Thursday, August 4, 2011

Juergen Teller / Desire is WAR

music: Austra - Beat And The Pulse

(blah-blah-blah warning!)

( + a TMI warning!)

When I first read about the Juergen Teller / Desire is WAR exhibits from Sibiu, I thought: oh wow! ppl actually do this? They go to Sibiu just to see a couple of exhibits? Sure, they're worth it the trip, but still... isn't that quite the luxury! At least for me it is. During this past year I missed so many book releases / public readings from Cluj simply because I couldn't stand the idea of spending all that money on train tickets (plus intra-urban transportation) to get to a free event. Ufa, being poor sucks. Anyways. Then I thought: well, I do need to get out of this shit-hole of a town for a bit, and going to Sibiu, seeing the exhibits, and coming back home on the same day sounds doable. But I gave up the idea the moment I saw there were still no direct trains to Sibiu from my hometown, and from Cluj there is only one train that leaves in the afternoon, so that's no good. Now, I am aware of the fact that many ppl my age, and even younger, travel by themselves abroad (!) and they're doing just fine, but... I'm not other ppl. If I were to go alone by train to Sibiu I'm afraid I'd miss my connection and then I'll be stranded in a little train station in the middle of fucking nowhere. And I'd consequently miss the event I was going to, too. The bus is not an option either. I hate traveling by bus. For me not to get car sick I have to have my headphones on and my eyes closed and try to sleep. But what if I fall asleep so deeply and miss my stop? Or what if I need to get off at a previous stop to go the toilet and because of my public toilet phobia I won't be quick enough and the bus leaves w/out me? What if, you know? No, no, no. The stress level would be too high. Then again, I realize that if I just went once by myself either by train, or by bus, just once, then I could easily go again w/out feeling so anxious about it.

So I guess I'm rambling about this tedious thinking process of mine because I wouldn't want to expose, once again, my lameness w/out first making it clear that the intention of going by myself was there. Um, yeah, in the end I went to Sibiu w/ my parents. (As a hikikomori, I hate to admit this, but I hate it that there's no one whom I can ask to come with me on such a trip. Then again, maybe it's better this way. I'm a difficult person to travel with, and that person traveling with me would just end up hating me.) So, my parents were planning a road trip somewhere near Sibiu at the beginning of August. But I changed the date of the trip so that I could go to Sibiu and see the two exhibits - 30/31 July was the last weekend they were open.

Seinfeld Reference Opportunity! Though I really enjoyed the exhibits I'm not entirely sure they were worth it all the hours of motion sickness. I haven't been this car sick for years. Remember the Dinner Party episode? Just like Jerry, I also knew the exact date I last threw up. July 17, 2006. My aunt was giving me a ride from Arad to Timişoara, to Shakira's concert, and just when we entered Timişoara I got really sick. So yeah, I didn't even meet Jerry's record. Five years of not throwing up. Gone, just like that. But I've learned my lesson: from now on I'll pop an Emetostop before going on a road trip.

Juergen Teller: Texte und Bilder. When it comes to photography I feel that seeing a photographer's work online is enough. If you can see it in a glossy magazine or in a book, even better. But ultimately, an exhibition is not a must. Now, please keep in mind that I'm saying this just b/c my eye isn't trained and I can't spot those fine but essential differences between a digital copy and a print. However, it is certainly nice to be able to say you've seen the original prints (official, original? what's the terminology here?), especially when the photographer is so famous that even I've heard of him.

I'm watching Prime Suspect (in preparation for the American remake), so I was looking forward to seeing the Helen Mirren photo. Also, a Charlotte Rampling photo was among the works on display - and I've just seen about half of Swimming Pool, which I've loved so far. I was also glad to see two photos of Andrej Pejic. Yes, I know who Andrej Pejic is. Given my adversity towards the fashion industry, that may be surprising, I know.

I had just found out about this Australian tv show, Art Nation, and I was randomly checking out some videos. When I got to the one about Andrej Pejic I was awe-struck.

Arts Nation: Andrej Pejic

Even when I first saw the photos from the Juergen Teller exhibit, and didn't recognize him at first, I thought that was a girl. (Btw, the text for this one photo w/ Pejic was in English, but sadly, most of the texts were in German, and I couldn't understand a thing. The other photo w/ Pejic was on the hallway and even though it was oversized, I almost didn't see it. But I guess it made sense for it to be displayed in the hallway - the poster boy for gender bending was actually the perfect transition from Juergen Teller to the queer exhibit, Desire is WAR.)

The pics I took are blurry/foggy/crappy, they had no catalogs for sale, so I was glad to find out that in October (or in November) Juergen Teller's book, Pictures and Words, which I suppose is connected to this exhibit, is coming out. I just hope it won't be incredibly expensive because I really want to own a copy of that book.

+ More info about Juergen Teller's Texte und Bilder.

Desire is WAR. I'm pretty sure this is not the first queer exhibit in Romania, but I think it's the first one I've heard of. Also: I was very pleased with the male / female artists ratio *grin*.

I'm quite impressed they got MEN to be a part of this exhibit. Credit Card Babies was playing aloud, and they also showed MEN's video for Who Am I To Feel So Free:

I would certainly love to see more exhibits like this one especially b/c it's quite difficult to get access to queer culture in Romania. Correct me if I'm wrong, but with a few exceptions, like this exhibit, the Internets is the only gateway of access to that (sub)culture. Oh, how I would've loved to go home with all those zines and books they had on display, especially that gender reader. I did leave with a handful of confetti in my bag, haha. I'm such a nerd about these things, i.e. keeping movie/theater/concert tickets, fliers, anything and everything that can remind me of the event I've been to.

+ More info about Desire is War.

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