Some might say that Züri West is not the most beuatiful part of town. But let me - rather cliche- quote the great Leonard Cohen:
"There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"
I have now been in Zurich for just a little over nine months. And while my friends back in Denmark, have grown babies in the same time - I’ve grown a love for this city.
I love the clean and tidy streets. The perfect view of the mountains. The trams. The bars and restaurants. The Art and the houses. And I love how little one has to do, to disturb the silence.
The urban cracks, I like to call them.
And through these cracks we get a peephole into the city, a society, a life hidden for those unaware. And those curious might be shared some light.
When asked to blog here, I knew, I wanted to write about the urban cracks.
One of Zurich’s cracks is on Langstrasse.
When I arrived, I was so extremely blessed to have a friend, by whom I stayed in the beginning. Even more luckily she lives in the very center of kreis 5- which means that every time I had to take the bus to german-class, I stood at the corner Langstrasse/Röntgenstrasse.
I find myself to be rather observant and interested in art around me, and last month I had been out all day preparing for the De-tours zURBS makes. Looking for art in the city and a bit on Art and The City. The case was, that on my way home, I discovered this little thing called “Vitrine-galerie” It was just a black surface, where a store window should be, with a little peephole in it...
Just by my busstop.
I never noticed it before. I was like: “That is new! I guess. It has to be … right? I would have noticed! ...wouldn´t I?”
Oh! I loved, that I was in doubt. I loved, that it was possible, that there could be this little gallery, that could be totally overlooked, even by “an artsy girl like me”...
(of course the gallery is a new thing -and I can calm myself: of course I would have noticed it - I certainly would... wouldn’t I?)
It turns out that Vitrine Gallery is a contemporary gallery. Only here for the summer. 5 month. 5 exhibitions. opening time: 24/7.
I love it.
So the first exhibition was this peephole-show.Did you know that the peepshow was invented already in the 17th century? It was actually a little box, which you paid to look into, and a puppeteer could change the scene, while you looked through the little hole! Then it expanded and they started to build surroundings, to get the audiences attention and “the climax” -that you of course had to pay for - was in the box...
Climaxes got quite another meaning, when the peephole boxes turned into the erotic peepshows. The boxes grew to be a little stage, where boys could pay a quarter of a dollar to - oh so exciting- see a naked girl- through a sloth.
Back at the busstop:
A part of the beauty of this gallery, placed on Langstrasse, is that it combines the gallery with the, lets say, “less christian” side of Langstrasse. It takes all the ugliness, the weird, the “wrong”, the hidden, what is already there and exhibit it. Makes it okay to stare on what you see on Langstrasse, but, unless you are there on a sex-search, you usually look the other way...
But Vitrine-Galerie is a gallery showing art- thus you are obliged to look at this -to explore. And then it might not be so frightening, weird or ugly!
And what did you actually see, when you peeped through the hole, you might ask!
Well, there wouldn’t be much point in explaining it.It was just perfect in the Langstrasse-setting.
And really does it matter?
My point is only, that if you open your eyes to the cracks and peepholes around you, something might shed some light on something. Things you knew, things you didn’t.
Now is the only question left: Do you dare to look?
Or go look for other cracks around the city.
And feel free to share the light you find!
(Looking at the website, http://www.vitrinegalerie.ch/ , I discovered that the peephole is no longer there, so I’m sorry- you´ll have to settle for forever not knowing what was hidden here. But do go and check the new tiny exhibition out. I have no idea what it is.)
...and listen to the master!
...and hey! Sign up for zURBS' de-tour : find out more on zurbs.org !