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Old news: James was here!

October 12th, 2013 by Willem Jan Renders

Some of my readers (yes, they exist!) mistook the date of publishing the episodes in this blog for the date of the events described. Others took my long silence for a sign of absence. So please make no mistake: I am still alive and kicking, but this is old news, or maybe just a description of old events and no news at all. In this story we have now arrived at 16 September 2013 and we are still in Moscow.

press conference

The opening starts with a crowded press conference. Everybody has to say something and I am glad Charles is here to take the stage. Not that I do not know what to say, but Charles is a far better speaker. Before he can start, the director of MAMM, Olga Sviblova, has a long introduction. Then Ilya says a few words and among the people he thanks he mentions James. I know Ilya always calls Charles James and I have never been able to correct him. But Olga Sviblova thinks that Ilya is thanking me and after Ilya has finished she starts saying thank you to all contributors. So she thanks Charles and she also thanks James while pointing to me in the front row.

Who the hell is James?

To make it even more confusing after this Charles thanks Willem Jan Renders! I think no one noticed…

The opening has even more speeches and now I am even gladder that Charles is here to play his role. Nobody listens to opening speeches in Russia. The opening crowd here is only interested in the buffet and in each other. So I can quietly drink champagne and talk to some people from Moscow that I invited for the opening while Charles is standing on the podium for half an hour waiting for his turn to speak.

Charles speaking and nobody listening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile James seems to have disappeared. I meet some colleagues from the Netherlands that congratulate me with the exhibition and some Russian acquaintances that came especially to see me, but I do not have much time to talk to them because someone from the museum comes to take me to the cars that are waiting outside in the rain to take us to the restaurant for dinner. I must say I could use some food. But first there is more champagne and some snacks there. Let’s call it ‘building up an appetite’…

Where’s the real food?

 

 
The horn of plenty

Thymen Kouwenaar of the Dutch Embassy is so kind to drive Charles and me to our hotel in his beautiful Wolga dating from the sixties. Which reminds me to mention the financial support from the Embassy in the preparatory stage of this exhibition, three years ago.

This was also possible thanks to the Dutch Embassy in Moscow

 

 

Thank you once again!

 

 

 

 

There are no thoughts left and no dreams possible, only a comatose sleep and a feeling of deep satisfaction in the morning.

(And thanks to Albert Lemmens for the photographs)

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