Monday, June 25, 2007

documenta 12 (2)...

Up at 6 today, with Yvonne and Teja before taking the kids to school/kindergarten...

Firstly, Ansem to his kindergarten just a few yards (metres) from the house, then over the bridge to Xenia's school and, finally, back to Felsberg, to the school in which I taught 27 years ago, which now also houses Teja's kindergarten...



Free of the kids, the adults drove into Kassel for our second and last visit to documenta XII...

First stop was the Willemshohe Gallerie, which presented a juxtaposition of classic art and exhibits for the documenta...





The palace sits in a beautiful setting - we've brought in a good few New Years up on top of this hill...



Anne and Yvonne enjoyed the exhibition...




The portrait above and those below were two of my favourite displays...



While this reminded Jorg of a Hendrix album cover...



Then it was down into the main part of the city and another main exhibition hall, the Neue Gallerie (Anne's declared favourite)....



This was a piece which consisted of 32 unhung photographs of dams, meant to signify nature's inevitable victory over man...



This was a shrine to victims of AIDS...



And this is probably my favourite. It was a black room with a single spotlight shining on one wall. The work was called "Eclipse" and as you walked up to the back wall and cast a shadow with your head, this writing appeared as if by magic (a back projection of course)...



It says:-

"You come to the heart of Germany merely to read the word Art under your own shadow"...

Superb....

And here's a hut with some words written on it...



We bade farewell to Yvonne as she needed to get back home to pick up the kids...

After a return visit to Scheibenbeisser record shop and lunch at a Schnellimbiss, Jorg, Anne and I pressed on to the last of the exhibitions, at the Schlachthof (slaughterhouse)...

The exhibition comprised just two fims, one from Serbia in which a film maker searched for supposedly flame-proof film of the various genocidal acts which took place during the Balkan war...

He failed...

The locals advised the house in which the films had been stored had burnt down - the subtext being that this must have been a lie...

Hardly riveting, but interesting nonetheless...

The second film, shown in the basement, was of an experiment filmed in Polnad as various groups of diametrically opposed activists (Catholics, Jews, Nationalists etc etc) each took it in turns to paint a representation of what Poland meant to them...

As soon as they'd finished, the next group would come along and make changes...



After four rounds, team members were attacking each other with scissors, paintings were thrown out of windows or set on fire and, eventually the building had to be evacuated due to smoke hazards...



It's the first time I've ever watched a 20 minute film the whole way through at an art exhibition...

We left the exhibition and headed over the road for an outdoors coffee, but just as we sat down, the heavens opened and we took refuge inside the cafe...





...while the rain stotted off the streets outside...



After 30 minutes it eased off and we took the tram back up to Willemshohe to pick up the Sonnenschein Bus and head for home...



The kids were disappointed we'd be leaving tomorrow morning and pleaded with us to stay...



We all dined together but the mood was a wee bit subdued...



Xenia took some pictures with my camera - this is one of the better ones...



After the kids went to bed, the adults lounged around entertained by Jorg and all his obscure records....



Highlight of the Day : Another visit to documenta XII

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dambusters...

Up early as is the way in a house full of kids...

We decided to hand out the presents - a remote controlled car each, toy knights, jewellery, a handbag etc etc...



After breakfast, we drove with Jorg and all three children to the school playing fields for a handball competition...

We were given the task of looking after 3 year old Teja while Jorg refereed various games and Ansem and Xenia played in various games, including one against each other...



Ansem was always very disappointed when he was substituted - but every kid had to be allowed to play no matter how rubbish they were - that's the way with kids...

Indeed, he even tried to kick one of his team-mates who was replacing him...

He is nothing if not committed...



Of course, everyone's a winner in these competitions and, despite not winning a single game, Ansem received a medal. At least Xenia had a couple of victories under her belt at the prize giving...




Having picked up Yvonne and some food for the kids to eat en-route, we headed to the Eder dam, stopping off first at a children's playground we visited five years ago with my old chum Alan Brodie...

It was time for some adult sustenance...



Jorg and Yvonne were more than happy with their coffee and cakes...



Then to the dam - the sun was shining, the sky was blue...




...and the kids had a great time trying to get as close as possible to the water at every opportunity...




This valley was flooded during the spectacular "Dambuster" raids of the Second World War - Jorg advised his grandmother's house was waist deep in water and it's over an hour's drive from the dam...









The journey home was memorable for the biggest row I've ever heard three children get - apart perhaps from the rows I used to get with my sisiters from my dad "if I have to stop this car...." etc



Once the kids were in bed, another exhausting day was rounded off with takeaway pizza and some excellent local wine...



Mmm, mmm....

Highlight of the Day : The Eder Dam