Talking to Tania
|Richard Layzell – Talking to Tania 3|
Day 1 • Thursday 21 October 2004 • Barcelona
RL I’m not sure what to do here
TK I thought that was the point, not to repeat what happened before and start afresh. Or to do very very little this time. Didn’t we go over this before you left?
RL It’s easier said than done.
TK Can’t you just enjoy Barcelona?
RL Barcelonetta and Barcelona.
TK Whatever. Is Barcelonetta the city beach part?
RL Yes. I thought you’d been here.
TK Stayed in the city centre, didn’t get out much, but still got my bag stolen.
RL Did you like it?
TK Loved it.
RL The city, not the bag.
TK Both. Is your rental apartment in Barcelonetta?
RL Yes. Didn’t expect to be swimming outdoors again this year.
TK I hope we’re not in for more of that “swimming in the sea at sunrise” stuff.
RL Maybe from Jens, he hasn’t had much sea this year. It’s a bit cold in there for me in the early morning.
TK Any idea how it’s going to work out with Jens there? Is he ‘working’ as well?
RL I think it will be mainly me, with some collaboration. I’ve been very struck by Jens being here and remembering how he was a key collaborator in some early stages of Movimento Ordinari.
TK Remind me
RL The Berlin crossroads video sequence and the possible link with Body Mind Centering (BMC)
TK Sounds like a red herring
RL What does?
TK Body Mind Centering. What is it by the way?
RL The thing he’s an expert in. It’s a kind of movement therapy.
TK New Age stuff
RL They have a web site, you could check it out
TK So are you saying it’s coincidental, him being there? Or that you’re surprised to still be exploring the same area of ‘not performing’ four years later?
RL It’s reminiscent, that’s all. I suspect more for me than for him. I’ll ask him. I think this was the first time I’d worked with you as the subject, the performer.
J Maybe, in this way. You had a new camera you were trying out.
RL It was exciting to be filming again. I guess I was aware of locations. We went to that derelict place with the graffiti.
J Tacheles in East Berlin, at the back of a torn-down building that used to be a department store. It was squatted when the Wall came down, then became a cultural centre.
RL Was I making the decisions?
J No memory of it
RL I chose the crossroads
J I wouldn’t have. It was a very regular crossroads between Kantstrasse and another strasse.
RL I chose it because it was regular
J I know that
TK Is this getting anywhere?
J I wonder. Can we get going on this day?
TK I thought you were in the middle of it
J We’re still in a café by the metro. He’s been filming serviette holders and ashtrays. Got me taking pictures of them now.
TK What do you normally take pictures of?
J Whatever takes my fancy. I’m a happy snapper, not self-conscious about it, like him. I’ll send them to you on a CD if you like.
TK Thanks. He’s got my address.
J I imagine.
RL We were in the Gaudi Cathedral. I went into tourist numb fairly quickly. Then I started taking pictures for you and things improved.
TK Why did you do that?
RL It was part of the dialogue, visual not verbal.
TK So you weren’t strictly taking them for me. You were in perceptual mode. Can you be more specific? Was this video or stills?
RL It was video. As we queued in narrow dark stairwells I found myself looking at a vast amount of graffiti markings in the dark stone walls. Would they have been so plentiful, or there at all, if the cathedral was finished? There was a beauty about these international signatures and scratches. This was intrinsic text. I felt freer to film them because I imagined you’d find the footage interesting and maybe useful.
TK Maybe there’s some room for collaboration in this. It doesn’t have to be ‘for me’ you know, it can be for us, for the bigger project. It sounds like your confusion was partly about tourism.
RL You’re probably right. Jens was a satirical tourist, in his baseball cap and shorts, occasionally photographing the stranger-looking people, and whatever else he liked the look of. I was working, sort of, and struggling with that. Which is why you gave me some focus. Guadi’s shameless use of colour and decoration reminded me of some aspects of your aesthetic.