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By Gideon Lewis-Kraus

Bargains money owed of the author's pilgrimages to 3 holy websites looking for own path, describing the loads of miles trekked and the folk encountered alongside the way in which. Tallinn -- Berlin -- Camino -- Berlin/Shanghai -- Shikoku -- Shanghai/San Francisco -- Uman -- Kiev/Berlin

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The most famous of these people, their de facto international spokeswoman, had once married the Berlin Wall, and a young Norwegian video artist made a haunting film about it for a Berlin Biennial. The film was shown on a loop in a trailer in an empty lot where the death strip had been, and Alix and I jogged through the late-spring snow to see it at least half a dozen times. A few months later we went to see the spokeswoman talk, and someone asked her how she knew the Berlin Wall loved her back. ” Everyone else nodded in agreement and Alix dug her nails into my palm to keep from falling off her seat.

It was the real toad in the imaginary garden. The real news from the fake opening had seemed an ill omen. I’d been in Berlin for a year and had no better idea what I was doing there than I had when I arrived; the mere lifting of constraint had not infused my life with purpose, and I did not feel any freer than I had in San Francisco. I’d come to Berlin at least in part to escape what I saw as a kind of generational malaise, and had discovered there a slightly different kind of generational malaise.

He named more magazines. “Uovo. Texte zur Kunst. kultur. So many. ” Alix swooped in and delivered me onto a roof to smoke, though of course you could smoke inside too. She rolled her eyes and promised that there was more to the art scene here than naming magazines. There were, to be fair, some very fine artists. There was Omer, a gruff Israeli who made multichannel video installations; there was the pretty much just Danish guy who made a big deal about being Icelandic and had a dirigible hangar and eighty pretty assistants; there was Maxime, a French kid in his early twenties who shot the kind of harsh and tender photographs one might have seen on Nan Goldin’s Facebook page; and there was Ignacio, who’d spent ten years in an office job making private artworks out of thousandcell Excel spreadsheets.

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