Gabor On Drums
Summer 2011 I was in the big apple, Manhattan. My project to get a European photovoltaic inverter UL certified was going well. Little did I know that a year later, the entire technical development would come to a grinding halt. Our test lab was in Princeton, and I didn’t mind the hour and a half drive, so I mostly stayed in Manhattan. It was especially beneficial for weekends, where I didn’t have to drive. I had my MTB with me and quickly learned how to ride from Upper West Side down to downtown. At that time, Ground Zero was still a big construction site, the High Line was new, and countless cultural programs sweetened my leisure time. This included free concerts in Central Park, in the palm garden of the remaining WTC, outdoor movie screenings on Thursdays at Bryant Park, and big events on Governors Island.
A friendly American colleague from the test lab told me about an upcoming artistic event in Manhattan over the weekend. His wife was one of the co-organizers, so it was a second-hand recommendation straight from the horse’s mouth. Harry told me while he was checking the insulation of the wiring to the fuses, „That would be something for you, Gabor. You love modern art, and not only can you see the works, but you can also meet the artists in person and get an idea of their tough life in the art scene.“
„Sounds good. I’ll take my camera and photograph everything. Do you think it’s okay?“ I asked.
„Sure. For the artists, it’s a marketing event, and they want to be photographed and publicized,“ Harry replied.
„Are you going to be there too?“ I asked.
„Nah, I’ve been there a couple of times, and I can’t stand the whining of the artists anymore. Besides, I have something else to do,“ Harry said as he took a big blue plastic bag and walked out onto the big natural lawn that stretched right next to the lab and provided a home for hundreds of plump Canadian geese. This „bag round“ was a regular activity of the two of them, always on Friday afternoons when the other colleagues had already left. Apparently, I didn’t count as a risk factor.
Originally called the Franklinfest, TOAST (Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour) is a non-profit, artist-led event that speaks with a collective voice for the Tribeca creative community. Every year, there is a self-guided, open studio tour, and this year, about a hundred artists participated in the two-day community exhibition.
I seized my opportunity and visited at least half of the exhibiting artists in their own studios or apartments, where they presented their works and themselves. Since there were fewer visitors than I expected, I was welcomed everywhere like a guest, greeted with snacks and soft drinks. I had plenty of time to talk to the artists about their art and the tough life of being an artist in NYC. My request to take a few pictures was consistently welcomed, even expected.
(Text selection from the book „18 Hours“)
(Music above is planned to the film „18 Hours“)