Sunday May 30th on a train to Zurich
I spent a weekend in Milan, since the life in Zurich is astoundingly lonely. The fashionable ladies I used to attend are now deceased. I cannot even trace the burial of many of them. I recollect few faces, sometimes by strolling alone around the town and spotting the name of a friend on a street placard. Most of them called writers, artists, painters or even philanthropists. They looked to me all the same, untalented privileged people who enjoyed my entertaining conversation. They perhaps also felt guilty for the sums lavishly employed by their husbands to compliment them with expensive jewelry and cars. Not really seriously, they would have otherwise financed my revolutionary purposes or I should have not accepted the Kaiser’s support to come back to Russia.
Someone told me that in Milan I would have more easily found the understanding of the local authorities, they would have allowed me to openly proclaim the revolution in exchange of that few thousands of francs needed to find an accommodation. I am not impressed by the XXI century figures. I used to spend the same amounts, back in 1917, without taking in account the inflation that occurred along the years. I always had an elegant taste, the finest among my revolutionary circle, and it was really expensive to satisfy it. I did not even consider a compromise the idea to mix up with the so hatred bourgeoisie. In the end that is my milieu and I would not find myself so much at easy with the lowest social classes. That is perhaps the reason why I never totally trusted Stalin. He was such a plebeian, someone who had to become a seminarist in order to get some free education. Not even of the best level. Stalin was however brilliant, I am collecting more information about his extraordinary success and I would have had no doubt. He had the instinct of a killer, he was ruthless, he had all the energy to achieve the greatest goals. I felt the same when I spoke in front of the people, when I had to fight against the other members of the central committee. When I was alone, and had to meditate about the revolution, I most of the time enjoyed a cup of tea with honey and milk. As well as some pastries.
Sunday May 30th A train from Milan to Frankfurt
What a busy days I had in Milan, and I still need to go back to Frankfurt by train because of a really needed stop in Basel. I am feeling art fairs fatigue, but how else could I get acquainted to new customers? There are some fashionable social networks, but the more exclusive they pretend to be, the higher is the chance to meet up with fake profiles. They just pretend to have money to spend or be interested in my field of business, they do not want anything else than my WhatsApp and a date. That sometimes I am however happy to concede, despite I am aware that it will have no follow up. I just need to be sure not to arrange anything with students, who just disappear when the waiter comes with the bill. That I find really outrageous, because I cannot really stand men who are not generous and want to split the bill. I can even less tolerate those who do just want to get a free dinner. There are many other ways to obtain that, the best one it is by attend Art Basel, in Basel, Miami or wherever. Just by being invited to the parties, it is a good way to spare on the expenses. Especially when the expenses are not backed by a main institution. When I left the village, I had to learn how to survive a University Campus. The tactics I learn there, helped me to survive when I was not anymore eligible for students benefits and rent a studio apartment in one of the most expensive financial capitals. Also Milan was not cheap, and I cannot figure out how most of the so called professionals with the proletarian Italian-Income can manage to have a decent life. Perhaps they just invest most of their money in few fashionable clothes, carefully hold the same mojito for a whole night and pretend to have spent holidays in some fashionable resorts. That sort of a metropolis has become one of the worst places where to do business. If someone shows up to not to have the money, even after having signed a formal contract, it is almost impossible to claim any right. Luckily even lawyers are in desperate need and they usually work cheap. Especially if you are a gorgeous blondie and you exploit their sexist ego. I am not so dissatisfied by the inadequate leftist ruling class either. They selected the perfect combination of laws to asfissiate the art market and still let some holes open to export the most interesting devaluated artworks. If I were an old widow, who hoped to guarantee her rent with the beautiful paintings she had at home, I would be extremely angry, but I am a young and brilliant foreigner who knows how to exploit these circumstances at my advantage. My contact in Basel shall help me, it is such a shame that I cannot do everything alone and need to split the cake.
