een Hand Gebonden Kunstenaarsboek '(The) Fairing(s)', the Artist's-Books Workshop,Vilnius 2009 a hand-bound Artist's-Book / le Livre d'Artist / ein handgebundenes Künstler Buch / Mahler Buch

 

flight to

the International Artist's-Books Workshop
Vilnius

'real time' 13 - 10 - 2009 / 14 - 10 - 2009

Some paper, donated by Drukkerij Douma Dokkum and the Atelier It Plein 19, sent by post last week, in order to have it when the workshop will indeed start; well it will appear not to be there 'yet'.

Friend Oep Elbers got me right in time on the last train to Schiphol on the evening of the 13th.
Spent the night on Amsterdam Air port. Have a few espresso's and a whisky to go with it, whilst doing some translation job I'm working on the last month or so. Probably the 'strong and harshly gunned hands' that walk their duty-rounds is the thing that must give us, the good people, a safe and homely feeling - I may be from an other planet - it reminds me of Hungary and Turkey in bad and long gone days - in fact the 'strong arm' is just there to keep 'suspicious sleepers' awake. As I just happen to sit next to them I now know everything about tunnel-cleaning and safety-precautions taken on the roads leading to the Amsterdam Air Port - a policeman's life must be very dull without a friends to brag to, and all that boasting-time the safety-issue is unattended for (a rest for the wicked, so to say). Some how the customs-officers take a 'deep interst' in my gear, well there is this intricate machine: a music-box of course. Together with a bleeping light it is reason for a thorough search. Must be the colour of my hair.
Take off from Schiphol is perfect, LOT-Polish Airline is perfect (was not expecting any else since their heroic history during WWII) - after taxiing what seems to be the stretch to Groningen. Meal is expectedly unappatizing (I may be unfair there as my appetide is none to begin with) - due to a forecasted turbulence there is no beer. When the turbulence is showing real it is in the shape of an unexpected snowdrift - wild and cold! - on Warswaw airport. All and everything delayed, the plane we are supposed to be boarding is (stays) in Vienna, at times there is visibility of only a few yards. A found-in-the-end airplane must be defrosted (with a fair few others waiting in a row), flight is slightly 'adventurous' (again no beer and again something of a bread-roll I could not be less interested in). It is a bumpy ride, and at touch-down in Vilnius there is spontaneous applaus from passengers - some may still have been praying, which is a certain way of never getting to terms with reality.

In Lithuania poor Kestutis is waiting for us for hours on Vilnius Air Port. The grabbing-from-the-wall of Lithuanian money gets started, as does the throwing it about - in a blink one can see the inevitable difficulties that will emerge in this 'strange economy'. Yes you can eat for 0,60 Euro, but do you like to?; books cost about nothing, but second-hand, and even worse antiquarian bookshops owners are being considered as villains selling out national heretage, for what is left of it anyway.

Can't remember what happened after the airplane's touch down up till the moment I am resting in my room in the most perfect Shakespeare Hotel, except for the airfield's cafe not selling alcoholics.

All my lugage is wet through, wonder how that is in an airplane - not sure I really want to know.

In The Shakespeare i find myself never getting used to being put in a 'Goethe' as 'them' being Dutch/German/Belgian or god knows what (and don't realy like Goethe very much anyway), but the room (damn it, I have to pass the 'Burns' room on the way) is perfect and so is service, and breakfast. I will indulge in Blini's with Poached Eggs and Red Kaviar, Fruit Salads, and Toast with Salmon in the morning, and have the very best Baltic Herring (sorry to the home-front, I like these better than the famous 'Maatjes Haring' as their taste is stronger a wild-fishy-one and the texture is more fleshy). In all "When in Rome do as the Roman's do, so the 'Full English' I happen to see on my Korean's friends plate is to go without the bleak white sausage in white beans in tomato sauce, or indeed the soggy tomato and fried champions. There are a few of Kipling's novels in the breakfast area that, together with a 50's book with photographs on Great-Britain landscapes make up for the Goethe theme in my room. Well, bath, cup-a-tea, and fruit, it is all there! Refined but slovenly-homely, great place to relax in the coming days.

Relax-time is not on right now as tutors (after the nineteen-sixties I could not be called 'professor') are asked out for dinner with the grafic's staff. The most perfect 'zeppelins' (patatoe with a meat filling) together with the local beers make the evening ending in a conversation on what we personally think precious in art. In this atmosphere of sincere honnesty I cannot but utter my disgust about 'the biennale-artist', a special breed that is represented everywhere with 'international-art', something that sadly stands in the way of some real personal thing - oh yes, I bloody well know it makes the bread less dull, but I'm not at all sure about that in the art-works.

Hotel bell-boy gladly reminds me about a possible wake-up call for an on-coming morning.

 

 

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