A German Road Trip

So the Prius was overflowing with paper, portfolios, winter clothes, books, the kitchen sink and decent tea bags. First stop was De Queeste in Abel Watou in Belgium the wonderful gallery run by my friends Dirk, Monique and Thuen Vonckx. I was introduced to them by Marcelle Hanselaar whom they show and now ( at my suggestion)  they show Jenny Wiener and my friend Frances Blane. The talking is fast and flowing, art, politics, a spot of business and back to art again, helped by a staggering meal of foot long pork ribs but no alcohol as none of us drink! Sort of a shame in Belgium with all that wonderful beer around.
Next morning the sat nav tells me it is 500 kms to Bielefeld my next stop. Suffice to say I drive fast, the roads are good, the weather disgusting and I get there by early afternoon.The CD choice is ‘100 Songs that World War II’ part of my research.The idea is that when I am pulled over by the German police I have ‘The are hanging out the washing on the Siegfried Line on the CD player.
Bielefeld has much to offer as I quickly discover. Afternoon at Kunstahalle Bielefeld, an excellent Dan Flavin installation and drawing show from the Morgan Library  He had a great collection of other peoples work,which is also on show, Grosz to Hokusai and much in between. Evening to the Stadttheater to see an extraordinarily wild performable of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss. This show had everything, cabaret, comedy ,massive audience participation, acting and singing in every part of the auditorium and in the common parts of the theatre including in the foyer. Music other than Strauss’s with apologies to a portrait of him,wonderful costumes from punk through cabaret to high baroque and a young, enthusiastic cast who sang quite well enough. The place was packed to the rafters and a (return) seat in the middle of the 6th row cost 34 euros. Tell that to the Arts Council. Today have driven to Berlin , have a full grasp now of German motorway driving habits and am getting slightly tired of Vera Lynn.. more tomorrow.

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