On a mountain

We go to the Ötscher, a mountain in the province of Lower Austria, where i wanted to go for years but never made it there. Approaching the mountain area in a bus we pass beautiful, partly wooden houses, from the beginning of the 20th century. Charging from those houses I think that the area must have been very rich in the past and maybe still is…
The Ötscher itself stands alone and is situated in an extremely beautiful area of limestone mountains and rivers. It offers a spectacular view of the Alps in the West which seem to be endless.

On the second day of our stay we go down through the Ötschergräben, a steep river valley close to the Ötscher. The hike through the valley takes several hours, it almost seems endless.

We arrive at a cottage which serves as a restaurant. It is situated right over the river valley.
From there we leave the valley and walk to the Erlauf reservoir. The Erlauf is a river in that area. Even that reservoir is beautiful.

After that we get to a train station of the Mariazeller Bahn, which is a narrow gauge railway running from the famous place of pilgrimage called Mariazell. Even the pope comes there sometimes. The train ride is superscenic but takes 2,5 hrs for 85 km. The first 1,5 hrs the trip is beautiful. The train goes down from around 900 m altitude to around 250m.

Smells like chocolate

I am on my way back from a public swimming pool in the 16th district of Vienna. Suddenly there is a heavy smell of chocolate in the air as i get close to the factory where the famous Viennese Manner waffles are produced. The scent of chocolate is incredibly strong and mixes very well with the summer air.

Good Bye New York

Last view…

As I leave Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn area where I stay during my trip to New York , a black guy, who sits on the sidewalk, waves at me in a really friendly way. This is very nice given that white people are sometimes not too welcome in this black neighbourhood (they usually cause rents to go up). I take it as a good-bye wish. I like Bed-Stuy.

A visit to the MoMa

I go to see a Jeff Wall exhibition at the MoMa. The show comprises 40 photographs made over 30 years.
The museum has an extensive collection of Picassos which I also get to see. A great painting from the blue period called „Two Acrobats with a Dog“ is on show as well as „Student with Pipe“ (1914, picture above) which amuses me a lot.

As I leave the MoMa I see a remarkable couple passing by. The guy who is in his late twenties is very handsome, the woman on his arm is kind of special. Her age is hard to guess, I reckon she is around 60 yrs old. She has been fully operated, charging from her nose and her upper lip.
I am sure I know this woman from Dj Hells last album „NY muscle“. There is a photograph of her on the record sleeve. I think she is a celebrity in certain circles…

Paradigm Shift

As i walk into St. Mark’s Bookstore, a good book shop in the East Village, I notice that the attention has shifted from last year’s books about punk and post punk to books about art. Contempory art seems all the rave this year. Only that the music books came as paperbacks (had to buy a few) and the art books as hard covers (can’t really afford them). Most art books are exhibition catalogues.

Art in Chelsea

Matthew Marks Gallery shows new works of German photographer Andreas Gursky. The new works comprise a big scale series of fomula one racing cars on their pit stop. The cars and their teams are bright and beautifully lit and set against a darker background. There is also a gargantuan print of an event at a North Korean stadium (poor people making up a pattern of flowers) as well as a landscape series of the Halong bay in northern Vietnam. The digital manipulation of those series is not so well done. It is just too obvious.

Rirkrit Tiravanija has a great installation at David Zwirner Gallery. He has built a big box which is set in what appears to be the garage of the gallery. You can enter the installation either through open rolling doors from the street or go through the gallery. That has the effect of entering a side spot like a garage. In the installation hot thai food awaits you which you can just take out of the pot. There is a nice social effect to it especially as that gallery is super up-market. You wander through the streets of Chelsea hungry and thirsty and suddenly there is this place you are allowed to (if you are not a bum, that is).

Sofa Surfers kick ass!!

The Austrian electronics-mixed-with-live-instruments outfit Sofa Surfers play a gig at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. Their sound is a mix of programmed beats and sounds, guitar and bass, live drumming and vocals of their Nigerian singer. They play an incredibly powerful gig. Once, during the concert I wonder how much louder you can play in a 40m2 room…
After the concert we head for the subway in midtown wondering that that had just happened in this surrounding of business and office buildings. Full moon shines down on us through glass towers…

Back in New York

Last alternative spot in SoHo

I come to New York for the opening of „Happiness of Objects“, a group show at the Sculpture Center. Our film „Tomatoheads“, which is a co-production of my artist collegue Paul Horn and me, is shown. We manage to get one flight ticket from the Austrian Cultural Forum. Paul lets me go to do some networking.
There are many people at the opening and bunches of people watching our video. They laugh a lot. That’s what the video is for…

4 cities in 4 days

I take a flight to Brussels, Belgium to see my friend Lieven. I take a tour around town and visit the Atomium which was built for the world fair in 1958. The Atomium has been recently renovated and now looks all new and shiny.

I visit the Grand Place which is the old city center. There are some really beautiful buildings from the 16th century. There is a French touch to Brussels which is nice, too.

From Brussels I continue my trip to Antwerp. Belgium is in fact devided into a southern French and a northern Flemish part. The Flemish part is much richer than the French part. There are many people in that part who want their separate state…

In Antwerp I meet the people from Lokaal 01, an independent art space. After two nights in a great and cheap hotel I continue my trip to Utrecht, Holland to visit Impakt Festival (for film and video). One of my films is shown in the festival. Utrecht is a beautiful town of around 300,000 people. The old area consists of mostly little houses which are neatly arranged for example alongside a canal. Utrecht is a university town, thus you see lots of young people in the streets. They all ride bikes. The canal gives a great quality of life to the town.

I pass a coffee shop and see two huge guys standing outside. They look like bouncers, although i am 100% sure that they are just standing there. Between their massive bodies I get a glance at the people inside the coffee shop who look really pale and wasted.

Another old lady

I am out on the corridor on the way to the toilet as I see another demented woman. That woman is hyperactive and always busy doing sth. She often comes to the nurses’ desk which is right opposite of our room. She is very small, the expression of her face is without any emotion. If it wasn’t for her moving around constantly she seems like a figure in a museum of wax. This time she sits at a small table and has a cigarette in her hand. She sucks on the cigarette which is not lit. I have already passed her as I hear a nurse’s voice telling that Mrs. … should put on her clothes. I turn around to see the old lady naked except for huge diapers which she wears.