April 18, 2017

Beach Culture in Tenerife

I’ve been chilling on Tenerife’s beaches for the past days. A hot Sahara wind made it impossible to move much further than from my beach towel to the sea and back. A cultural critic is of course never really on vacation, even when it’s on the beach. Here a few of my observations about beach culture in Tenerife: 

- To go to the beach you need a bikini with frays. 

- It’s cool to have your kid’s face tattooed on your belly. Or at least show off one tattoo somewhere around your lower part.

- It’s okay to show tits on the beach but the pussy has to be hidden from view. So keep your bikini bottoms on but try to minimise the surface it covers. 

- It’s easier to think about being positive while chilling on the beach. My neighbor was reading Ser Positivo and looked quite happy doing so. 

- I remember the blue cool boxes from when I was little in Belgium. Very comforting to see they are still in business. Tenerifian people use them to bring their paella to the beach. 

- There’s a thing like semi-G-Strings in Tenerife, so my friend pointed out to me. It consists of putting your bikini bottom in your bum crack. 

- It’s good to have your flip-flops on when you walk that short stretch from your beach towel to the sea over a 33 degrees heated black sanded beach. 

- Music bands come to play in Tenerife as an end of career when they no longer get invited somewhere else. Like Aerosmith playing on July 8. This I found out on my way to the beach.

April 10, 2017

Documenta 14, Athens in Four Words by Kasper König

Yesterday I bumped into Kasper König at Hamburger Bahnhof. He was looking fresh and suntanned, even wearing a summery hat. He just arrived back from Athens, so he told me. How was it? I asked him. He was so nice to give me a one-sentence summary: "Viel Politik, wenig Ästhetik." (a lot of politics, little aesthetics). 

April 9, 2017

Celebrating 100 Years of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain and Questioning Masculinity

Today is the celebration of 100 years of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain and as a little inside action (although, not so inside since it was reported about in the newspaper), people could get in for free at a few museums worldwide if they said the password "R. Mutt". For the occasion M. of the Walther König Bookstore at Hamburger Bahnhof sold between 3 and 4pm this afternoon Marcel Duchamp books at the men's bathroom, or the "Herrentoilette" as they put it so nicely in German. I think it would have been cooler if the event had been inside the bathroom right next to the pissoirs. I would have liked to check it out. Actually, I don't even know if there are any pissoirs in the men's bathroom. Isn't a pissoir a very 20th century thing? I mean, why would men have two possibilities to pee and women only one, right? In the 21st century such gender inequality is no longer in vogue. Wouldn't it have been sooooooo cool if Hamburger Bahnhof for the birthday of the Fountain had opened its first unisex toilet?! Duchamp was very queer - he would have loved it! What about it, Mr. Kittelmann? 

By the way, in the bookstore I bought the newest book by Grayson Perry, titled The Descent of Man. It starts with a nice quote by Gloria Steinem: "The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off." The topic happens to fit perfectly with what I addressed above. "Examining masculinity," so Grayson Perry, "can seem like a luxury problem, a pastime for a wealthy, well-educated peaceful society, but I would argue the opposite: the poorer, the more underdeveloped, the more uneducated a society is, the more masculinity needs realigning with the modern world, because masculinity is holding back that society. All over the globe, crimes are committed, wars are started, women are being held back, and economies are disastrously  distorted by men, because of their outdated version of masculinity."