Posted by at 12:18 pm  Atelier
Mar 162010

Berg-Werk, The Star of India, London (10th March 2010)


‘Thus the life of a collector manifests a dialectical tension between the poles of disorder and order.’  (SW 2:2, p 487).


As Uncle Wally would put it; the figure who was skating on thin ice, and her breath which was not so much melting as leaking through the surface.


Sometimes the idea of a smooth, crystalline solid gives the wrong impression, and there is a more or less haphazard appearance, having placed the following objects together:


- Berg-Werk (meaning ‘Pit-work’, but it would be a mistake to link this with the German word for a mineworker (Grubenarbeiter), the reference would probably have more to do with Alban Berg, the composer).


- The Rococo design (rocaille, stone, and coquilles, shells) of the Indian restaurant ‘s painted ceiling, triangulated by enfolding diagonals, under which they were sitting in their private dining room.


- The ‘Small Opera’ (Kleine Forme) excerpts from mainly 18th century classical music being played over their candlelit dinner, at which they were also drinking Alsace wine.


- The slim-fitting 'Mold Gold Cape', which he remembered (Object 19, A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC Radio 4)), and the part of the transcript which he had written down in order to read again, “When you look at this object, in one way you react with amazement about how beautiful and intriguing it is. And then you also react to it in terms of wondering about who it was made for, what does it mean that that kind of unique, special objects were created”.


Yes, it is true, you need to have the lightest of steps.