Sunday May 30th 2021 On a train from Milan to Lugano
I luckily managed to get the full expenses for the weekend I spent in Zurich, and the one I spent in Geneva. I exceeded my budget far more than expected. Perhaps it was also due to a couple of über art collectors I dined with. I do not like that word über, that Americans find so fashionable, yet I need to follow the trends also with my writings. Perhaps I will end up with a strange relationship with some acquaintance met in an Assouline store. A place that I also detest, I do not like those kind of fashionable art editions printed to allow affluent Chinese and Arab customers to justify some expenses in culture. If I were free to choose, I would wonder around Cologne, looking for the shop of a local printer. Cologne has already developed a couple of international well sounded successes in the matter of art editions. I do not doubt that something more shall come out soon, during the next few years. I am reading here and there about these NFTs art editions, art totally virtualized, to enhance the meaning of art as a unique creation. It is just a piety that I cannot adopt NFTs as pieces of interior design. Unless I shall set up some multimedia installation, a work of art by itself I will also contribute to. Perhaps it is the only way to me to truly express myself while providing a client with my service. Most of the time I need to give a look at expensive objects on 1stDibs, take in consideration the given budget, add to that between 20 and 50%, and make my proposal. The increased budget is just something that the client does not expect, but that makes him, or in most of the cases her, happy. They feel empowered to lavishly spend on something unnecessary, with the additional illusion that they are doing a brilliant investment. By the time they shall be dead, most of the objects they have purchased will just be out fashioned or in such a bad condition that shall hardly be accepted by a self respecting auction house. Just few possess the skill to anticipate the market. I could try to influence them, but they would just be left unsatisfied and I would loose my client, as well as my reputation. The train has moved faster than I expected and I have not been bothered by the borders control. It is time to move on.
Saturday April 24th 2021 On a train from Geneva to Zurich
I express my deepest sympathy to the members of the central committee who, after more than 100 years, are still struggling to establish the victory of socialism over capitalism. I am well renown as Lenin, a charismatic figure who lead the revolution to the triumph over the reactionary forces. I actually lead a putsch, supported by a foreigner power, but I prefer to freely interpret history in order to sustain my ideas. Quite awkwardly, after my death, I was well preserved in a mausoleum in the center of Moscow, just to wake up in a Soviet Union I was not able to recognize anymore. Russian aristocrats adopted English, instead of French, as the most favorite language and the current leader of the Russian people looks like much more to an Italian socialist heretics called Mussolini. Those socialist heretics are now called fascists and they are apparently the fiercest enemy of the people and the ideals of the revolution. Although also socialism is more popular among the financial capitalist elite of the United States than in the Soviet Union itself. I should admit to be confused. I reputed myself a master creator of plots and lies, to manipulate my own people and cope with foreign reactions to the regime I mostly contributed to establish. I now see that my method has been more widely applied, in such a way that I cannot recognize anymore liberals, libertarians, Roman Catholics, comrades who call themselves socialists and comrades who call themselves fascists. I however managed to take a train to Zurich, to exile myself in the Swiss town once again, waiting for better times. Once again it was Germany, now a federal republic, although not a soviet republic, to sponsor my travel. At first from Moscow to Berlin, recognizing me as ethnically German. I should thank some friends in the immigration office. Once acquired the passport of the European Union, that is nowadays the closest organization to the Soviet Union I created, I also obtained a work permit to establish myself in Switzerland, that, despite the general chaos, has never proclaimed itself a Soviet Confederacy. When local immigration office asked me what I am surviving with, I told them I am an alpine guide and book illustrator. They compared me to a certain Wymper, who was the first to ascend the Matterhorn, but when they asked me to show my drawings as a proof of my activity they mentioned a certain Hitler. Apparently a fellow socialist, also a heretic one, who linked socialism with nationalism. I think that Marx theorized something like that, but I need to read again all of his works, just a double check. After one hundred years my memory has faded and I anyway have to admit that I never read all of Marx´works. He was too prolific and I was also too busy to setup my show and catch the attention of my admirers. I however managed to obtain a five years work permit B. On the building I was living in, during my previous exile, someone put a commemorative plaque. I tried to find an apartment in the very same place, but it has become apparently too expensive. The Kaiser is not sponsoring me anymore and, waiting for better times, I had to content myself with a small studio nearby the main railway station. They say it is a new fashionable area, surrounded by fashionable restaurants, art galleries and design shops. It could be a good and reasonable start. I will perhaps meet a pleasant and adventurous lady who could help me with the expenses. Meanwhile I will keep an eye on some romantic locations, at least to pose myself as a talented and romantic artist and explorer. Luckily I also quickly found a job for some newspaper published on something called the Internet. It should be reachable from everywhere around the world, and it should help me to connect with my comrades of the Central Committee. Wherever they are and whatever ideology are they now working on.
