It reminded me a little of China Miéville’s Handstand, except the pigeon was perhaps making a no-handed cartwheel.
We have been in nameless today preparing one of the spaces for a weekend Yoga+Bondage workshop and future adventures. Me with scrapers and a breathing filter, Dasniya with power tools; me trying to rid the wooden floor of the least resistant of the worst mess (resin, latex, paint mess, pigeon shit), Dasniya cutting holes, kicking down walls (really!), drilling at stuff and setting up some suspension points.
Yesterday we looked at another room, this one with large hooks bolted to the iron ceiling beams. The light there is different, and it feels tranquil. Perhaps in there to lay some kind of foam padding and dance flooring, to make use of these hooks.
The room is decked in years of pigeon droppings though, and cleaning would be a big job (my preferred method would be to waterblast the entire space). Also there, the cartwheeling pigeon, caught forever mid-tumble, bejewelled in the carapaces of long-hatched maggots.
I thought also of Fujohkan, and discover Manabu Yamanaka is exhibiting at Trollwerk Potsdam. Tomorrow more cleaning, preparing.
The last few days, Dasniya, Hartmut and myself had been in another Fabrik, with another mobile gantry. More dust and dirt, grime, rope adventure. We have somewhere new to play. More to talk about also. John Cage makes an appearance.
Yesterday was the opening of nameless, not far from Uferhallen, in an old factory. In darkness later, with lights burning behind glass once more, it felt as if life was returning. The past weeks, nameless, along with many others have been taking advantage of this emptiness … an entire Fabrik, empty! One building – the smallest – with three floors and an attic, the other with four spread along two sides of the yard, then more single-storied buildings including the beautiful, wooden-roofed Embassy Room.
For summer, or at least until September, this will be a place for art, and with their histories in opera, it might be the only artists’ Fabrik of its kind in Berlin where performance is close to the heart.
So we made noise with the gantry – not as fast as the one in Uferhallen, but higher and noisier – and over some days made a thing. We performed this last night, sliding in after the fourth number from Berlin Art Orchestra, who accompanied us for the binding and suspending.
A video might appear soon, until then, a photo.
Also, Dasniya and I, separately and together, and with others will be having workshops, classes and works there. More on this soon, except to say for now, I’ll be teaching yoga in the mornings from later this month, and Dasniya has a Yoga+Bondage workshop on the 28th and 29th.
Walking through town last week, Daniel took me into another one of the city’s abandoned construction sites. Adelaide has an appearance of being a bustling small capital, though I always seem to notice the proliferation of empty shops and buildings, and missing teeth of demolished sites. It reminds me of Auckland in the early 90’s, when the over-enthusiastic trashing of historic architecture all through the city centre met with the stock market crash and left the place with wasteland carparks, a prefabricated ghost-town.
I like the vacant pointlessness of it, the undelivered grandiosity. It mocks the conceits of the entire city in its absence. Actually, this is all you have to look forward to and either way it is not a livable city.
Letter-hyphen-town has been what most cities I’ve lived in have been reduced to since Emile in Zürich shortened it to Z-town. Adelaide being A-town in my imagination, it was sort of poignant to find a zine of the same name, an archaic, photocopied, cut-paste typewriter and xeroxed pre-blog self-publication devoted to the unseen bits of Adelaide, urban archaeology for the geekiest of miniscule travelers.
At the worst party in the world on Saturday, I met the author, who looks like Ben Lee, has a small orange bicycle pinned to his lapel, and enthuses on three things: bikes, urban architecture and zines. I heard he’s done his Ph.D. on zine culture, which didn’t surprise me at all.
So amidst the still continuing rain, and following his instructions, today I peered through the temporary fencing of Gouger Street’s own impromptu wetland. Even with quantities of plummeting water, the swamp hasn’t risen to the normal tide mark that stains the girder-propped concrete structures at the deepest end of the evacuated block, but besides the detritus of the dissembled architecture, the inclined concrete shoreline, and litter tossed over the fences, this is a wetland.
The water is stained a tannic rust colour, reeds and other flora that dwell in the intermediary landscape between water and earth cover the mounds of the extracted basement, and I was told also it’s not uncommon to see birdlife, frogs, and other wetland dwellers populating what was once just a hole in the ground.
He’s published I think three zines devoted to these urban voids, places where no one really looks, or gazes just slide over, so in my spare time I think I’ll be doing a bit of exploring.
Later, Alison and I went to Port Adelaide for an exhibition her sister is production manager for. Again more wetlands, a bank manager’s residence only recently excavated since the internal stairwell was concreted in some years past, and now is something of a tomb undergoing restoration, then instructions to go … that way … vague waving on finger in an easterly direction towards the woolsheds.
Port Adelaide for whatever reason befalls a city wherein its existence is owed to the continual flow of merchandise through its boundaries and that current falters, is a town of colossal ghost buildings, vacated, ossified warehouses, windows glazed over from abandonment like cataract-ridden eyes. The canyons of the woolshed warehouses, vast brick and glass houses of empire are only alive where wattle trees are beginning reclamation, all decorated with ‘For Lease’ and ‘For Sale’ enticements.
If it was closer to Adelaide, it would be to the city what Brooklyn is to New York, and perhaps with twenty years of lifestyle gentrification encroachment and its supporting population it could be … for a short time a place for artists. For now, it’s just rusted out Al Capone stretch limousines up on blocks guarded by a pair of rapacious attack goats.