Documenta 13

As I mentioned a few posts back, we recently visited the documenta in Kassel. There were a lot of groovy people everywhere. And there was me, looking like I’d stumbled down from an Austrian mountain without brushing my hair. Which was pretty much true. Felix lasted about half an hour before I came to the conclusion that he does not appreciate modern art. Michael and I alternated after that, which worked much better. (Having a whole afternoon and evening to myself to wander around art exhibits was blissful.)

One of the nicest things about the exhibition was the way the exhibits interacted with the spaces in which they were housed. In the Orangerie, which normally functions as a science museum, there was an exhibition about the man who built the first computer, Konrad Zuse, which included a replica of one of his models, but also several of his futuristic paintings. It was interesting seeing the paintings as a visualisation of his thought process.

In the Fridericianum, the largest exhibition venue, there was an amazing video by Mariam Ghani shown on parallel screens, one shot in the Fridericianum, and one in a ruined palace in Kabul. The buildings are very similar, and the Fridericianum itself has been destroyed by fire. In one video, a woman dressed in black ghosted through the corridors, in the other, a woman in white. There was a beautiful narrative telling you the histories of the two buildings. The Fridericianum was built as a museum but also served as a library and a parlament, and burnt down during the second world war. The videos gave you the eery sense of being in the past and the future at once, and meditated upon the intricate histories of buildings – of change and loss and reconstruction. How in rebuilding, something is lost, and in not rebuilding, something is also lost. How public spaces hold collective memories.

I also really loved a room full of stone books. Some of them were replicas of books that had been destroyed in the fire in the Fridericianum.

In one of the galleries there was a stunning piece constructed of cutouts from Life Magazine on little sticks.

There was technology,

psychoanalysis,

and some very sexy plants.

Michael visited many of the smaller exhibition spaces around the city and said it was strange to see the town of his childhood so transformed.

As people were transformed, too, wandering through it.

18 months

Today, my darling, you are 18 months old, which is a pretty adorable age, and you are a pretty adorable boy. (These photos are from a trip to the park with Michael and your Opa during our recent trip to Germany.) You’re sleeping very well now, but more often than not you end up in our bed at some point over night, which means we wake around 6 with a little monkey bouncing up and down between us, saying ‘ogur?’ (yoghurt), ‘bow?’ (bowl). Luckily you’re content to bounce around a little while before we acquiesce and take you downstairs. The other day you were so excited on the way down the stairs that you said ‘ogur?’ ‘bow?’ ‘chair?’ ‘moo?’ (spoon). It’s very funny getting these insights into what’s going on in your head.

You’re really into sitting on things at the moment (unfortunately, including the cat) and have worked out how to climb up onto your little plastic deck chair. You come out with new words all the time. Recent acquisitions include scissors, shampoo, floor, food, knee, shop, walk, poopoo, away. You can say blue and yellow and green and you love it when I talk about the colours but I don’t think you can distinguish them yet. When we ask you ‘how many’ you try to count things. (You say two and four but not one.) It’s very cute when a bee or a fly flies close to you, and you say ‘bee! away!’, while waving your arms around enthusiastically. You are quite good at little two word phrases now, like ‘more nana’ and ‘dadda shoes’. When we were driving up the hill to the barnehage this morning (which is the same road we take to the swedish shopping centre, you said imploringly: ‘shop! more shop!’ You were very disappointed when I didn’t change our plans to suit you. I wish I could have.

Your favourite activity is to sit in the driver’s seat of the car with the car keys, playing with the steering wheel and all the buttons. Pretty much every time you see the car you want to do this. You also love busses, and point them out whenever you see one, saying ‘busss!’ Sometimes you say it when there isn’t a bus. ‘Can you see a bus, Felix’, I ask. ‘No!’ you shake your head and grin at me.

You are a sweet and cuddly little thing and love reading books with me. You are happiest when both Michael and I are around. Ah… It’s so hard to capture exactly what you’re like right now. I love when you smile and nod and meet our eyes, and when you trot around naked in our lounge room after your bath.

Mountains

Still alive, still knitting, and therefore not blogging much. And I can’t even find my camera just at the moment so I can’t show you my more than half finished jumper – only one sleeve and a collar to go. I’m ridiculously pleased with it, but it won’t be cold enough for Felix to wear it for several months, unless he were, say, on the top of a mountain. The weather has been gorgeous here over the weekend and we’re making the most of the last summer days. Michael took these mountain photos in Austria and I’ve been meaning to put them up for a while. We took three legs of a cable car to get up there, and the landscape was so bleak and rocky, it was like visiting the moon.

Little artist

I’ve been sitting on these photos for nearly a month now, but Felix was doing some lying on his tummy on the floor, drawing, again today, so I thought it was a good time to post them.

Felix and I survived the first week back but we are so happy it’s the weekend now. August in Norway and the autumn is just around the corner – there is a chill in the air most evenings. It’s rekindled my enthusiasm in knitting, which is severely cutting into my blog time. I’ve discovered two-colour knitting and I’m hooked. I’ll see if I can convince the photographer to take a picture of my work in progress tomorrow, although I can’t promise anything because I think he finds few things as boring as knitting. Anyway, awwww. Isn’t my little guy sweet.