Saturday, 28 May 2011

Precious little sleep tonight, I’m afraid

Greetings from 4 AM.
Seeing new bands at the SPOT-festival is often a jarring experience. Even more so, when I got to the Finnish band Neufvoin’s gig at Vox Hall in Århus.
Hearing Neufvoin play is realising that sound is a physical thing. Whenever the bass drum sounded it seemed to lift me up off my feet and shake me, until my ribs rattled and my ears went numb. And high above it soared the voice of a boy with blonde whisps of hair, clad in a red flanell shirt, delicate and shattered, like glass being struck to pieces by the deep, irresistible, violent bass.
I am a skinny guy, so I thought  maybe it was just me, until I saw our drinks wobbling and trembling on top of the makeshift table that was placed in the middle of the hall. As the deep, penetrating drum sounded, the glasses shook and wobbled, and moved toward the edge, each beat releasing frech new bubbles to the surface until the beer was flat and bitter.
The sound crushed all resistance.
Now I am sitting in my hotel and trying to get used to the thought of rousing myself in three hours to make nice at the Ambassador’s brunch for industry folk tomorrow. Should be fun, as long as I can manage to stay on my shaky feet.
As I said, little sleep tonight. Mercy upon my weak, polluted flesh.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Several Satyrdays coming up

I spent a long weekend in Finland, and apart from the country going completely barking mad, getting roaring drunk, undressing and climbing tall structures, over Finland beating Sweden for Gold in the World Hockey Championship, we still managed to get one or two useful things done. 

We are currently busy trying to make all the pieces come together for a nice exhibition at a museum here in Copenhagen. The idea is to let contemporary pictorial art meet one of the big names in Finnish art history, and so far the response has been quite positive. Yet a lot of things remain to be arranged, and time is very rapidly running out. We are preparing for a trip to Rome on Saturday, to meet all the other directors of Finnish Cultural Institutes, and when I return from there I have the SPOT festival in Århus to look forward to. All lovely things, naturally, but it would be nicer to enjoy them one at a time, instead of everything at once.

James Pradier: Satyr and Bacchante
(Kind of like meatballs and ice cream, that.) (Also I accidentally misspelled Saturday ”Satyrday”, and it occurred to me there should definitively be a day named that. Maybe that is the day you have meatballs and ice cream with your champagne, cognac with your hors d'oeuvres, and beer with your caviar. You know, anarchy.)

The opening of the Helsinki School exhibition at Sorte Diamant went very well. We have the front page of Politiken’s culture pages in the Friday 13th edition to show for it, where Peter Michael Hornung wrote a very nice piece on Finnish photography. If you look very closely, we’re mentioned way down there in the lower right corner of the paper edition. 

Touching dreams, voodoo-weirdness

Another interesting week on the job. Then again, it’s been a pretty wild couple of months ever since I started my new job as Information Officer at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark in January. Two nights ago I had the strangest dream where an old caribbean lady told me, ”When the winds are windier, the sails are sailier”, in a lovely thick accent that sounded exactly like something from one of those Pirates-movies. She walked down a flight of stairs and into a concrete tunnel where she transformed into some kind of weird voodoo-entity and woke me up with a shout.

Voodoo-weirdess apart, I guess that’s a good way to look at things. When the storm rages, that’s when you really get the farthest, and when it feels like things are moving a bit too fast you just have to make sure to hold on. Unless your vessel sinks, of course. That still remains to be seen, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

We have the opening for an exhibition of the third generation of the Helsinki School of photography tonight, at Nationale Fotmuseum in the Black Diamond, and I am very curious to see how the Finnish ambassdor’s speech turns out. Photographer Susanna Majuri and her manager Hanna Rantala had some coffee at our office before the exhibition and talk shop about finding a good gallerist here in Copenhagen with my boss Esa. I got to leaf through Majuri’s portfolio of photos, which was amazing stuff, and I really want to see what the pictures look like in 100x150 cm. Should be good.

Wilma Hurskainen: Invisible (2011)
The picture to the left here, also shown at the exhibition, reminds me of the optical games I used to play by myself when I was a kid. By obscurin parts of my vision and closing one eye at  a time, I could make things disappear and reappear in my sight, as if by magic. (I still keep up this strange game from time to time, but I pretty much gave it up because my girlfriend tends to notice me blinking and asks me what the hell I am doing, and I find it very difficult to answer.)

Six minutes left of the Finland-Norway hockey game, 0-0 so far even though Norway has a pretty slim track record over the years. Over and out.  

Ps. I posted this entry already on Thursday 12th, but it up and disappeared completely sometime during the weekend. Gremlins.