We toured Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park in Berlin. It is a strange place with a bizarre history. The owner attempted to smuggle 167 kilos of cocaine from Peru to Germany in a ride (he served 4 years), and thieves have made off with dinosaur heads and even a swan boat which they took on a nighttime joy ride on the Spree River. Among the relics remaining in the park, a ferris wheel spins in the wind, a giant lockjawed cat snarls from the undergrowth, and an old theater sags in the clutch of what looks like a giant metal spider.
We saw Räume 2, an exhibition in a cool, abandoned iron foundry in Berlin. We started exploring in a section with somewhat ominous pieces by Simone Haack, and that set the mood as we wandered into a dark storage room behind a woman who literally disappeared into the darkness. Was she part of the exhibition or a visitor like us? We didn’t know. My daughter rose to the occasion and photographed her friend in a manner befitting the vibe (last photo in this series). The girls were like detectives figuring out what titles belonged with which installations and what they meant. I loved the light that pooled in from high windows, the decrepitude, dark spaces, high ceilings, old wiring and fuse boxes, and especially the enormous rusted tanks on stilts and the ancient Spectrolab computer, which had figures burned into its screen from a calculation performed long before my daughter was born. Reminded me of one of my favorite shooting spaces in my hometown.
My daughter and I are in Thailand where we visited the famous, sprawling Chatuchak Market and where I experienced déjà vu. Before our trip, I’d produced a video on antiques sourcing at Chatuchak for the inimitable Toma Clark Haines, the Antiques Diva. The place is a giant, bustling maze, and I can now say from firsthand experience that you need an expert to find the real treasures.