Grassimuseum Leipzig Architektur

Thursday, the day of the première of Melanie Lane’s Wonderwomen at LOFFT in Leipzig, I go museuming with Robert. To Grassimuseum for Angewandte Künste and Völkerkunde (that’s applied arts and design, and ethnology). Weimar Era Art Deco / Neue Sachlichkeit, stained glass, zinc and brass roofing, and warm, pink Rochlitz porphyritic tuff cut with lighter intrusions and grey phenocrysts (took me bloody ages to find out what the masonry is, and where it’s from: Rochlitzer Berg). It’s far from the blank solids and volumes of Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, full of detail and movement through unfolding verticals and diagonals, long, low and light, human-scaled, tactile and sensory. It’s meant for touch, brushing past, close up, not for overwhelming and insurmountability.


Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig Architektur

Friday, the day off after the première of Melanie Lane’s Wonderwomen at LOFFT in Leipzig, we go museuming. First, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, then back to Grassimuseum in Leipzig, me to finish seeing the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, and Melanie, joined by Florian, for the exquisite joy of Museum für Angewandte Kunst. A hundred and fifty-something images from both of those about to go through the editing line. In the meantime, late-20th / early-21st century neo-brutalist architecture. Concrete, limestone, glass, oak. I’m not sure if it’s an embodiment of the idea of the architectural sublime of public spaces or hateful depersonalised neo-liberalism. There’s for sure something of the latter in the vast planes of unvandalised naked concrete and stone, an arrogance that knows it will remain untouched, unless by sanctioned artists. It wouldn’t last a night outside.


Torri Asinelli

A lazy day and no museums open, with Martin arrived from Freiburg, we set off for a wander southwards with the plan to climb Torri Asinelli, the highest tower still standing in Bologna, and one we pass often, being at the hub of a radial set of roads which lead variously towards home, the theatre, south, and other easterly directions. Mostly I wanted to see the city from above and see how the ragged curves of the streets resolved themselves.

The greasy, narrow, steep stairs and head-buttingly low ceilings were completely worth the 3 euros it cost to make the climb, and the damp, grey air somehow also well-suited. I’m sure it looks sublime at the height of summer, but to see it subdued also has its rewards. As for the tower, now 900 years old, it’s sad and dilapidated, far from the days when the city was full of nearly 200 similar such fortifications, impossible to say whether the gaping, toothless holes were part of the original internal floor structure or later additions and removals.


uferhallen at night

Apparently the fire department will come and take me down if I attempt to climb the chimney in Uferhallen. Well, it has a ladder, and with a harness and a couple of ‘biners on slings I should be safe within the relative context of the word. Photos from the pinnacle at dawn would be beautiful.

The last days it was surrounded by a silverish bulbous alien abode (or maybe Zaha Hadid was visiting); a ring around its base that last night glowed from within, even resembling the much-reduced Beijing bird’s nest stadium. Uferhallen was opening. After many long months of drilling, hammering, digging, moving piles of earth from one place to another, various loud noises associated with engineering, the studios are finished.

Berlin’s Wedding now is home to something of the size and feel of Vienna’s Arsenal; 14 studios on the south side of the street alone, for Tanzfabrik, Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin and others, and even more vast space on the north-side.

I finally got to go into the old generator hall beneath the chimney last night and my photos really don’t do any justice. It is cavernous … and the stairwell leading to the underground labrynth … mmm I would like to venture down there for exploring and camera-ing.

Stumbled home around 1am, not too late but the week has included Osada Steve (who has beautiful red fingernails at the moment) and much Shibari, Kinbaku and other rope adventures with Dasniya, so tiredness was in order.

“Reading: … ” Book of the Year (Non-Fiction): Jonathan Safran Foer – Eating Animals