What goes where?
Just put some images on the wall!
Uit de keuken van de curator

What goes where?


The preparations for the show are still not finished. They are painting walls everywhere, hammering and putting pedestals together, but there is a room where our courier Toos Nijssen can start unpacking and controlling the works from our collection together with the restorer from MAMM. Toos accompanied the transport in the trucks all the way from the Hermitage and she arrived yesterday. Our restorer will come tomorrow because he did not check the date in his e-mail. He thought he had to come to Moscow one day later, so he missed the plane and they had to book him another flight and it’s a no show in the hotel. They were not amused here, to say the least…

My first impression was that there are not enough works to fill the spaces. Luckily they brought a lot of photos by Lissitzky from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) here in Moscow. I have never seen them before! All in all there are almost forty photographs of the Pressa exhibition in Cologne (1928) and some twenty more of other projects. Beautiful photographs of this impressive Pressa project! Now I still doubt if we have enough and it is a pity that they did not want our Lissitzky models in the exhibition. On the Lissitzky side we will only have things hanging on the walls and hardly any objects in the rooms.


A rather large Lissitzky poster.

I have installed room 1 and 2 but Ilya wants to hang the Lissitzky works differently, not only horizontally. He wants the Lissitzky works to go up on the exhibition wall; he wants dynamics. I like the idea, but I want to know how he wants to do it. Ilya says he wants a red and black line going upwards on the wall and the pictures should be arranged accordingly. He will make sketches. Very well! This is an artistic improvement of the show. I am curious what it will bring.

At he moment they are still unpacking. I arrange some works together with our courier Toos Nijssen in the rooms that are ready, so that the technical staff will know the right order and I check all the rooms for empty walls. That is my worst nightmare at the moment: empty walls, my ‘horror vacui’. We do not have many works for this exhibition and the selection of them was not mine. I would have wanted some more but I have to deal with what we have at the moment and improvise. There is no question of asking for other loans anymore. The walls are large and empty. They need to be filled! This morning I woke up sweating because I thought I had forgotten one room totally! And indeed I had, but I was all taken care of already. I checked it with the production manager immediately after breakfast and she said it was all right. Only then my sweating stopped…Each sunny Moscow autumn morning when I walk from the hotel to the museum I have to pinch myself in the arm to realize I am really here, working on this exhibition. It is such a nice task that Ilya gave me! He could have done it all by himself as far as we are concerned. But I just love to walk around in a quiet and empty exhibition room to decide where we should hang the works.

In the afternoon I read about Putin as a peacemaker. A U.S senator said that the Russian Syria plan was “the best thing to come out of Russia since vodka”. I think vodka is still the better thing. Not that I am in favor of attacking though.