Frauen die malen, drücken sich vor der arbeit. (Women who are artists don’t want to do housework). Instead of a couple of hours of cleaning and then a pleasant lunch, maybe even a last visit to a museum, it was clean, clean, all day. Once one starts to look for dirt marks they are everywhere and have to be cleaned in a systematic way or else one just treads marks back in. The refrigerator and the stove to be cleaned, drawers to be emptied, everything off the walls, packing to be done. Well it couldn’t all get in to those ridiculously small cases. How did it all get here? What I couldn’t take back I left behind, giving some to Cathy, in the studio upstairs and the rest I put at the top of the entrance foyer stairs in that wonderful Berliner way: CDs, marking pens, tapes, films, new socks not the right colour, tinned foods, masonry nails, bottles of beer, plastic basins, paper plates, extra cups, etc. All useful stuff but I had to fly back.
Leave when you love a place, means it will always stay with you. So Berlin is part of me now.
Au revoir. Remember me.
Louisa Hutton the architect travels so much on projects around Germany and back and forth to the UK. That she hadn’t been able to come to the two receptions or my exhibition, but wanted to see my paintings. She wonderfully came over, bearing chocolate, and we hunched over my laptop looking at the images I had taken with my not very good digital camera and not a proper set-up. I took a close-up photo of her so that I could include her in My Berlin Wall (Faces), even though she doesn’t like photographs of herself. What a superbly good sport she is. We discussed the use of reds and particularly with metallic gold and silver. Later she emailed me an image of a vermilion Japanese temple.
Marcus, and Wiebke dropped in with a photograph of Marcus’s Superman being ‘Birdie’, and a catalogue of Wiebke’s installations. They are both such fine artists. She had filled an enormous white helium balloon with a light inside so that it glowed and had moon markings on it, so that for one night she had her own moon flying over Berlin. Inside a display board outside the Goëthe Institute in New York she had made a lit window with German curtains to put a bit of Berlin there. At an abandoned factory on the river she had made an aquarium of water as a ‘window’ with the water coming by pipe from the river Spree so that it was moving as well as artificially lit. Fabulous.
In the evening the Architect and I went to visit the documentary filmmakers, Mathilde and Dirk in their spacious apartment on the roof. Chloe the nervous, intense Mexican writer was there too. These are such brilliant, intellectual people, yet I feel as if we are old friends. There was much to talk about; not least that Mathilde and Dirk are in the throes of arranging to get married in Paris, after ten years together. They are wonderfully suited, and look very happy together. What a astonishing last few weeks I’ve had, with the pressure off and these marvellously intelligent people to discuss things with. Date: 2007-