designed amongst others by Permoser and students. Depicted are puttos, animals and other figures as part of different hunting scenes…

I would have loved to also share pictures from inside the palace but unfortunately taking photos indoors was not allowed. Initially we had planned to take a special guided tour to get a chance to see the more remote parts of the building but sadly it was sold out. It was still amazing to see the newly restored Feather Room, the large collection of deer antlers and Meißen porcelain.

MAGICAL ART/E, circular tower of an event – part II

31 Mar

The Art

Below you see some of the art displayed at St. Augustine’s tower last weekend. We set up our works in the tower’s different storeys, starting with the entrance hall, which had the best facilities for displaying drawings, paintings etc. I somehow missed to take snapshots of Charlotte Rodgers‘ sculptural works, which were shown on the first floor, where also the talks, music perfomances and meditations took place. (Might do a special about those at another time in connection with Charlotte’s recent publications.) On the second floor was the room for the tower’s clockwork, where Glen Tomney, Amodali and Jezebel Halewood-Leagas and myself arranged our different works (see photos below).

Lastly on the third and top floor Angela Edwards had set up a controversial art-shrine dedicated to Pomba-Gira. Think for a moment of a demonic vulvic altar, all covered in blood, being exposed in the top of a church tower and accessible to a wide audience – not only Christian visitors felt repulsed by the visual aggressiveness, but also esotericists and occultists of various backgrounds had a hard time relating to the work. It was very interesting to see the different reactions from outraged to amused, from stunned to indifferent. My way of response was by lighting candles and icense because that’s what the incense and candles was there for. Amidst the provocation and controversy there was also a way of showing respect.

This was certainly not a ‘professional’ exhibition as you would expect from a normal gallery. The tower was cold, electricity was not working propperly and there were little facilities for hanging up work (hitting nails in the walls was not allowd inside the historical building). Regardless we managed to work around that and improvised: at night we lit candles to illuminate our artworks, which we arranged inside and around the windows and upon the wooden doors of the tower’s clockwork. The light and warmth of the candles created a special and beautiful atmosphere inside this unique location. After three days at the tower none of the pieces felt quite the same. Amidst cobwebs and dust centuries old they had now been charged with the special vibes of the place.

The People and Surroundings

On Saturday it was hailing whilst sun kept on shining, creating a very special mood, which again reminded me of the imagery on the tarot tower card… Below is the view from the tower’s entrance door towards the old gravestones lined up to the left. Directly infront of the tower was a beautiful majestic tree, looking all the more dramatic against the scenery in the sky formed by dark clouds, sunshine and hail. You see also a sandstone relief left to the tower’s entrance, showing three skulls with triple crossed bones, hourglass and dragon wings…

The other photos are from Saturday’s talks and musical performance, perhaps the busiest day and drawing the largest crowd to the tower throughout the entire week. You see painter and performance artist Angela Edwards chatting with Lucius Matthiesen, the audience at Charlotte Rodgers‘ talk on spirit houses etc… Saturnnight ended with a jam session by Roberto Migliussi (vocals), Chris Chibnall (theremin wiz), Gavin Semple (guitar), Mark O Pilkington, Glen Tomney and Freya Black (magic flute). I could not attend the entire session due to being left in charge of guarding the entrance, however I could still enjoy the sound-scapes from the hall below (the tower proving to have amazing acoustics).

MAGICAL ART/E, circular tower of an event – part I

28 Mar

This was not your usual exhibition, talk event or art show nor was this your usual esoteric gathering or occult conference. This event was different, in a number of ways and a challenge to all participants. If you would have asked me 2 weeks before if I was going I probably would have ruled out the option for a lack of funds, time and motivation. All of this changed precisely 1 week before I eventually embarked on my little journey to London (for the first time in 7 years). It was as if something had tipped me on the shoulder and all of sudden I felt a boost of physical and mental strength I seldom have the joy to parttake of these days. (It may sound weird but at the age of 30 I feel like 40 despite looking like 20). I figured I had to go. The next few days I was preparing maniacally my prints. The woman at the print shop became my new best friend. I booked my flights and transfers as if steered and eventually, after days and nights of no-sleep, preparing and packing and but a few hours of rest I found myself on the bus to Berlin airport. I would describe my state as lucid yet focussed. Constantly going up and down mental check lists.

What struck me that despite the dark and somewhat fearsome attributions that the image of the tower is usually associated with (see the tarot card XVI for reference) my journey went smoothly. And when I say smoothly I mean everything worked out perfectly. I was on time, did not forget a thing, did not loose anything either, flights, busses, trains – whatever was needed to get to the place did not let me down. If I was lost for the way people helped me find it. I was met with so much friendliness I eventually started wondering whether this was real life (usually not as handsome) or a movie – in the most positive sense.

When I arrived at Andrea’s (the organizer’s) place I knew noone. I expected to be greeted politely and then quickly labeled as the ‘strange German girl you rather not waste too much time on’ (which is what I am used to). Instead I was indeed welcomed so warmly and found myself immediately involved in the most creatively engaged talk. I remember how Charlotte Rodgers took the initiative; Glen Tomney and Roberto Migliussi joined in and a couple of minutes later we were talking art and meanings, of a quality and depth of understanding, not intellectual but intelligent talk, I rarely find in people and which impressed me. This was down to earth and honest. No bollocks. And this was something that continued throughout the event.

We had no time to waste and soon headed straight to the tower: a solitary monument in the middle of London Hackney, medieval looking and reminding me indeed of the tarot card. At the entrance, which was locked, we met a little hippie woman. She explained she had come here for the equinox and to light a candle at the place, which according to her would be situated on the same ley-line as Stonehenge. She also told us stories of the tower being the oldest church tower of entire Britain and twelve monks having commited mutual suicide in this building. We do not know if either is true. But I was amused and felt reminded of other occasions where a stranger would appear out of the blue, telling stories and legends. To me Paula was a messenger.

Unlocking the gate to the tower, we promised her to leave the candle burn (even though I wondered how it was possible for any candle to remain lit under the windy conditions). Entering the hall I could now get a first impression of the inside of the tower building as well as the art on display:

–> Continue for part II

MAGICAL ART/E circular tower event, London

20 Mar

I will be attending and participating in the London MAGICAL ART/E, a circular tower of an event this weekend. The happening takes place at St. Augustine’s tower, Hackney, London, providing a unique location for performances and exhibitions. Coming with me are 20 photo prints from the Listen to the Silence series as well as prints of my drawings and abstract sigil art. Below is a photo of the tower.

St. Augustine’s Tower, Hackney, London

On the Train

3 Jan

On the train to Stralsund

Stay hungry. It worked for Michelangelo, it worked for Picasso, and it works for a hundred thousand artists who do it not for love (although that may play a part) but in order to put food on the table. If you want to translate the world, you need to use your appetites. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. There’s nothing as human hunger. There’s no creation without talent, I give you that, but talent is cheap. Talent goes begging. Hunger is the piston of art. That little girl I was telling you about? She found hers and used it. – Stephen King, Duma Key

Reading on the train. Arriving at the hotel I suddenly feel sick and have to vomit. Can’t eat for 3 days. Slowly the hunger is back. Temperance comes after the death card. Happy New Year everyone.