All over, 3000 Plastic Bags. Finishing stages on 2nd May 2010

Another week has gone by. Time has become so unbelievable fluid ever since art has taken over my life. One plastic bag to the other, like cherries, and then a next one, suddenly 3000 bags each one rustling away, beating time away. Time, unjust, exactly like Dali’ melting watches. Although maybe it feels more liquid, more like a running water tap, sprinting from one day to the other and abruptly splashing into the next week and gushing out into another season.

The police came the other morning. each time I open the door worried and wondering if I might be guilty of something. This time I thought: “oh shit, maybe these 3000 plastic bags taking over the flat are an illegal posession! Maybe I am running an illegal activity! Maybe the neighbours have been complaining about the ongoing loud rustling, or maybe they are concern about the all white matter that has been growing inside the flat and that is now pushing against the windows.

Thankfully it was none of all this paranoia nonsense. Instead and more importantly they are investigating on 2 loud bangs, last Monday, at 22.30. I could not remember hearing them, to me the 22.30 gun tows banged unnoticed and blended into all the rest of the happenings rhythm.

So what have I done this week? Art, I think! I am now at the finishing stages where all the bits and pieces have to be taken care of and of course the packing up. In between all these things I have been filming, quite a bit, and I am hoping to make time to edit the material and to show you soon.

Veronica has been complaining to me: apparently my bags have taken over all available room, even the little space she needs as a writer. On top of that she even had to put up with white plastic bags dreams!

You might think, and I too think, that I might be in love with Berlin, like probably most artists!

Still I am the biggest fan of Britishness and British culture and I’ve always loved to live in London even if at times it has been tough to survive. After graduating, in fact, I quickly realized that I could not do it all and by myself: live, make art full time, in London. The first year after my graduation in 2005 I was making art from home, then slowly and shyly I ventured outdoors. It was a necessity really, but I enjoyed it a lot! since then it has been a half conscious process that has lead me to realized that it all links into the concept of my art-making and my concerns and that my strength was most likely in outdoor work, even though I enjoy making art anywhere, indoors as well.
So after my very first residency (at I-Park, Connecticut, where I made my first ambitious outdoor project, picture left) and then the second one (Ireland, picture below) in 2006, it was clear that that, was the way to go, to keep the art making going, the pushing towards more ambitious projects, and at the same time loving it all. Since then I’ve obsessively started applying, a bad habit that I’ve kept…. and voila’…that was it, the beginning of an addictive nomadic and homeless life!
One of my main surprising discoveries during this journey is on how very little one can survive on and still be a happy and fulfilled being. Please note that this optimistic statement is not taking in consideration and turning a blind eye on the dark patches and stretches that one has to encounter from time to time.
Anyways, regardless of that at this point I am not sure anymore If I am following my art, by chasing it wherever it takes me, or if my art is following me wherever I go, or if we are just chasing each other to the point of total confusion and union!
All of this to say that I don’t have a permanent studio nor a permanent living place, I used to have one! Now home is wherever my boxed up plastic bags are and the motto is: ‘make the most of what you have, adapt quickly and enjoy it!’
So every new place is a new sublet flat to settle into and a foreigner land to discover and to find out where to get all your art supplies, and everything an artist might need!
Nevertheless the residencies I was so fortunate to attended to this point have all provided me with great amazing indoor and outdoor spaces and facilities, where I was able to develop my work and my ideas and my portfolio.
Last year I was also very fortunate to have been awarded the Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner Grant. Thanks to that generous support I was able to treat myself with a 250 square meters studio space here in Berlin. For 4 privileged months, I did not have to organize, coordinate, nor worry and be preoccupied about finance, traveling, arranging accommodation and flights and whatever else is so time consuming.

These are some images of one the installations that were followed by a performance that took place in my Berliner studio in Friedrichshein.

The title for this work is” Chain Reaction”
And for the work below it’s “GREED”
Here below is also an outdoor work called ” Urban Candle”

I think I am into this now, so i will keep writing, making up for all the times that i couldn’t write and the future times that i won’t be able to!

