Visit at the Vietnamese Flowergardens, hosted by the Dresden based
artist group Reinigungsgesellschaft
The men have come in suits, the women in long dresses.
Dahlia after dahlia, lettuce and mint, pumpkins and peaches all
flourish in the garden. The man who is showing me round says the
children have eaten all the peaches. He tells me how cuttings
are grown in Vietnam: the bark of an attractive branch on an attractive
tree is cut. A bandage of earth is put on the cut and after 6
months roots form. We also hear about Vietnamese compost tactics:
decayable waste is strewn directly between the flowers. Our compost
heaps are seen as unattractive.
Reinigungsgesellschaft have invited us here to visit
this public garden created by a collective of Vietnamese women
on a disused lot once full of building rubble in the borough of
Johannstadt. There are speeches. Our hostess Thien Hoa, named
princess, begins with "dear guests, dear international artists
and scientists." The Vietnamese community's aim is to raise
awareness and support for community spirit. They can't understand
why there's not more optimism in Germany. They prepare a wonderful
lunch and we feel spoilt. The community policeman tells me that
the light cloths laid out on the floor represent clouds and that
according to Vietnamese philosophy, we are well advised to view
the world from more than one perspective, for example from the
clouds. Reinigungsgesellschaft and Mr Ewers, formerly head councillor
in Johannstadt and a big supporter of our Vietnamese friends,
discuss with us the possibility of doing a mural on a house bordering
the garden. Mr Ewers is very enthusiastic about a series of murals
he saw in Canada depicting the "History and Develoment of
Canada". Our Vietnamese hosts take photos at the pond and
Luchezar Boyadjiev (artist / Visual Seminar, Sofia):
Capitalism Without a Bourgeoisie...?
Ingo Vetter (artist, Berlin):
Potato Field Cities
Regina Bittner (cultural scholar, Bauhaus Dessau): Lumpencapitalism
or the Return of the Market?
moderated by Torsten Birne (co-curator of Wild Capital / Wildes
Dear Luchezar Boyadjiev, dear Ingo
Vetter, dear Regina Bittner, please excuse me for not describing
your contributions in enough detail here - the fatigue I felt after
visiting the garden returns to cloud my memory here too. I recall
Stefan and his Brothers and that a rumour circulated in
Sofia that the promoted brothers were being lined up as candidates
to marry the Lord Mayor's daughter. I also recall hay reaping in
the centre of Detroit and the incredible statement that 60% of Russia's
food supply comes from urban agriculture. In his notes Thomas quotes
"Let them plaster up the inner cities. The inner city is not
my back yard." Then there were the turkish cloth merchants
who teach their travelling Russian colleagues how to do business.
And wobbly planks across mud. The socialist city as "a built
realisation of collective hopes". And in reply, that capitalism
is a natural process, sharks and all. Dirk then told us that the
lift attendant had had enough and was reaching his limits.
We eat our fill in the Dürüm Kebab House. Someone notices
that the waiter is Bulgarian.
Unfortunately I miss the nighttime lecture under the disco ball
in Hotel Odessa. I'm told everyone whispered.