Saturday April 24th 2021 A train from Geneva to Zurich
I will come back to Zurich today. My house on the mountains has been transformed into a fashionable resort and I cannot afford to live there permanently anymore. Just the time to greet a couple of friends and to take a further train to Frankfurt. I have grown up, I am not anymore the inexperienced country girl I used to be. I trade contemporary art and travel constantly in the whole of the DACH area, plus London and the United States. The market is expanding and I am acquiring more and more rich Chinese and Russian clients. Perhaps I shall be able to set up my own company, but I need to exploit the brand of the auction house I am working for and establish my image on the social networks. Everybody call me an ambitious girl, but who would not be with my conditions and background. I have grown up on the Swiss alps, in an exclusive area, got acquainted, already as I was a child, to everlasting celebrity. A Japanese reshaped my image around fifty years ago, providing me with eternal youth. I do not need to get married, nor to bear children, I shall live forever, as those leaders from North Korea. I am not a true expert of the Juche, but beside the hammer and the sickle, North Korean iconography has added a brush. That gives me a good feeling, and sustain my idea that art is a powerful tool to become influential and make money. If I shall have success I will buy a huge mansion on the Taunus, or perhaps I shall move to Munich, or on the Starnbergensee. Despite the low taxation, the center of my business network lies in Germany and I need to stay here till to my next career step. Bonuses are however provided to me through a subsidiary based in Lichtenstein and, since they constitute the main component of my incomes, my overall tax bill is not higher than 20% of my revenues. I am feeling tired, I travelled the whole day. I really need a stop. Just the time to get on a taxi and reach the Dolder Grand. I cannot wait to have a bigger splash in the spa, I just hope to be there before the closing time. Or, in the worst case, that I shall obtain a free upgrade of my room. I need at least a bath and I am not in the mood of a plebeian shower. Let‘s take a nap and wake up in a better world.
Saturday April 24th 2021 A train from Geneva to Zurich
I am really tired. I spent the whole day by a client in Geneva. I wished to become a naval architect, but for some strange destiny I found myself as an interior architect living in Milan. Just a stop in Zurich, I shall need to spend the whole night there. Due to the pest, it has become quite difficult to travel and the last train from Geneva to Italy has been cancelled. Between sleeping in Brig, Domodossola or Zurich, I prefer the biggest of the Swiss cities. I can take advantage of the stop to pay a visit to the local design museum, there are a couple of objects I should buy there for one of my most obnoxious clients and perhaps have also enough time to take a coffee with a potential customer. I have not already booked the hotel, but I hope that the Baur au Lac will make me a good offer. I need a spacious room, I feel the need for a Jacuzzi, after a terrible week in that IBIS in Geneva. It will be the last time that I shall allow my client to book a hotel room for me. I understand they have to pay for my expenses, but do they not recognize that I have become an archistar? Anybody know my name, especially after I set up the museum house of the most renown fashion designers in the world. Perhaps I should work through an assistant, not to introduce myself as an independent consultant anymore. However I am still enjoying my job and I would not like to delegate even the slightest inconvenience. I even like to fill the forms, perhaps it is due to the fact that I have grown up in the former so called DDR and moved to the west only just after the Wende, when I was 14 years old. If the regime had not fallen, I would have perhaps ended up to fill the walls with the Egyptian profile of workers and soldiers, with those modern hieroglyphs expression of the socialist realism. Luckily my parents chose to move to Düsseldorf and as the child of a poor Ossie plumber I got easily admitted to the local Kunstakademie. Perhaps also thanks to the success obtained by Gerhard Richter, now one of the most affluent Germans, who also moved from the DDR to the decadent west, replacing socialist realism with capitalist realism. Indeed I love capitalism and despite everybody suggested me to overnight at the 25 Hours, a design boutique hotel in the modern designers area, I still prefer the luxury of the Baur au Lac. I really need to take a nap. I will better enjoy the evening in less than half an hour in the jacuzzi of my junior suite. That I shall bill on the expenses of my stingy clients in Geneva.