Thursday, July 05, 2007

German culture (not yogurt)

The glass pictured today holds a very nice wheat beer that I had with a plate of spaghetti. What was I doing having an Italian dish in Germany, you ask? Well this dish featured crab from the North Sea, which made it a local dish. Or should I say, a very tasty local dish.

Skipping back to Frankfurt, we also toured the Schirn Art Gallery. They had two exhibitions on at the time - the first one was for A. R. Penck, a German artist who has a habit of stripping his art down to basic forms. Within the first couple minutes I decided the man was a raving lunatic. But after continuing to observe his work I started to see beyond the primitive forms. By the time we had seen the whole exhibit I was converted. But still, it's a matter of taste, and not everyone will appreciate the work of Penck.
Which brings me to the second exhibit - that of John Bock. Like the first exhibit, I concluded that Mr. Bock was also raving mad after only a minute and a half. Unlike the first exhibit, my opinion on this matter did not change with further viewing of his material. Mr. Bock is a film artist and featured at the Schirn were several of his early film shorts. If it is gross, silly or metaphysical - or ideally all three - then Mr. Bock would be all over it. The first short we saw featured a man spilling various breakfast foods on himself as he attempted to cook. Extreme closeups, mock expressions and lots of 'sizzling sounds' made up this film. We left that theatre thinking that there surely must be something more to what this man had to offer.

We were right on that score.

Another film - called the boxer - featured two gentlemen dressed in what I can only call 'unusual costumes' where they appeared to have random appendages. They beat the stuffing out of each other until one of the opponent's brain opened up (producing broccoli and green goo to represent his brains.) A third film featured all sorts of metaphysical conversation (subtitles in English) and a silver alien stumbling through a field with cows. Images that will haunt me for a while, I'm sure.

I once heard that the point of art is to get people talking about it. If that is the measure of success, then I would say that both exhibits were successful. However, if one was to ask which of the two I preferred, I would certainly go for A. R. Penck as at least when I left his work I felt like I learned something.


Anonymous said...

Did the art actually get better, or Did the effect of the wheat beer get stronger?

iTripped said...

The art got better, and the beer came after the art.