Saturday, 27 January 2007

Thinking about Cologne

... made me think about an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum, entitled DC: Naked Drawings, a large white room full of drawings done directly on the walls by a Romanian artist called Dan Perjovschi. It was a great show, graffiti that didn't congratulate or preen itself, that didn't pretend to be both radical and desperate for gallery space; angry and amused and wry. The photograph (mine) isn't great but it's the idea that counts, and the sly simplicity of the execution. The catalogue talks about democratisation, but surely that misses the point. This kind of stuff, if it works, is as hard as drawing a perfect circle.

It was amusing to see how people reacted differently to the show. Some people walked in and glanced round for a moment, then left. Some stayed, and laughed, and thought. Others were entertained initially and then offended, and these seemed to fall into two categories; Americans, for whose government little respect was shown, and young Catholics in Cologne for World Youth Day. Jan wasn't thrilled about them at all.

Because thinking about Cologne makes me think about Jan...

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