Sunday, January 22, 2012

Munich (a travelogue with art + winter/summer photos)

the first trip of the year: a trip to Munich, to meet up with a friend there. i've been to Munich before a couple of times, but this was the first winter visit. the whole trip in fact was a short trip of 24 hours in the city. but back home, i felt like i had been 2 days.

the first photo of the trip: Marienplatz, with all its old buildings. the city itself dates back to 1100, which is on the "younger" side of cities, but still is hard to imagine. the neogothic building is the town hall of Munich.

from there, we headed towards Odeonplatz. so much to see at every corner  - at one crossing, we stood, and saw a neon sign on such a facade: “We are poems”. such a beautiful moment.

it took a moment to realize it's all an installation: the wall and the neon sign. there is lots of construction and renovation going on in Munich, and they often put huge facade paintings on the construction sites, so that on first glance, it still looks like the building is still there.

we moved on to the “Hofgarten” – the royal garden at Odeonsplatz. arriving there, we happened to walk right into the blue hour, with the sky turning to blue, and windows starting to glow in yellow.

the Hofgarten also is home of the memorial stone of the “Weiße Rose" - a reminder of the Nazi time, and the student resistance back then. across the street, the Haus der Kunst waited - i remembered that from a previous trip to Munich, and walking towards it, my mind walked back in memory. now i just looked, and found a note from the previous trip, and photos - they also show how different this city is in summer:

May 2005: a day in Munich

the first stop was the Neptun fountain, from there we moved to the Marienplatz, and had a Munich beer and white sausages, the local treat. sitting there, we talked about the internet, the forum we met, and how so many connections come from there. and that one of the keys that makes it so special is that it really doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, what you do for a living.

then we walked on, towards the English garden. near the Southern entry of it, there is the "Haus der Kunst" - the house of art. it was built during the Nazi reign, a very formal building where propaganda art was shown. after the war, they reopened it, and now it's a place of modern art, and provocative pieces

at the moment, they show a photo exhibition: "Der Körper der Photographie" - "The body of photography", and we went inside, with no real clue what to expect. and found ourselves - in a room filled with glass vitrines filled with old travel photographies, from journeys taken in the 19th century. pictures of Egypt, India, Persia, Greece, Bolivia. 

in perfect contrast to those images: the exhibition they were setting up in the hall: Paul McCarthy. some of it, in the second photo, the huge inflatable sculpture that is now crowning the museum facade.

after the art, we went to the English garden. it's huge, with small streams going through it, small forests, it feels like being out of the city. and it has a great beer garden that is set under a Chinese tower. so there we sat, and listened to the Bavarian music played by a band in the second level of the tower, and had Italian food, and felt metropolitan in a very Bavarian way.


now, back to the recent trip: 

on friday morning, when we went for the breakfast room, it started to snow: big white flakes. it looked lovely, but got us worried: if it snowed on like that, both driving back and flying back might become difficult. but the snow was kind, and stopped after an hour, just as we were getting ready to leave.

so we walked through Munich again, this time to visit the Pinakothek der Moderne: a museum of modern art, which itself comes in modern architecture.

it’s amazing, and i was excited to see the Donald Judd Room there. now, Ganesh smiled: guess which room of the Pinakothek currently is cleared for another exhibtion? yes. the Donald Judd room. but there are so many other sights, and we had those audio things where you can type in the number, and listen to an introduction of the painting or sculpture you stand in front, so that was good.

from the Pinakothek, we walked in a small loop that brought us back to Odeonsplatz, and to Marienplatz, where we went to have a goodbye lunch at a bavarian restaurant. and then, we walked back to the hotel. the sky still dry. my friend left for the airport, and i started the drive back home – and just after 5 minutes, it started to snow again, heavily. oh dear, i thought. but then it stopped after 10 minutes. then started again, with lighter flakes. and so it went on, all the way home. but i was lucky: no snow traffic jams.

and thinking about the trip when driving, i had to smile: it was the things that i expected that didn’t happen: i thought we would have rain for both days, but the umbrellas had remained closed. and i thought i see Donald Judd’s cubes, but not so. yet instead it brought back memories of this earlier trip to Munich.

such a good trip. still processing. and now i wished i had taken a photo of the photo in the lobby of the Haus der Kunst that showed the facade with the Paul McCarthy installation.


Rose Hunter said...

Pinakothek is such an odd name(?) Where does it come from, do you know? And did you meet Chris? No Judd boxes! :( :(
I love that silver crinkly thing.

Dorothee said...

No Judd boxes! But we met Chris, and had international dinner, which was simply fabulous.

About the Pinakothek: i wondered about that, too, and just looked: "A pinacotheca (Greek: πινακοθήκη) was a picture gallery in either ancient Greece or ancient Rome."

The old Pinakothek dates back to 1826, and was one of the largest musuems of the world at that time, hence the name.

Rose Hunter said...

Ah.... :)