Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Upright Citizens... and me

I came across a couple of funny fellows today. I got a picture of one of them. 

He was walking around the city tearing down posters and stickers. Here he was pulling down an advertisment for a nightclub stuck to a phone box. He didn't look like a cleaner or an official whose job was in any way connected to this activity. It was as if he took moral exception to these posters and made it his job to clean up the public space. I saw him move onto another phone box and perform the same action. While I cannot exactly fault him it is not the sort of behaviour that I am accustomed to seeing in the UK with the possible exception of Christians who sometimes clear tear down the prostitutes cards from the telephone boxes in London. 

The other man I came across was on Schloss Platz. I was walking along and noticed that a large screen had just been erected in the centre of the square to show films during the animation festival. As I was looking in that direction a man was walking towards me in the opposite direction and, as he came within a few meters of me, he clapped his hands together loudly to draw my attention to him. The signal was, I believe, "Hey you! Look where you are going!" Again this is behaviour I am not used to. For starters I wouldn't have walked into him so it was unnecessary but more than that he could have easily stepped aside a little if he was concerned about walking into me. Instead he saw it as his moral right to reprimand me for not being more attentive in public space. This incident reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me. He was in Bremmen recently and went into a public sauna. When some people in the sauna started saying something to one another another man raised his voice to reprimand them "No talking!"  

I've been going around my route and stopping in each location to do some detailed observation. I know more or less what I want to say about McDonalds, for example, but it really helps to spend time in each place looking for details that I can point out. To turn an everyday location, practically crushing in its banality, into the scene of a story, that is what I've been trying to do. And with some success too, I believe. This scene has become the location to talk about tourism and gastronomy and to create a  potential meeting between the gay bar on the top level and Chinese tourists eating next door to the left.  

The same sort of thing here. Checking sight lines so that there is a point in the square which is observable from the closed TV tower. The anti-S21 protesters from the station come here every Monday so they will have to be placed in this frame too. The structure has started to become quite playful in this way. I even managed to find a way to include a trip to Stuttgart's Fruhlingsfest by the football supporter's  from Aldershot Town and turn that into a little story.

No comments:

Post a Comment