“Mind your step!” Like a computerized mantra this warning sounds louder and quieter all through the departure hall of Schiphol Airport. Sometimes it is more distant and other times it is so near that you really have to mind your step on the treadmill. After a while it becomes abstract and mingles with the other sounds: snatches of conversations, intercom announcements and the continuous murmur of the airconditioning.
While I doze off these sounds become a ‘zaum’ poem by Chlebnikov:
- - - - - -
- . .
pom pom pom
- - . . . - - . .
wiw ta pa zj zj ov flt tu tu
These three sound sentences are to be performed simultaneously and ‘ad infinitum’: airport poetry.
“Mind your step” is also the motto while installing the Lissitzky – Kabakov exhibition in the Kunsthaus in Graz. It is the final venue of the tour, after the Van Abbemuseum, the Hermitage and the Multimedia Art Museum. We have little time to install but everything is well prepared. Now the transports have just arrived and crates are everywhere. You have to look carefully where to walk and there is no computer voice to warn you. Art works are being unpacked and the empty crates are labelled ‘empty’ and removed. This is the peeling of the potatoes and the slicing of the onions. After this comes the washing of the vegetables. The kitchen works at full speed to get the meal ready in time…
My colleague Diederik Koppelmans is working on the installation of the ‘Pressa Star’, a model after the huge star that Lissitzky made for the ‘International Press Exhibition’ that was held in Cologne in 1928. Diederik has two technicians to help him. The first thing is to hang the black circle with the words “Proletarians Of The World Unite” in German. They are almost finished. How is that for a motto?