(ot technical note: I ditched Photoshop a while ago and have been using Affinity Photo, which is much nicer and not Adobe. But my workflow is still kinda hacky, especially with RAW processing and colour balancing. I think this is a better job than Infinity Net A, but equally might be over-saturated and over-processed amateur hour.)
Infinity Net A in Yayoi Kusama’s retrospective at Gropius Bau.Infinity Net A in Yayoi Kusama’s retrospective at Gropius Bau. Very good on my eyes and 10/10 would steal for my private art collection. This was the one that did the brain reset, vibrating physical reaction experience. Only a shadow of that transfers in the photo, but still, I can feel a sharp physiological reaction.
I feel like one of the very few queers in Berlin who’s never been for a night, let alone a weekend at Berghain. Charlene said, “I got a ticket to the exhibition at Berghain, wanna go?” Obviously yah, ’cos when else am I ever going to see inside that luscious body.
The group exhibition was that mix of terrible, uninteresting, kinda interesting, not bad actually, that’s rather good, and, like most group shows, a single one I would want for my hypothetical, ‘I’m mad rich, me’ collection. That kind of good. Monira Al Qadiri’sHoly Quarter, irregular vitreous globes of slippery iridescent black on the floor of the Lab.Oratory dark room.
And Berghain. The concrete and metal waxy soft with generations of physical contact and heavy drug fucking energy. No mirrors, no cameras, and that sound system. I’m not at all one for clubbing these days, but a night there — if I got past the door — I wouldn’t leave that space surrounded by that sound.
I remember when you spoke your truth, ten years ago, back in 2011, and I remember when I heard about this show you were making, feels like longer ago than 2017. I read your books too, feeling myself and my history in the story of another, so close and so distant. And I cannot put into words the joy and sadness and love I felt and feel watching Pose, seeing you and all the beautiful trans women and trans femmes on screen, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, Hailie Sahar, Our Lady J, Black and Brown and Puerto Rican and Dominican and Latina, immigrant and children of immigrants, whose lives are as real as the story you fought to tell.
That wedding banquet. All the trans women and femmes at that table. That wedding. That fantasy that was never ours, the church, the dress, the vows, Janet, the vows! Papi! Lil Papi. I loved him from the first ’cos he was so full of love and pure and so fearless when it came to defending his family. And that kiss. You went all the way. When I saw your name at the start of the episode, yours alone, Writer and Director: Janet Mock, I knew. I knew it would be this. I knew it would be us.
I went to see the Gemäldegalerie’sSpätgotik exhibition yesterday. First time going to an exhib in over a year, first time voluntarily inside a venue with other people in a over a year, first blah etc. First hanging out with someone new in physical space in a heap of time also.
And it’s medieval art and we were checking out Master of the Housebook’s Last Supper and I was all “Northern Germanic Gothic is the shit.” And she was all “lol blowjob.”
Pretty sure that’s not what Staatliche Museen zu Berlin gave me a press pass to come up with.
There was a big Hokusai show in Berlin at (I think) Martin Gropius Bau a couple of years ago, I went to see with Dasniya. No Shunga. No pervy octopus tentacle porn. Not even a mention. But in Marbella, in the small but very nice MGEC Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, in the very unexpected exhibition, Estampa japonesa — Imágenes del mundo flotante, amidst three rooms of Japanese Edo and Meiji era prints, a whole wall of Shunga. And this one, from Katsukawa Shunchō’s: series, Imayō irokumi no ito. One of my absolute favourites, just hanging on the wall in a small museum in Marbella.
On the afternoon of my hectic 36-hour round-trip to Marbella / Puerto Banùs, I had a couple of free hours in the afternoon. I could have slept, but I figured I’d be all perky at 10pm and needed some distractions. Museums, then. Yes, Marbella has one: MGEC Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, in the old town, down an alley on the north-east corner of the big church (very tourist; much eye-watering Catholic art), in a former late-Renaissance hospital.
I hadn’t looked at the museum’s website properly, mainly because I was rather thrilled to have found any suitable distraction for the afternoon, and had no idea what to expect. Straight into Picasso and Miró. Straight out and up the stairs into 3 rooms of Japanese Edo and Meiji era prints. I really wasn’t expecting that. And I really, really wasn’t expecting to see Shunga in an exhibition like this. Saving on of those for its own post. That good. So here, without much elaboration, pretty much every piece in Estampa japonesa — Imágenes del mundo flotante. As usual, besides straightening, cropping, and a bit of colour-balancing, this is pretty much what my now rather old Panasonic LX7 saw. The lighting was awkward (the usual direct light glare on glass type nonsense), I am very out of practice in visiting museums and photographing art, they’re all on the underexposed side and tinted a bit blue … excuses. Fuck it. I’m not much for omens, but stumbling into this after the whole reason I was in Marbella in the first place was Pretty Bloody Significant, if you know what I mean.
Oh if only I could make art as good as this. One of those “uuhhh… why didn’t I think of that?” moments, I mean as in what I was doing in hell, pestilence, thinking ideas for abjection… oh so obvious, Susan Norrie’s Havoc… mmm… perfect.
Dennis Cooper has been something of a personal influence these last couple of years, well since I discovered Sunn0))) and so on, or maybe to say his blog is, because despite wanting to, I’ve never read or seen his work or collaborations. He blogged on an artist called On, who makes Guro paper art, almost puppetry, almost performance, almost photography, deeply, wonderfully dark horror, enough to make me laugh with joy, so cruel and clever.
John Jasperse has been in town the last couple of weeks, making a work with Becky Hilton and jodi Meinick, Becky, Jodi and John (working title), and teaching class. I first heard of him through Phillip Adams, who persuaded me to do Chunky Move’s Choreolab with John in 1999. He’s a beautiful dancer, amazing teacher, and one of those New York types who seem to have walked out of a movie of a better world. So, dancing is wonderful right now.
After class today a sojourn into the city with Bonnie for more talk of art and dance, we seem to be doing this frequently lately, and this time something about your own art being something not just for the studio but something to be lived, to change your life. Bonnie mentioned Felix Ruchert, and his company’s performance Secret Service in Berlin. So curious to be talking around the body, our bodies, desire, and, I guess, all this in it’s place in our art and to find someone whose own work is so completely what I am looking for at the moment.
I’ve been reading his website much of the afternoon, taking a break today from the infernal cycle of grant writing. Ah, there is something here that gives me shivers. We become so used to our bodies, as dancers, and the bodies of those dancers with us, it becomes easy to forget how distant from the usual world we are. How our familiarity in another context could be understood as overtly sexed or even resembling precarious relationships.
When I saw Jan Fabre’s film Les Guerriers de la beauté in Vienna, it was one of those transcendental instances, a rapture, as if I was meant to be there only to see this. It certainly found a home deep within me and always since Troubleyn … it is like being in love, even after it is dead how this other person remains entangled inside. It was certainly while seeing Je Suis Sang I fell in love with performing. So now again I find someone else I would fly to Europe immediately for.