CC rings Daniel to ask if he would like lunch (CC has looked up falafel options – Louisenstrabe). He doesn’t but when we meet in Marche at Dresden train station, face to face, he apologises. We can use our train tickets on the Street trains; we get on a 3 to… www.zentralwerk.de/wordpress
Daniel gives us a brief synopsis. A foundation buys the building (a former detonations manufacturing factory) then lease the building back on a fixed term ice cream deal (99 years). The collective (10-15 people) who have worked together towards this end/beginning for the last 10-15 years live on the top two floors (an echo of the past). There is no 3rd party management. The 99 (I notice there are posters for Nena) year deal creates certainty and security which gives freedom.
There are two floors below the collective’s living space occupied by artists; two bunkers either side of the main building and a separate building, across the courtyard, being renovated. Daniel’s studio is in the main building; it is double height, waist to ceiling windows, overlooking the concrete courtyard with a mezzanine above the door storing his completed work (see http://www.danielrode.de/rodeseiten/rodeworks.html).
On the S train Daniel described how his previous studios, purely artists, wasn’t necessarily as active as where he is now. He was being diplomatic but demonstrated his point when we visited the vertical bunkers either side of the main building. Of the three artists who answered his knocks (he explained who we were and asked if we could look at their studios) only one said ja; a painter, who also taught kids karate, amongst other things.
In contrast, everyone who answered knocks in the main building said ja to us looking at their studios: three conservators, a publisher, an open source web designer, an artist writing her PhD thesis and Daniel. Apparently there’s a bee keeper too!
Whilst CC conversed with the web designer Daniel and I checked out the building to be renovated. It reminded me of the empty, unused post office in Preston city centre (part of a triptych of buildings surrounding The Flag Market, Preston’s agora); primarily because both have a dance floor whose dancing days are over; the parquet peeling in both. A difference though is Dresden is doing something about it. Treading carefully, on point, we looked around. Easy to see, so much potential.
Back in Daniel’s studio he showed me his work – Alternative Facts (2017). Some of which have been sold so he was asked to do more. I was also interested in his work Something Personal (2013). I’d seen it on his website and it caught my eye (my ego, my I). Because of its overlap; it’s vesica piscis with my own practice. Daniel explained – the work was created towards the end of five years living in Egypt and he wanted to do something that was within his control. Back on the S train to Neustadt for coffee and cake, we ‘corner’ and watch the world go by.
The waitressh callsh ush boysh – maybe it’s a Dresden thing because CC and I experienced the shame Shean Connery delivery lasht time we were in Dreshden.
The locals wait for the green go, we run for the Strain.
Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company.