Sunday, November 11, 2007

Time travel



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.....

9 comments:

Beth said...

You communicated the story (the feeling) more than adequately.
Past and present seemed to have met in time (or out of time).

That day you were in Germany? What a thrill to have been part of such history.

dawn said...

Wow, what an awesome post. What an amazing photograph as well. Thanks for sharing your feelings.

Sirdar said...

Wow. You've experienced history in the making. At the time I'm sure you didn't know exactly what it all meant, but as history serves us, that was a spectacular moment in the world history. I hope there are many more and the ones I get to experience are good one.

Jocelyn said...

I always love a post that begins with a couple of asides. But then you go on to tell this wonderful story about inhabiting a crossroads in history. Wow.

Steffi said...

I lived in the former GDR and know our history.My sister and my parents live still in the area of former GDR (east Germany).We are from the near of the town Dresden...
Very good post!Unfortunately I can´t see your photo of this post.

Greetings,Steffi

Beth said...

Oreneta...this was such a beautiful post, with such feeling and emotion....but I can't see the picture! It won't come up for some reason... :(

beautiful

Theresa said...

That was an amazing post, I can almost feel like I was there too, but I can't see the picture. Even without the picture it's a fantastic post.

Nomad said...

HI There!
I have time to caht tonite but for some reason cano get through, can you email me your phone # but to the Symp address?
Hope to chat soon!:-)

oreneta said...

Beth: It was an amazing day, and I am glad I managed to convey the sense of the moment.

Dawn: Glad you got to see the photo, blogger seems to have lost it...Thanks.

Sidar: That was an astonishing year for the world...and an amazing time for me...

Jocelyn: Coming from you that is quite a compliment. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Steffi: Thanks for coming by...I have a friend who lived in Dresden throughout the war...it was very very bad as I am sure you know...I am glad you enjoyed the post.

Beth: Thank you very much...it was a most unusal moment in the museum...what curators hope for and dream of....I reposted the picture. Lets hope you can see it.

Theresa: Thank you very much as well, as I said to Beth, hopefully the picture will come through this time.

Nomad: The phone is freaking out. I don't know why...it goes on and off, it beeps at me...but it is 12:12 am and I am going to bed, leaving the phone to it's own problems overnight. I'll tackle it in the morning. Wish it spoke some English, or at least Catalan.