'our creation is that guru; the duration of our lives is that guru; our trials, illnesses and calamaties is that guru. There is a guru that is nearby and a guru that is beyond the beyond. I humbly make my offering to the guru, the beautiful remover of ignorance, the enlightenment principle that is within me and surrounds me at all times.'
Guru Stotram

Friday, 11 June 2010

A mortification has occurred. I just sent a text message to the wrong person. Sent it to the friend I was complaining about rather than the one I was wanting to complain to. Feel like digging a large hole and climbing in. Possibly staying there forever. The recipient called me and informed me of my error, kindly and gently just to make matters worse. I employed the technique of last resort – pretended I thought it was fabulously funny. Who am I kidding?

Why does life insist on giving me these mirror moments in which to see myself with a clarity that I feel is just completely inappropriate? Delusion suits me fine actually thanks. I’m quite keen on a bit of denial as it goes. I do not need to know that I am a beastly ungenerous being. But now that I do know it (once again) I shall have to try and do something about it (once again). I’m not sure what. A pointless and short lived resolution to be less beastly and ungenerous I suppose. And yet already I feel the mortification fading, the protective cloak of self delusion closing in around me and I know that, of course, I shall continue to be the beast that I am, inhabiting my own little world with moi in the lead role and moi in all supporting roles. It’s rather depressing if you think about it.

And Berlin was rather depressing in the rain. The rain followed me around Europe this week. The minute I arrived anywhere the rain began and the minute I left the sun came out. London, Hamburg, Berlin, Porto Fino, London.

For a whole day I thought Berlin was the most rubbish place I’d ever been. I arrived on Monday. As in London, galleries in Berlin are closed on Monday. At least in London you can go to a public gallery. In Berlin - not a bloody wurst. Actually there was one thing open - The Deutsche+Guggenheim. Hmmm, is it a bank or is it a gallery? It’s a bank folks. With some pictures in it. Pictures by Wangechi Mutu as it happened. I didn’t like them. I’m fed up with Post-Colonialism. To the back teeth. “Mutu counters the manifest idea that she is perhaps an ‘African’ artist who draws on the culture of her home continent in her work with a multiperspectival cosmos. The alienation and uprooting in her images and installations is obvious… migrants… blah … hybrid… blah … ‘AlieNation’… blah….”

On Tuesday I ‘borrowed’ a parka from the apartment I was staying in and things began to improve. Hot I can handle, cold not. What this thermostatic failure meant was that I spent Tuesday and Wednesday embroiled in an ethical dilemma. Is it morally defunct to borrow the unlent? I don't know, but in the end the parka and I managed somewhere in the region of fifty odd galleries over a period of two and a half days, a smallish fraction of the four hundred plus galleries that live in Berlin, but I was quite pleased with our drizzled upon efforts nonetheless.

On display was everything from the awesome to the awful. In the first category Spruth Magers, Galerie Birgit Ostermeier, Galerie Isabella Czarnowska, 401 Contemporary and best of all Turkish artist Ali Kazma at Tanas. In the later category the olfactorily offensive Have You Ever Really Looked At The Sun, a two person show by Damien Hirst and Michael Joo at Haunch of Venison. A 365.7 cm diameter Hirst canvas entitled Har Megiddo was composed entirely of dead flies and resin. It stank. Literally. As did Let’s Eat Outdoors Today an installation of various foodstuffs and flies in a glass and steel vitrine. It’s a funny thing déjà vu. It was almost as though I’d seen it all before.

This new leaf isn’t going that well I see. I’m in a bad mood though so I don’t particularly care. Who am I to think that I should be better than I am anyway? And now in addition to being a beast I notice I’m also being a bore. Nobody wants to hear about my tedious moral dilemmas. Even I don’t want to hear about my tedious moral dilemmas. The long and short of it is I’d rather be a beast than a bore so I’m going to shut up now and go off and do something morally reprehensible to take my mind of it all. I hope my friend will be speaking to me tomorrow - we've got a three hour drive to Suffolk together in the morning. God it’s depressing.

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