I have been to the Boros Sammlung twice now. It is a short walk from the Friedrichstraße train station in central Berlin. It was built as an above ground air raid bunker during the Second World War. Several works of art hum or clank or tick or drone. The first time, the docent says: “We don’t provide any written information or wall labels about the artwork because the Boros’ like to think of this as their home, and you don’t label artworks in your home.” I try to remember the last time I made an online reservation and paid a 12 Euro entry fee to visit someone’s home. Maybe the Villa Borghese in Rome. The second time, the docent says: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the building was used as a techno club. It was called the bunker. I think maybe this music was important as a music of liberation after the fall of the wall.” My neuralgia is acting up, and the art makes it worse; especially a piece by Alicja Kwade in which she amplified fluorescent lights. The docent says it has something to do with Kwade’s interest in astrophysics and background radiation. It reminds me of school cafeterias; dilapidated offices; hospitals; prisons. It is, after all, only a louder version of exactly the noise that kind of lighting always produces. I should not interrupt the docent. I wonder what Alicja Kwade knows about astrophysics. I should not interrupt the docent, who knows so little, but recites her lines well. My headache gets worse and worse. Alicja Kwade is the soundtrack.
I am sitting in a dorm room at the Interlochen Arts Academy, in Interlochen, Michigan, United States with my friends Paul, Brian, and John. We are talking about a forthcoming party that Paul will DJ.
Me: “I want to DJ a party sometime.”
Paul: “Nobody wants to listen to Belle & Sebastian records all night, Peter.”