012020: Palindrome Days

image of the gallery space

We’re standing in an empty two-room apartment in Kreuzberg, with freshly painted white walls and floors covered in grey carpet. It smells like solvent or glue. A young woman presents us the artwork that is currently shown in this gallery (that’s what the apartment apparently is used as). A bunch of wooden panels and beams are stacked onto each other, occupying one of the rooms completely. It looks like someone’s about to move in, or out; it feels like we need to pass through these rooms to get to the actual gallery. But we don’t: “This artist’s installation is presented in three phases. Currently, we’re in phase two, where the installation—a room within the room—is being dismantled and stored right here in the exhibition space.”

I mean, honestly, my first thought was: This is stupid. This isn’t a gallery, even if the rooms are lit by neon lights and presented by a smart, well-dressed art history student; and the artwork clearly doesn’t function in these rooms. But then again: I liked the idea of showing this dismantled state. We all know it, right? Being in-between, just stacked and stored somewhere, waiting to be put together again. I liked that someone tried to find beauty in it, and I am trying, too.

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A random January list:

I’m reading actual books again. After “My Year of Rest and Relaxation”, I read short stories by Doris Dörrie, and am now in the middle of Steven King’s “On Writing”. Follow me on GoodReads!

If you’re having a hard time getting the year started, my friend Hans has a bunch of arguments to overcome artificial limits. I know Hans, you can fully trust him on that one.

Don’t judge: I started watching YouTubers that recommend minimalist lifestyles and hand out tips for productivity and personal growth (I am already cringing whilst writing this). Matt D’Avella’s videos are nicely filmed, though! I’ve been taking cold showers since, and I love it! Changed my life! New year new me etc.

I’ve been listening to music, too: Hatchie, a singer/songwriter from Australia, got stuck in my head forever. Right now it’s Ngahere Wafer and his album You’re So Cool from 2017. I’m late to the game, as always.

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I found the idea of being in a in-between state also in this beautiful twitter thread by @nichtschubsen. It’s German, and it asks: “If your life was a recipe, at which step would it be right now?” People replied things like “stir gently” or “whip thoroughly” or “throw away and order pizza”. It’s an option, too, and who doesn’t like Pizza?! However, let’s ask the follow-up question: What’s the next step of your recipe?

I hope you’re having a good February, whatever state you’re in. It’s a long one this time, and we had the first palindrome date (02.02.2020) for 909 years (11.11.1111). We won’t outlive the next one, on 12.12.2121. But that’s okay. Keep going/simmering/baking/etc.

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10. Februar 2020