Key, Euphoria & Aleksandr Brener. September 14, 2014

After I have been working as a vrijwilliger a couple of times in the bunker, I knew that it is a very very very very intriguing but difficult place. You actually don’t have any chance to outplay it. It always wins. But once you know that, you can prepare yourself to at least get a draw in the fight Bunker vs. Guyswhothinkcoldanddustyspotwithoutsunlightisgreat. So I was prepared. Why was I prepared? Because Andi Hellweger came all the way from Austria to work 24/7 for the first 10 days of the project. What were his first impressions as he saw the room the first time that day? I’ll ask him and write it down here later.

We were lucky. After the Free Fringe Festival and the “My favorite F-Word”-exhibition the place looked more tidied up than I’ve ever seen it before. And still, once we began digging into the details a massive amount of work grew in front of us. NO. A massive amount of possibilities, which lead to the only possible reaction: Euphoria. So we were running around in the place like crazy, trying stuff, looking at every room a million times and inventing even more scenarios of what would be echt really really great. Obviously almost nothing of it happened in the end, but after our first full night in the Vondelbunker (it happened to be our last luckily) we knew that it will work out eventually.

Cheesy, isn’t it? How about that – the Facebook-Post at 01:15 a.m:

We received the key of the Bunker today. Still sitting there trying to grasp this mindblowing space (this feeling of amazement will not go away, as the bunker is different every day – no matter what happens there). Where to start: thanks to the pals from Schijnheilig for trusting us. Thanks to the organizers and artists from FreeFringe for great theatre (we couldnt see much, but toch iets) and for giving us the bunker with such good vibes and tidy as hell (is it tidy in hell?). Thanks to the Fucking Bastards for leaving the parels of the hellhole, we will treat them with the utmost respect. And thanks for the organizers and artists of the exhibition “My favorite F-Word” for waiting until tomorrow with removing the art. Program is still not online, deadline missed again, but we are working on it. … … .. . aren’t we?”?”?

Or this:

In the preface of the little special edition „Een deftige Parade“, published by „De Groene Amsterdammer“ on the occasion of an exhibition curated by Rudi Fuchs in Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, museum director Meta Knol writes over a relevant exhibiton she only knows from the catalogue that supposedely stands in her bookshelf since ages: „Ik stel me de tentoonstelling voor als een visueel gedicht“. Which means something like: I envision the exhibition as a visual poem.

I like that idea, because it can – lets hope it does in this case – transform the ones that organize/curate/build an exhibition into poets. This is plausible, if you see the (real) poet as somebody who does not necessarily has to write poems or texts or words at all but as someone who becomes a poet by the way she or he talks, walks, sits, works. Or simply through the way she or he lives. If we see it like this, the poem and it’s creator(s) are more connected to a body and it’s presence than to a product of the mind. It is not a „creative mind“ that is so much embraced and loved by the money-industries these days but it is present as a moving, eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, sweating, laughing, dancing, crying, talking, kids-producing, thinking, mess-producing and up-tidying body that works on the poem in a space that in itself is always more than the ingenious „blank page“. No matter how white you paint the walls. (And without any doubt in a space like the Vondelbunker). If you take this seriously the whole working process (organizing, building up, opening, guiding through or „letting it see“, closing down, wrapping up, documenting)  becomes a poetic act, a form of “resistance in action” (I would obviously call it hinwegsetzung in action) an „ultra-active invasion into the world, an attempt to totally change it, to completely transform it“ as Aleksandr Brener put’s it in his text Obossanny pistolet, that he wrote while being in prison in the Netherlands, after spraying a dollar-sign on a painting of Kazimir Malevich in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

If we dig into Breners’ further into Breners prison-notes about openness; poetry and action or democratic art we will find more about this obscure poet and what I see discribed here are I would call the “total artist”: People who „feel the grubbing of chaos under their soles like nobody else, the rolling of the heavenly bodies and the immobility of the sun. Highwaymen they are, Raging Rolands. Death follows their ways. This is not romantic tattle. Some people are related with the damp soil and not everybody manages to sit at the same table with them. […] They live from their passions, and this is a huge punishment, a heavy burden. […] They have something stubborn, something tremendously unruly.  […] And yet they are sensitive and unbelievably fragile and ready for an unreasonable infatuation that can be their undoing. This has all almost vanished from the face of the earth. Together with love, together with the Mensch.

In certain cases (the NotSisi case?) this positions can stand side by side with the more worldly idea of the curator beeing a catalyst and sparring partner that is helpful to artists as Hans-Ulrich Obrist put it in an Interview once.

We’ll see how this worked out…

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