Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hello, Guten Tag, und Bon Jour! Much to share folks...a taste of the final weeks and journey back to KC.

Emsland - After Paris we headed by train (Thalys) to Koln, rented a car and journeyed north to Emsland. In particular, to the villages of Langen, Freren, Lengerich, and Gersten. I was curious to get a sense of place as to where my paternal side, Schonhoff, immigrated from. There was an odd sense of home as the landscape was very much like Iowa and northern Minnesota, with a mix of farms, forest, rivers, and fastidious small towns. One quest was to find a grave marker to finish the story and link to a cemetery in the states. After searching the many sites in the area, I realized there were many new markers but no old ones. Turns out after a discussion with some locals, the graves are 'turned over' every 30 years or so to make room for the 'newcomers'. I'm not sure, but it seems like people must be cremated or not buried at these sites for the plots are too small for full caskets?? The cemeteries are like gardens however, very neat and tended and wonderfully planted. It was amazing and really challenged me to come to a different conclusion regarding my quest....We found Schonhoff graves and names in the phonebooks and people we asked always pointed to Lengerich, and saying "Bauer" ("farmer"), of course.

Hamburger Bahnhof museum - above are some images from there. Beuys, Nauman, Kiefer, and Flavin. Solid.

Holocaust Memorial - I think this site took me off guard. Incredibly moving! I think one of the best augmentations of public space on a theme i have experienced. Quieting, while pulling the strings we might connect to the Holocaust in our own minds. Brutal collective memory. I was in a daze for about an hour after that one.

Bell and Singing Bowl Maker - Michael, is a musician and bell maker. Here he is in his Berlin shop discussing being the 6th generation of bell makers from Leipzig, Germany. Amy and I ended our quest for a singing bowl here. It was great.

Open Studio - I decided I wanted to celebrate by having a private open studio inviting everyone i had met and collaborated with in Berlin. It was a great culmination of ideas and friends and introducing new peoples and sharing my efforts. I was able to do about a dozen drawings, a plethora of photos, 2 found object installations, and 2 performances. I donated 2 chairs to the residency. In general, I'd like to think I manifested a small audience for my practice with amazing future possibilities. I like to think i am following the ideas i don't remember having....yeah.

A very good German red wine, I know my parents, among others would love. Now to find it in the states....

Final dinner with other residents... The night before we left we had a little potluck...I made currywurst. I was blessed with excellent residency mates! And they all cooked quite well making for nice evenings paired with the local beverages..

I take my leave from Berlin. Loaded, with gear that is...yeah. To the flugzeug(airplane) in my new threads from Flaming Squeegee, thanks Zoey!

8 Euro luggage to return my studio ranting objects.

watching the German coastline to the horizon. And i noticed instead of offshore drill rigs, they had wind farms.....nice.

Hanging out with Veronica on the New Jersey train from Newark to Penn Station, NYC. We got stuck for about an hour in the tunnel about 1/4 mile from the city....needless to say we all got to know each other quite well....

Our humble abode in Harlem...i love Harlem. Thanks Amalia and Glenn!

Louise Bourgeois at the Guggenheim. A perfect site for her retrospective.

Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

From the roof of the New Museum.

Looking in the window at the Studio Museum Harlem.

Central Park, NYC

Greeted by our yard in KC. Yes it was wonderfully overgrown and full of flowers and indigins, and rabbits. It actually reminded me of plots in Berlin. But what doesn't remind me of Berlin these days. I will be back.

I'm not sure how much i will continue this blog, but i know I will be processing this journey for some time. I cannot thank enough so many of you for your support and conversation. Linda, Janet, Amy, my parents, family, the in-laws, KC artists, Artspacers, and friends and colleagues in far places. I feel pretty blessed on many levels being back. This is a big part of my story with so many sparkling confluences occurring over the last few months.

