Groningen, that place full of bicycles in the north of Netherlands? Groningen can hardly be talked about without mentioning The Wall House #2. When I visited the town the first time, it was year 2006, and we worked to make some live and video art for the club night of Goebbels&Gubaidulina Festival, hosting some of the best classical and contemporary musical and theatre works of those two masters. See Heiner Goebbels’ events here: http://www.heinergoebbels.com/
It was only then that the Wall House spark was put in me by a certain mr. deKan. Thanks to that spark, I could not leave the town without seeing the house that I missed on the first trip. It is a piece of art itself, but it works as a venue for live performances and also a working space for a visual artist. The multiple faces of the building awaken the senses of the viewer and it is definitely both positively mind-boggling and well-thought as a base for artistic expressions.
Also, when talking about Groningen, I’d be a fool not to mention two heartful artists living in or having lived there. They are Jord Homan, a composer, singer, songwriter, performer and who knows what more; and Jacky Sawatzky, a video artist whose views on life as an artist are refreshingly so, so far away from the high-brow artsy-fartsy upclass opinions that often give me the chills. Jacky’s fresh underground attitude together with Jord’s endless, inspiration-offering conversations and singing made it worthwhile to fly there to meet them. They were friendly enough to bike with me around the town, offering almost endless moments of collegiate happiness and sharing. That, and its power to renew one’s creative energy, dear all, should never-ever be underestimated! Yay, Jord and Jacky!
See about Jacky here, she’s specialized in filming dance: https://vimeo.com/videovectors
And here comes my feeling in the form of a poem:
It is a fool
the one ignoring,
the one snoring
while friends open their eyes.
Splash into the moment,
ride a cow
just no matter how
and look into the open eyes
of those who know what frees,
These are the 10 first lines of a longer poem from the series ”Omtrent Vrienden”, ”About Friends”.
Then to Basel, Switzerland.
Basel is surely an example to us all, showing a wide range of art just mixed in everyday life of people. Be it fine art, contemporary, old, designwise, historical, strange or ordinary, this is a place to see it, and it is in museums and venues easily reachable even on the way to the marketplace downtown. Switzerland’s colorful and rich history in art and design creates an atmosphere where anyone can enjoy its results, just starting with the good graphic design seen on the streets on posters.
And dear friends, did you know that in the art-filled Swiss town of Basel, there is a lively poetry group called SLAM Basel? They were open enough to invite me to perform at one of their poetry clubs, and they are very active whether it’s about arranging live events, working with schools or working with the youth.
Der Zukunft des Poesies, ja!
Oh, and if you go to Basel in the near future, say before September 28, please go to see Krištof Kintera’s astonishing works at Museum Tinguely. You’ll be delighted to see Jean Tinguely’s work too, and boy, do those men rock!