Sunday 1st November 2015, 2:30pm
Getaway #9: Matthias Wermke
Matthias Wermke chose this Sunday’s getaway destination. *)
– Matthias gets this look. At first you don’t see it. After joining him picking mulberries I began to notice this look in all sorts of situations. It doesn’t matter if you are walking through the city or in the countryside, if it is outside or inside a building. It’s a sort of scanning the environment. When you watch Matthias closely you can observe an unusual simultaneity of walking, looking, sorting, and memorizing. This look seems to group elements by certain attributes: Movable vs fixed. Usable vs not usable. Edible. Climable. Rearrangable. It’s a sort of absentmindedness linked to maximized but fluidly shifting attention. I imagine his brains compiling an infinite list while his eyes wander over surfaces, into holes, over elevations, barriers and do-not-transgress-signs. –
This sunday was about a story that is 10 years old. It was about finding that story. Re-constructing memories as narration. While walking.
The story goes like this.
In 2004 Matthias visited Zurich with a bunch of other guys. On invitation. They stayed one month doing things. Outside. In the city. Some of them stayed longer. Inside the swiss prison. Some things they did also stayed longer ending up in an exhibition somewhere in the not yet renovated Löwenbräu building. So the only image Matthias has of Zurich dates back to this one-month-visit in 2004. Which in itself is fragmented. If you do things outside, in the city, the way Matthias does, you move in a particular way. This highlights single spots rather than establishing a classical grid. This blurs distances and makes night and day a different city.
Reconstructing the story while remembering and walking we made our way along the Limmat, crossing the Viadukt, heading towards the Platzspitz. From there onwards to the Sihl tunneling system underneath the Zurich main station and finally to the Selnau bridge. All of these had been locations for interventions and little stages once.
Some of them still bear traces.
Most of them don’t.
A lot of them have been changed or reconstructed themselves.
The Löwenbräu used to be truly industrial before its renovation.
A part of the Viadukt was closed back then.
There was a big parking lot on top of the Sihl.
Something that remained the same: The red Üetlibergbahn stills drives in and out of the Selnau tunnel, which serves at the same time as house, a panorama view platform and a ramp.
I learned that the higher part of new apartment building close to Löwenbräu dipped down due to a construction mistake. So now all the apartments have a pavement level pointing slightly downward.
The girl who knew this pavement story wore the same shoes as I did..
She also knew that one of Matthias’ intervention paintings had been widely reported on the news. In 2004.
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Matthias Wermke for the ninth Outside Sunday.