Few days ago I got back in touch with the Berlin gallery owner Charlotte Steg Infantellina. She, like me, is also half Italian and half German. I had a show at hers last year. She is really nice and invited me right away to that evening event: ‘Italiens’, an exhibition of works by Italian artists living in Berlin and hosted by the Italian embassy. I thought that was nice for a change for Italians to finally engage with youngish artist and to open their doors, risking their so cherished image! The art I did not find of much interest, much more entertaining instead, was to observe the formal Italianate behavior and the people, who like me, probably have never been behind the doors of an embassy sitting room refreshed by a very civilized glass of Italian Spumante and made feel at ease on Italian designed leathery settee.

So yesterday I made it to the free classical music concert. It was not just one concert, but the whole Berliner Philarmonie building (very interesting architecture, by the way) was filled with the notes of all kinds of instruments in a series of concerts spread throughout the modern construction and mainly performed by young and not so young, promising and non, students. It was buzzing! Each time my sense of wonder and surprise is renewed to see how many cultural events, especially Berlin, but the whole of Germany too, offer to a wide and very mixed audience of people of all ages, and social backgrounds. All of them seem to have been exposed and posses a tuned sensibility and rooted love towards the arts.

When in Berlin, every time it is a real mission to try to be updated and at the same time enjoy the variety of the ongoing cultural programmes. You kind of get confused about what the priorities of an artist should be anymore:
– is it to make and construct art?
– Or enjoy hours of lingering at the Schrott Markt and the Baumaerkte looking through the huge selection of cheap sculpting materials?
– Or better apply for new opportunities and deadlines submissions?
– Or keep your blog updated?
– Or update your website?
– Or spent time with your loved ones, family, partner, friends?
– Or read their blogs and keep updated with their life, and the rest of the world?
– Or read, all the books and newspapers and art magazines?
– Go to the the main Galleries and Museums maybe?
– Or visit the hidden galleries in the delapitated and graffiti up old Warehouses and Breweries heroically resisting on the East-side?
– What about all the music events then?
– Or the amazing nightclub scene, and Techno heavens?
– What about all the international art movies shown at all the Film festivals?
– Or go to all the Classical music and opera establishments?
– But maybe you would just want to hang out in the parks under a blooming scenting tree by the lake and watch the ducks drifting in the river, just get inspired by metropolitan nature?
– Or just loose yourself in space and time, wandering, is it east or west side? daring the border lines, trying to make sense of it all?
– But then you again don’t want to miss out on an intellectual conversation in a Cafe’ making your life sweeter with a mouthwatering slice of Kuchen mit Sahne (cake with side wipped cream)?
– Or, get even more passionate about art and life, cosy, behind a long thin glass of foaming Berliner Pils that makes your heart glimmer in the yellow candle lights, in any Kiez berliner workers Kneipe(pub) ?
– And what about the late turkish suppers?
– Maybe followed in the morning by a Royal Fruhstuck (breakfast) moist by bubbly Sekt, if you have money. If you don’t you can eat All You Can Eat ( 2,95 euro) and reflect on the pervious day events that will eventually mingle with the rest of your memories and will illegally intrude into your art, camouflaged in the colours drawn from the local weekly market.
– But maybe ultimately you would just want to spend some extra time in bed and make love!
Well today, I had no choice but to submit work for a few applications deadlines, work on updating my website and write my blog, reply to emails and start preparing for the next stage of my sculpture making ordering more materials online.
This evening though I am off to the opening at the Instituto Cervantes for a new art show called: ‘LA Invisible City’. I am interested in maybe capturing other artists opinion on the parallels between the 2 cities: Berlin and Los Angeles.

So to get back to what I am doing now:

This is how far I got, about 2000 plastic bags but still a long way to go. But really my main concern is how to pack them all up and take them on the berliner S-bahn and the bus to the airport and ultimately on the plane?
Well, today it’s a glorious sunny one here in Berlin, and I think I will try to worry about this at a later stage now and enjoy a free classical music concert at the KammerMusikSaal performed by the student of a nearby music school. I shall be also looking forward to my Pils at the Bier Garten in the Tier Garten, before getting back to work and hopefully find the time for more blogging!… much more to write, to say and to show you!