31 May 2007

Smells like chocolate

I am on my way back from a public swimming pool in the 16th district of Vienna. Suddenly there is a heavy smell of chocolate in the air as i get close to the factory where the famous Viennese Manner waffles are produced. The scent of chocolate is incredibly strong and mixes very well with the summer air.

10 May 2007

Good Bye New York

Last view...

As I leave Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn area where I stay during my trip to New York , a black guy, who sits on the sidewalk, waves at me in a really friendly way. This is very nice given that white people are sometimes not too welcome in this black neighbourhood (they usually cause rents to go up). I take it as a good-bye wish. I like Bed-Stuy.

Views of the city

09 May 2007

A visit to the MoMa

I go to see a Jeff Wall exhibition at the MoMa. The show comprises 40 photographs made over 30 years.
The museum has an extensive collection of Picassos which I also get to see. A great painting from the blue period called „Two Acrobats with a Dog“ is on show as well as „Student with Pipe“ (1914, picture above) which amuses me a lot.

As I leave the MoMa I see a remarkable couple passing by. The guy who is in his late twenties is very handsome, the woman on his arm is kind of special. Her age is hard to guess, I reckon she is around 60 yrs old. She has been fully operated, charging from her nose and her upper lip.
I am sure I know this woman from Dj Hells last album „NY muscle“. There is a photograph of her on the record sleeve. I think she is a celebrity in certain circles...

Paradigm Shift

As i walk into St. Mark’s Bookstore, a good book shop in the East Village, I notice that the attention has shifted from last year’s books about punk and post punk to books about art. Contempory art seems all the rave this year. Only that the music books came as paperbacks (had to buy a few) and the art books as hard covers (can’t really afford them). Most art books are exhibition catalogues.

Street Art

Art in Chelsea

Matthew Marks Gallery shows new works of German photographer Andreas Gursky. The new works comprise a big scale series of fomula one racing cars on their pit stop. The cars and their teams are bright and beautifully lit and set against a darker background. There is also a gargantuan print of an event at a North Korean stadium (poor people making up a pattern of flowers) as well as a landscape series of the Halong bay in northern Vietnam. The digital manipulation of those series is not so well done. It is just too obvious.

Rirkrit Tiravanija has a great installation at David Zwirner Gallery. He has built a big box which is set in what appears to be the garage of the gallery. You can enter the installation either through open rolling doors from the street or go through the gallery. That has the effect of entering a side spot like a garage. In the installation hot thai food awaits you which you can just take out of the pot. There is a nice social effect to it especially as that gallery is super up-market. You wander through the streets of Chelsea hungry and thirsty and suddenly there is this place you are allowed to (if you are not a bum, that is).

02 May 2007

Sofa Surfers kick ass!!

The Austrian electronics-mixed-with-live-instruments outfit Sofa Surfers play a gig at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. Their sound is a mix of programmed beats and sounds, guitar and bass, live drumming and vocals of their Nigerian singer. They play an incredibly powerful gig. Once, during the concert I wonder how much louder you can play in a 40m2 room...
After the concert we head for the subway in midtown wondering that that had just happened in this surrounding of business and office buildings. Full moon shines down on us through glass towers...

Back in New York

Last alternative spot in SoHo

I come to New York for the opening of „Happiness of Objects“, a group show at the Sculpture Center. Our film „Tomatoheads“, which is a co-production of my artist collegue Paul Horn and me, is shown. We manage to get one flight ticket from the Austrian Cultural Forum. Paul lets me go to do some networking.
There are many people at the opening and bunches of people watching our video. They laugh a lot. That's what the video is for...