I close for now by stating this residency and travels have been made possible by the generous support of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program at the Kansas City Artist Coalition. What an absolute Bomb for KC. Kudos to Linda Lighton and the KCAC! And many, many thanks! In the near future, I will be presenting with more visuals and discussion on my experience. Please stay tuned, it will be good.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

So I spent several days gallery hopping in Berlin, just a few shots of some of the work I saw. Some of the galleries were on summer break or about to start, but many were open. With over 600 galleries in the city, still many to see. I was quite impressed with the variety and strength of much of the work, but many an artist from Kansas City could hold there own. I think a KC gallery would go well with the scene! I met with a few gallerists and hope to get some more audience for my work. May thoughts and inspirations, similarities and reminders within what I saw and spoke to folks about. The galleries seem spread about the city with several main pockets and strips of various quality. Many mixed use studio/exhibit spaces with monthly openings and closings. I like the balance of grassroots motivated artists working together and the high end galleries representing at the art fairs. I think Berlin is assembling a new fair including many non traditional spaces....lots going on to say the least.

Amy arrives and we travel to Alexanderplatz! So much to see and people to meet in Berlin. She was a bit lagged, but did well for day 1!

German beer with good froth and lace!

Stairs in Paris where we stayed. Late dinner, art, art, art, walking, architecture, art, food, gardens, gardens, cigar, Bordeaux, souffle, tar'tar, and more. Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Luxembourg Gardens, and our new friend/guide Terence, who gave us an insiders peek and recommended our last meal. Many many thanks! Until we meet again!

Louvre. I documented many 'winged' images. Fine source material. My thoughts and inspirations are beyond writing now, but I look forward to sharing more and processing when I return. My sense of being American, culture, artists practice, and awareness has shifted....I think. I am blissfully overloaded! I am not sure what will manifest from all of this, but i try to remain open to all possibilities and aware of the many inspirations. If I can say...I have been existing differently and I hope to carry some of it with me onward.


Luxembourg Gardens


Now off to Emsland, the site of my paternal immigration. I am eager to see and feel and be in this place......Langen, Freren, Lingerich, and Gersten. Near the major sites of the Prussian war, WWI, and many a medieval skirmish.

Monday, July 28, 2008


So I took a journey down Karl Marx Allee.....the major show-me GDR celebrate communism avenue. Broad long and monumental. I'm not sure how its honored, or not, by the community? Hopefully the pictures will explain. I have been reading about our need and relevance of our own history since I've been here and seeing it too. Can history give us something new, if we need something new. Where does history extend its usefulness to live in the present? The Great Western Archive?

Cafe on Karl Marx Allee.

Historical Marker. There are about 40 in all put up inthe last 18 some years.....alll but a few look like this or worse.

Renovations to the Moscow Cafe.

a mural in a building now housing a thrift store

Image from the wall (der mauer)

One day I made a visit to the studio of Christian Rothman. I was very impressed and inspired by our conversation, his space and bodies of work. He left to Korea the next day for the biennale. We chatted about art and art in Berlin and it was very enlightening. Thanks Christian, good luck in Korea!

Christian in his studio.

Turkish market in Kreuzberg...

On the first nice summer day everyone was outside. I have a feeling Berliners really take advantage of the Summers...I gues winters are rather grey, but not super cold or snowy. Buffalo. So in any case a group of us spend most of the afternoon in a park in Friedrichshain (FREE-dricks-hine) at the invitation of Marcus who had created a solar oven. We sat in the park, played cards, and than after 4 hours of cooking we feasted on potatoes, garlic, corn, and apples! Cool.

Marcus preparing the Essen(food)

As I walk to see Obama...

Brat purchased as I wait for Obama....

me and Mamoru waiting for Obama...

Obama. Yeah he played the part well. Very well received! I could not believe the crowd. We had a good seat.

So after obama we go to the reception of an exhibition inspired by a journey and analysis of Mexico City. Is crime, corruption, housing, community, etc. I found it very interesting although it was in german. I was reinspired to make a trip to the border. i found it ironic after seeing Obama,

and our work that needs to be done in regard to our virtual wall at the border.

The image was an incredible Ska mexican, salsa, rock band....yes from Mexico, at the after party, in an under garage boat dock off the Spree river. nice.

Recent studio shots and my first art purchace. A share of a project by artist, Jofroi Amaral at Gallerie Andrieu.


( many have asked about this...* Tschüss (t/YS) (chews) interjection German slang (from French: adieu) An informal goodbye among friends.