One of the first things you see when driving into Poland is the inflatable obese prostitute that lies seductively on one of the many "24h night clubs" you come across in the middle of nowhere. If a horny motorist would not have been paying attention, he’d still have been able to pick up one of the many voluptuous prostitutes standing along the road, easily recognisable because they all chose to wear fluorescent clothing (there was a green one, a pink one and a blue one). People also sold mushrooms along the road, which led me to believe that these women of ill-repute did not accept regular cash (be it normal Euros or Polish Ding-Dongs), but that they closely worked together with the mushroom pickers to secure a sustainable amount of mushrooms.
Apart from these hospitable women (and a man with a moustache, though he may also have been waiting for the bus), the entrance in Poland wasn’t as warm as we would have hoped. When changing Euros into Dingdongs, our first Polish native succeeded in not speaking a single word to any of the Abnormals people who greeted him (and I did warmly say "Thank you very much!"). We didn’t think much of it – everyone can have a bad day – and continued our journey.
Since motorways in Poland will only be finished by the European Football Championship in 2012 (suddenly, when a stupid football game is played, there IS money for development), most of the road to Poznan consisted of a single road with one lane for those wanting to get into Poland and one lane for those wanting to get out. Surprisingly, many more people wanted to get into Poland than out, so our road to Poznan, while paved with good intentions (the whores and such), was soon blocked by an insurmountable amount of cars and lorries. Traffic jams on motorways have the advantage of still going forward, slowly, but forward nonetheless – not so on the Only Road in Poland. After many five to ten minute "full stops", everything just fully died down. Engines were switched off, urine was being poured all over Poland (mostly against trees and shrubs from full-bladdered drivers such as myself), and all my followers (for there were many!) peered at the horizon, hoping for some movement that would never come.
But we had to get to Poznan, for there was to be the grand opening of Abnormals Gallery there at 8PM. Timmy The Driver and all his ballast were closely followed by Italian artists who were at the opening in Berlin the night before, all hoping that in following me, they would see the light. The wonderfully sweet Italians (I am sure they taste like candy!) luckily had a brilliant plan: they had planted a "mole" in the traffic jam (more Italian artists) who had left 2 hours before us and who also had been stuck in the same queue, only way ahead of us. Our beautiful moles had a satellite navigation system that worked, even in Poland (my SatNav only functions in Western-Europe apparently), and they returned to fetch us so that our cars could follow them on even smaller roads than the one we had just been travelling on. Soon, we were on our way again. According to positive-minded Google, it would only take 3h34 to travel the 284km to get to Poznan. In reality, it took us almost 7 hours, not that this would dampen our spirits.
Finally, we did arrive though…
The opening was nigh. A beautiful city centre erased the memories of the poverty-struck surroundings. The people still didn’t seem to welcome us into their lives, throwing suspicious looks at us and our selves. We all wondered who really was to blame: was it the sensitive darker-skinned Mexican whose skin colour they hadn’t seen here since last year’s circus (it’s okay, because he said so himself he was the only dark person there :-))? Or maybe it was me, with my general blonde sensuality and Rick Owens heels? Who knows! Fact of the matter is: we wouldn’t really care about the people. They all looked the same anyway… (the Male Poznan Style Guide: VERY short hair, muscles, small tits and an angry I’m-going-to-beat-you look at Timmies).
The opening was a success, by the way. It made me realise that it makes sense to open a gallery in such an odd location as Poznan. In Berlin and perhaps in every big city in Western Europe, art is almost unable to make an impact on people’s minds, because of the specific way in which it gets marginalised. Whenever anything artistic comes into the news, it is about how much a work was sold for (e.g. Damien Hirst, who probably bought it himself) or just to make people laugh at a funny example of modern art. I must say that in Poznan, a gallery like this can make more of an impact, something that is proved by the amount of attention our Abnormals opening had there. Not that the people will accept what they see, of couse not, but at least they will be confronted with something they haven’t been confronted with before.
When driving away from Poznan on Sunday, we passed a huge very explicit anti-abortion poster, showing a crying newborn covered in blood. I had to think of the hysteria the Abnormals poster caused in Poznan. Only in this case, nobody seemed to ask questions…
That day, everyone was happy when we crossed the Berlin city borders a few hours later and saw the beautifully different people walking on the streets…
Here comes the video of the opening, made by some Polish newspaper (find me in the video and win a stay in Berlin at my apartment where you will be doing my laundry and massaging my limbs!!!!):
And a random image of Poznan of a beautiful Catholic church….