Monday, July 10, 2017

Day 4: Amsterdam to Munster (Germany)

Day 4: Amsterdam to Munster (Germany)
Across from the train station: a Skuptur Projekte info / bike rental station
Weather: Warm in Munster (perfect in Amsterdam at 9:30, we are only out for a few minutes on way to train station)
Cosima von Bonin and Tom Burr sculpture: the truck, not the Henri Moore
Quote of the Day: Conceptual art: work such that no one knows what is going on
The train driver: looking for the phone (not red, won't call Vladimir P. by mistake)

Quote of the Day 2: 911 doesn't work in your section of track
Our train is posted, the actual train is not the one sitting at our platform

Our train arrives: A white DB model

Today we’re in transit: check out of the Pulitzer (a great room, around $700/night); taxi to the train station ($11) and catch the 10:34 towards Frankfurt, transferring at Obenhausen at 12:24 (10 minutes to move over a few tracks) and arriving in Munster at 1:40. Bought first class seats, $55/pp, and for the first leg we are sitting in the front row…THB means the FRONT ROW, right behind the driver! Awesome, dude!
Our driver, phone to his left

THB's seat on the window

So, when alarm bells start ringing in the cockpit and the train starts slowing down, we are in the midst of the action. Train stops: driver picks up phone and dials… someone picks after maybe 15-20 seconds (“sorry, all our operators are busy, if you wish to leave a message please press 911 now. Make sure you leave your return number and where you are located”).
Oberhausen sign on old part of train station

Our transfer train to Munster

In the old unused part of the Oberhauser station

What is this? A WWII relic?

Biz class on next train: 6 seat cabins

Arrive safely, on time, and the Kaiserhof hotel is across the street from the train station. We paid a nominal fee ($40/pp?) to upgrade and the room is immense and the closet is extremely functional. SC is here and we chat for a while before being called to join the group. Except we’re called at least 5 minutes before the published time and told we were late! UH OH, maybe this is gonna be a bit too Germanic for THB.
A bus with a door in the middle

Annette, our local guide: excellent, quick talker (in her second or third language), charming, very knowledgeable 

We’re here for Skupture Projekte Munster (there are two dots over the u in Munster, so Moooo-nstir), held every 10 years, Documenta in Kassel every 5 years and Venice Biennale every 2 years – duh – thus meaning (if THB remembers factoring) that the trifecta is something that occurs only every 10 years.
Bruce Nauman: Square Depression

Friends in Depression?

Sany: Falling piece (he's got 3 pieces hung on sides of buildings)

The truck as seen from across the street; von  Bonin and Burr

There are approximately 30 pieces installed for 5-6 months and then most are de-installed; the city buys some every show and leaves them in situ. So, the tour is made up of seeing a lot of the new and (hopefully) most of the old sculptures. Plus Munster is loaded with re-installed older buildings, the city was 90% destroyed during WWII.
Small Serra in a hidden courtyard

Siam Armajani: Study Garden ... old piece

Knight added the level to the side of the museum (even temporary, the architect of the relatively new building not amused)

A local guide leads us through a small part of town at a breakneck speed, which is hard to do in a congested downtown in a 50 seater bus. We get out several times for quick views or art seen at a trot interspersed with short stops to catch our breath while she talks…fast. Having said that, the pieces are very interesting, she has much of interest to say (no wasted long-winded stories or asides), and there clearly is going to be more here than we can see and absorb in a few days.

There’s a map that lists all the current work and much of (all?) of the older pieces still up. You fans of THB will not be surprised: THB checks off everything (hopefully - we were going pretty fast!!) we saw, so here’s the count: 7 new artists (and 9 pieces, one guy did three); 5 old pieces. 
In the atrium of the LWL  Museum: projected sounds of drones flying and projected images from the drones high up on one wall

Pretend you're hearing the drones now

The truck with the Moore in front, view from the LWL Museum (that's a member of our tour in front right)

Ludger Gerdes: one of several words hung high on buildings

Back to the hotel to catch our breath and change for dinner (tonight’s directive: dressy casual…which means THB is at least going to get it half right). We have the whole restaurant, Spitzner im Oershen Hof to ourselves, eating outdoors in back. The menu is used to shield the candles to yield soft mood lighting. Food is pretty good and once again the wine is okay to awful. What the hell has happened to European wines? Climate change?

What we had in German, you’ll note that some things defy translation:

Two kinds of butter

Bunter salat vam Markl mit Fruchtdressing

Gegrillter Pulpo, Partier Kartoffeln, Zweibeln und Sriracha - Mayonaise (THB had two of these!)

The other onne

Flankstreak, Rotweinzwiebehn und Bratkartoffeln

Le Menu

Tiramisu mit Madersufi aromatisiert, weifles Kaffeeeis, Paprika-Himbeeren (THB ate this dish in less time than it took to type, and THB isn't a fan of Tiramisu, this one was pretty damn good) 

Shots from around town:

6 of us take the bus the 4/10ths of a kilometer back, the rest walk - and have no trouble catching us while we wait for the two pound keys to be handed out at the front desk.

Book Review: The Color of Lightning, Paulette Jiles: A terrific book, takes place in the post-Civil War era in Texas and north into Indian territories. The lead character is a recently freed slave from Kentucky who came west with his family as they try to get established and subsequently become victims of Indian raids. THB read this after earlier this year reading an earlier book by Jiles, News of the World, also excellent. One minor character in The Color of Lightning, a roving news-reader, is the primary character in News of the World, and the focus is on the recapture and re-entry of a young girl taken by Indians. Highly recommended, read both

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