Sunday, November 11, 2007
This is an onion-like story with in a story within a story.
Eldest and I went to MACBA which is the Modern Art Museum of Barcelona while the MAN and youngest went off to sea to watch the start of the Barcelona World Race; a double handed open sixty non-stop round the world race. That is a different post. MACBA and the collections there were astonishing, and I could fill several posts with my thoughts from today as well....and I may, but here I have a story to tell....
We went into the display rooms for Joan Jonas who is a Performance Artist who was a pioneer in video installation performance art pieces, which I have a bit of a weakness for; indeed for most performance art. This too is an aside.
While we were in one of the rooms, and one of the stranger ones...there at the back I spotted a video of people at the Berlin Wall, just after it had come down, hammering chunks off of it. I was there back then. In the early early spring of 1990 if memory serves me. It was an astonishing time. I had been to the wall before, several times. I had been to the Check Point Charlie Museum, I had stood and looked over the wall. I had been intimidated.
That day though was surreal and truly unbelievable. The sun was shining, it wasn't too cold. Folks were hammering away at the wall with chisels and mallets. People were selling chunks of the wall as well....enough had been eaten away the you could actually climb through gaps in the wall and go and sit in no man's land which a few weeks or months previously would have been a death sentence. I climbed through and sat in the warm spring sunshine leaning against the east German side...pristine and unsullied by graffiti. I sat there and looked over the open area where many died trying to escape. Where I had peered over myself. It was frightening and astonishing and unbelievable and and and...I cannot imagine how the Germans must have felt.
Today at this installation show it was like I was back again. The weather in the video was the same. I kept looking for myself in the show. The chances were slim, but possible. I never turned up of course, but Eldest did.
I am not sure if I can communicate this adequately...but I had been there, and felt that I might appear in the video. It was like watching a day in my life. A really remarkable and terribly strange day. Then I stood Eldest in between the projector and the wall, blocking the image. There was her shadow laid over the shadow that was me all those years ago. It's the photo at the top.
I didn't know my daughter was with me that day. Now I do.
The germ of another painting.....