Whizzing to Munich on a brief visit for a string of appointments with very serious and grow-up people gave way to a few realisations: Firstly it’s way too cold, actually freezing, in Germany. I don’t mean oh-my-god-it’s-minus-2-degrees-hysteria-cold, as we experience in London. I mean actually freezing. Secondly as far as contemporary culture and style go, the Germans are lagging behind. Might you take a look at any high-profile German event for proof: The Wagner Festival in Bayreuth or even show-biz happenings, i.e. the Berlinale, the Bambies you name it Germany does rarely rank high on sartorial savyness. I know it’s not the most important thing when we have whole countries going bankrupt all around and unrest in the Middles East spreading quickly. In fact I forgive good old Merkel for her Groundhog Day trouser suit faux-pas. In the grand scheme of things keeping the Euro flowing is more important than stunning in an Alexander McQueen gown (as seen on Mrs Obama in China.) Still I am an aesthete and let’s face it it’s all about packaging these days.
So I ranted about German style or lack of, here more observations. While in Munich I went to see a video-performance/play at a very good theatre, the Gasteig and was stunned by the amateurish weirdness of the production. What was the artist trying to do? I shall never know. The idea behind the show was very promising. Through video work as well as through performance the director wanted to convey the feeling and sense of the aftermath of a dream. As most of us probably are, I’m very familiar with that state of mind caught somewhere between the dream world and reality. The idea of waking up knowing one has dreamt vividly but not really remembering or at least not remembering consciously, can be fascinating. Somewhere within ones cells and senses there sits a residue of that dream. Somewhere in the subconscious it lingers until a particular person, a smell, a colour or an event even will trigger my memory and suddenly the dream will come back to me. The way the director went about to tackle this interesting topic however was strange. She sent out a woman dressed all in white, singing, moving and standing on stage. Videos projections were thrown onto her dress. All good and well for a multimedia student’s performance in second year but an artist/teacher with several degrees from renowned music and art schools? I should have been suspicious when the free-seating theatre was entirely empty just before the show started. The fact that the artist herself sat in the first row urging us to move into the back rows because the sight was better from there was not encouraging either. Munich is great for classical theatre so don’t be appalled we do have things going for us. It seems to me that the more avant-garde however still smells of hairy hemp tunics and unwashed hair. What do I know in Berlin there might be a thriving cutting-edge theatre scene. I shall keep you informed since I will be spending more time there soon.
Back in London I headed straight to a double opening at 20 Hoxton Square. There was an interesting show by a young American kid called Dustin Yellin who makes these elaborate resin tanks/layered sculptures. Staring into them gives the impression you are staring right into the microcosm of another world. They are quite beautiful. Upon asking the curator Vito Schnabel, the little brother of very good friends of mine, how much the pieces cost, made me almost choke on my non-existent chewing gum. Astronomical! People seem to get away with some crazy shit in the art world.
On the galleries first floor I saw a group show in which my sister had a small painting. It hangs right at the end in last room, which is quite unfortunate considering it’s one of the only decent pieces in the awkwardly titled show “Paint me a drink.” Considering that the show was a collaboration of curators and artists of which several have fairly little to do with the art world made the randomness less surprising. I think the whole thing was more an excuse for a good party, which it was. The space was jam-packed with good-looking west London kids and a few old-time party legends such as the fabulous Helene who came all the way from Ibiza where she has lived and partied for at least three or four decades. She’s a wonder. The dinner/after party was at Favela Chic just around the corner. I decided that it’s a great place for a party especially if you are hungry. Those guys served up food as though we hadn’t eaten in years. Brazilian food, fried, meaty, cheesy and starchy on a very empty stomach made me feel ridiculously stuffed but the groovy vibe of the Reggae band on stage made me shake it off a little. A tiny little boy was playing the bongos alongside his fabulous looking grandfather. The kid must have been no more than six or seven and at one point he even got up and rapped.
There is no real connection to the following but here goes one last point for the road: I am finally getting closer to semi-mastering some upside-down poses such as the handstand in my yoga practice and it really is hugely invigorating and exciting and very much to be recommended. Well, that was last week’s. And what’s this week’s kick? My current favourite serotonin-booster for the dreary months is running through the park psyched by fabulously cheesy 80’s electronica, anyone remember Billy Idol? Running in the park with a pounding Ipod in my ears is as close as I get to a real nightclub theses days. It’s just not that fun to be in a dark room full of sweaty people listening to predominantly bad music but my private nightclub in the park now that’s a different matter. Alright, I think I better fly before I continue enraging any clear thinking human being with my nonsense. Ahead of me lies an ocean of fun from New York, St Barth’s and Berlin and I will try keeping some hidden serotonin boosting. xxx