watershei building steps © kjm
I visited the Manifesta exhibition with Marilu, which is being held this time around in Genk, Belgium. The setting is an old, empty coal mining factory, and the work in the show relates to ideas of labor and production. Much of it directly to coal mining, with some amazing documentary films on the subject. There were some worker-made paintings, which depicted the cramped mines, which strangely (or perhaps not) reminded me of depictions of African slave ships. And a great installation by Christian Boltanski, smart drawings by Ante Timmermans, and appropriately relevant photographs from China by Edward Burtynsky.
But equally as impressive was the cavernous watershei building itself, filled with the texture of many years of human presence, sweat and labor.
detail from Leaves of Grass, 2012 by Geoffrey Farmer © kjm
I think my favorite piece from the huge exhibition of work at documenta was an installation by Geoffrey Farmer. It took up an entire, long hallway and consisted of thousands of cut out figures and objects from 50 years worth of Life magazines. I went back and saw the piece several times, and on my last visit searched for photographs from the internment camps, about which Life did several stories. This appears to be a young Japanese American boy wearing a Poston (one of the 10 incarceration camps that existed) baseball uniform.
A helicopter, hovering about documenta, was part of the exhibition by Critical Art Ensemble. It was annoying to hear the constant noise, but it was also unsettling, as the sound of a helicopter brings with it thoughts of evacuation, war and surveillance.
Granja M. Viader © kjm
A terrific little restaurant in Barcelona, specializing in different milk and dairy drinks and sweet pastries. Jeff Koehler, who took me there, ordered an "Argentinian Submarine," a glass of warm milk with small bar of chocolate to dip.