Thursday, January 24, 2008


A few other things to report from Cologne after the recent stay there.

The Kolumba Art Museum is an impressive modern building constructed imaginatively by the reclusive Swiss architect Peter Zumthor upon the ruins of St. Kolumba Church, itself pulverised by bombs at the end of WW2, whose damage revealed the archaeological layers that the church had been constructed upon. This, fascinatingly, goes right back to Roman times, as can be seen as you wander along the walkway in lower part of the building. The odd sound installation of the (nonexistent) pigeons cooing is quite spooky. In fact, it all makes you wonder if it'd be worth demolishing a few more landmark churches and cathedrals - it was commonplace for colonial religions like Christianity to use pagan holy sites as convenient locations for their own monstrosities and temples of vanity. Upstairs in this amazing building, there is contained the most eclectic ragbag of unexceptional exhibits you're ever likely to see - from the traditional to the avant-garde, from the baroque to the minimalist, from the pious to the secular.

On the same day, I visited the 'largest musical equipment store in Europe' - and it is admittedly impressive. You can easily get lost amongst the sea of guitars, keyboards, drum kits, amplifiers, racks, computers, headphones, lights and PA systems, all sprawled across the 12,000m² (!) of floors and rooms. The place was rammed with sweaty hairies eager to have a shot on the guitars, or baseball caps dropping some beats on new drum machines. All of us buying into the dream that is music.

Other than all this tourism, the trip involved talks that I gave at the Film Academy, and the Academy Of Media Arts - most enjoyable both and I am very grateful for the warm hospitality there.


Victor said...

Te entiendo

Kai said...

"buying into the dream that is music" strikes me as a rather nice and furthermore telling way to put this into words. I've recently discovered a short yet endearing talk by Desmond Morris about soccer ( and though I've never been a huge fan of the game myself, it really reminded me about how one might look at something utterly common and ubiquitous in a more emotional and even quite thrilling way.