There are performances, which have hardly begun and end already because they are simply so good and exciting that one does not even realise how fast time flies. CYCLOPE is one of them. In an old factory building, where previously locomotives had been built. From a large pile of fitted scrap develops a poetic easiness, accompanied with striking live music and brilliant artistic skills. When then the Cyclope comes alive, follows with its one eye the artists across the stage and his sadness disappears into lips, one is overwhelmed by the phantasy and richness of the ideas and the great translation. Yes, Karl Kühne’s Gassenschau lives up to its reputation.
The machine, inspired by Jean Tinguely, woke memories in me of my bed. My first flat was very old. Without bathroom, with toilette to be shared on the corridor and coal heating. But what was unique were the high rooms. The ceiling was 3.60m. This room feeling was incredible. But heating was very complicated and almost impossible. In order to use the space I decided to build my bed 2m from the floor. I planned to build it from scaffolding poles, on which I would put wooden boards and a broad mattress.
This sounded easy but it was not. I could by old rusty scaffolding poles and since money was scarce, I carried them home walking across half of Prague, one after another with the help of various friends. My money was not enough for the transport. It felt like an eternity until I had finally sandpapered them and painted them white and again countless, sweaty walks until I had carried home the boards.
With the help of a technically skilled colleague we arranged them between the walls and built a marvel. My bed in dizzy height was simply impressive. Up there I felt save and sheltered. Because my bed did not have a ladder. This meant that one had to climb up. At the age of 20, when one is sporty, this Is no problem. The only disadvantage was in the middle of the night, when one had to leave the bed. Sometime, when I had the first flu, I realised that in case of sickness my bed is a real challenge. I solved it with the help of my book shelf which I had placed that way that I was able to used it as steps if needed in order to be able to climb into my bed at all.
All my friends admired my creation and I was very proud. When someone asked me why I do not have a ladder, I answered for the fun of it that this is a test as natural selection for my lovers – someone who does not manage to climb up, is not welcome anyway. With the men among my friends this woke the incredible desire to prove them. Of course it had been a lie for I had been raised Catholic and was monogamic all my life. But Paul, who was short and clumsy, wanted to prove it to him and to us that he would get through this selection. It looked funny when he tried to climb up. But it was not all that easy and at one point his hands were so sweaty that he could no longer hold himself and landed headlong on the floor. He did not break any bones but he had a medium concussion, with which he had to stay home for one month.
The reputation of my bed increased immensely. But I gave out a strict ban on any uninvited attempts to climb up and thus my bed became even more mystical. But it ended very prosaic. When I moved out and the rooms in my new flat were only 2.30m high, I had to tear down my phenomenal bed with a heavy heart and sell the scaffolding poles. This hurt me very much. Because this was the only mystical bed I ever had.
Photo credits: André Juchli