A night at the hospital

One night after my operation an old woman, who has cried „please, please…“ the night before, screams for help.
The nurses go to the lady’s room and take care of her. I reckon the old lady gets tranquilizers.
There is a second lady in another room who also starts to scream for help. That makes a kind of a weird stereo effect.
The second woman does not calm down. I am out on the ward passing by her room. I get a glimpse on an old woman who tries to get up from her bed to open a window and cry for help.
„Help, criminals, thugs… “ the demented lady screams.
Accidentally there is a strong wind that night which makes bizarre noises like in a horror movie.

Meniscus

I have an operation of my right knee’s meniscus one year after my injury in New York. Back then I could not get any medical treatment except for a physical therapy which helped and made me walk again.
This year in January I finally find the time to have my knee examined. An x-ray does not produce any result so I go to get a MRT. The result tells me a rupture of the meniscus.
My doctor sends me to a hospital to get some advice. Quite typically for a visit to the doctor’s in Vienna I don’t get any information but instead a date for an operation: 03/12/07.
One week before the operation I go to get blood tests. I also try to get some information whether an operation is necessary or not: i manage to get a doctor’s opinion which is not clear.
Finally in the hospital I get to speak to a doctor when he visits our room on his ward round. It is one day before the operation. That doctor asks me why I get the operation and gives me some info in the most impolite tone possible.

Secession

November 06: We install an exhibition of Stan Douglas at the Secession, which is a museum for contemporary art in Vienna. We have to erect about 200m2 of walls. There is only one big hall for the show which therefore has to be devided in 3 parts. The show comprises a video projection in the dark but also photographs which have to be shown in light.
The construction team of the Secession has developed a perfect way to erect perfect walls which in this case go from the floor to the ceiling (which is about 8m high).
This system of creating a perfectly white wall consists of 6 steps. First painting of the prefabricated and already erected wall panels, then closing the gaps between the panels with a spezial duct tape. Fill the gaps with spackle. Abrade redundant spackle. Put on a second layer of spackle as the walls are not yet perfectly white. Paint the walls again…

Berlin

I go to Berlin to see my friend Nuno and to visit Art Forum, the official Berlin art fair. I get to see Berlin’s best sides. The weather is warm and sunny, there is not only one art fair, but there are three. There are a lot of gallery openings and big museum shows. I also see “Kaprow City”, a new play by Christoph Schlingensief at Volksbühne which is a great anarchistic mess. Quite a few of the actors seem to be retarded. Nevertheless it’s interesting to watch them play.
The city is superinspiring and relaxed. The greatest thing about berlin is its liberalism which makes a lot of things happen.

A Photo Shooting

I get a job as set designer for a photography campaign. A photo series is shot for a (female) hunters’ calendar. The concept is to make catwalks in nature, where the hunters get watched by stuffed animals. It is a huge production. We are around 15 people on the set.
The hunters are dressed in beautiful clothes by a fashion designer. The style is somewhere between the Habsburg Empire and Fellini. We shoot on various locations near the Ötscher in Lower Austria, on a mountain at 1800m altitude, by a waterfall in Styria and at Neusiedler See.
In two trucks we transport around 200 stuffed animals from bears and deer to birds. The whole setup of carrying around dead animals is rather bizarre and also interesting.
The photos turn out to be beautiful and surreal.

Mallorca

I am invited to Mallorca to attend a friend’s wedding in Port d’Andratx near La Palma. The wedding takes place in a little church at the seaside. Then we are taken to the port of La Palma and have a three hours cruise on an old wooden ship.

In the evening we are invited to a beautiful finca in the mountains where the wedding party takes place.

The next days we rent a car and drive around the island. We discover beautiful landscapes of mountains, rocks, forests and a deep blue sea. I begin to understand why that many people either go on holidays to Mallorca or buy a house there. The climate is extremely pleasant, too.

Sinaia

is a mountain resort in the middle range Karpats in Romania. We visit the Peles Castle, the summer residence of King Karl I., a member of the German Hohenzollern family. Karl I. was made the first king of Romania (1877-1914) after 400 years of Turkish occupation. He was called 1866 by the Romanians to unite the provinces of Wallachia and Moldova and then was declared king of Romania in 1877 after an independance war against the Ottoman Empire.

On the way to the castle we pass a blind bear which is held as a tourist attraction (want a picture?). We have lunch in a restaurant where we meet the Lover Cat. A Siamese cat approaches Ioana. She sits down on the floor in front of Ioana and watches her for two minutes, which is probably the time she needs to figure somebody out. Then she jumps onto her lap. Ioana caresses her and the Lover Cat slowly makes her way up towards Ioana’s neck. She then starts to lick it and does so three times.

Fat Boy Slim

We go to the Romanian seaside to a place near Constanta. Fat Boy Slim plays a dj-set in a resort called Mamaia. Some 10,000 people are expected to come.
He starts his set with the vocals of “Praise You” mixed with a music and beat different from the original. The gig takes place at the beach. The stage is huge, it has video projections and dancers.
Norman Cook grins like a Cheshire cat during his set. I very much suppose that he is on pills. He sometimes takes a break from dj-ing and sits down on the edge of the stage smiling at his audience.

Karaoke at Winnie’s Bar

Winnie’s Bar is a great Karaoke joint on Bayard St (Chinatown). We have our farewell party from the ISCP NY. The guests love to sing and some of the them are great at it. There is a 50ish Italian guy with a tight shirt stretching over his big belly. He just looks like a mafia guy from Little Italy.
During certain songs the tension in the place rises pretty high, people laugh, sing and scream.

A burlesque show at the Slipper Room

The burlesque show which is held in a bar on the Lower East Side is hosted by a crazy guy dressed in a bunny costume. It features absurd acts like a Russian ninja fighter who takes out candle flames with a whip, a transvestite stripper in a bird costume as well as two fat women playing bad strippers.
The blue bunny who leads through the show is a gay guy who is pretty hard on the audience. His voice oscillates between a high gay tone and ugly dark sounds. He sometimes screams at people, makes fun of them and he is awesome in general. The show is intense and great fun.

A bike trip to Rockaway Beach

A friend of mine and me ride our bikes to Rockaway Island in a 3 hour trip. It takes 2 freaking hours to cross Brooklyn from Brooklyn Bridge to its Southern tip! Once we get there we cross a bridge which looks like from a Jules Verne book to finally get on the island in the Atlantic Ocean. An Italian girl rides her bike on the island’s main road holding up a flag to celebrate Italy’s victory in the World Championship.
We go through a deserted military area and reach a sand beach with only a few people. On the other side of the island we find a beach community with neat little wooden houses.