I do live in this city for, wait … winter semester 82/83 now its summer semester 13 – must be thirty years now. I am generally not bad in finding my way, especially when I am in familiar surroundings I am tempted to call “home” like this conglomerate here. And it’s nothing but a smallish city based on a medieval-early modern nucleus.
For the first time in years our Professor sent a mail and invited the usual suspects to come to a museum. We were meeting for some years in a pizzeria near the university library (yes, the master likes Italian food), a Kränzchen (Ger.) as it was called in the 19th century; if you do not like these informal groups you can call it a Seilschaft (Ger.) – but this would not describe it properly, because we never bargained or chaffered (schachern) with jobs or projects; of course we gossiped and still do; the members of the “group” changed a bit over the years, but in the end its the former head of our institute and people who studied there “at his feet”. This time our colleague Betty K. gave a special tour for us through the exhibition she curated about art produced through the national socialist time that is found today in the public collection here. Please note that it is not “national socialist art” – it’s not that simple.
She did a very good job, showing differences, relations and all. Some years ago I read her dissertation about the local art scene in the twenties and thirties and found it very informative – she IS a very good researcher – and has the guts to stand such a thing like this exhibition – and everything that comes with it – through: And she does! So of course I would have liked to meet the group afterwards in a trattoria or something for some additional chatter over a glass of wine.
I had not visited the museum for years and took the chance to look around through the other rooms after the end of our tour. I found interesting new objects they have acquired, especially some photographs by a man called SCHWAB – he did realise the photographs I always wanted to see being realised! I have to do some research on him, all I could find from the explanations and what the desk lady could tell me is that they bought some of his works, that he’s dead now, and seemingly lived in the Arnstein area (Ger., Eng.). They actually show only six of his pictures but I was struck: Silver gelatine, monochrome, the most delicate work with light; no people, just places/situations; very old-fashioned in the sense of alt-meisterlich, good old hand work – darkroom mastership; no publication available, no major exhibition. I returned to this wall four or five times and stared into these pictures and they suck me in. If one looks at them with a fast glance, one will probably say “bah, boring dots”; they need some time and reward rich.
SO when I went out of the house I was already late and remembered only vaguely the directions (die Straße runter, links, 20 Meter – bis gleich!). I went down the road (one of the ugly main outward roads), into the old area of the town, went to the left (into the Pleich (Ger.), number 04) and searched for the “Lugano”. I found nothing. After another half hour it was clear that I would not find them, I cursed and decided to go home.
For the next meeting I need a map, Kompaß und Marschrichtungszahl (Ger.).
Or someone take me by the hand and lead old Mago to the pub, GOd how I hate to embarrass meself!