it’s confirmed. I’m going to Europe this summer.
it’s been nearly three years since I’ve been there and this time around I’ll be visiting more countries than I toured in the three years I lived there! Oddly enough, when I lived in London while attending uni, I only visited three countries, the UK (obviously), Germany and Northern Ireland (an occupied territory of the first country anyhow)… well okay maybe four if you count Mansfield in Nottinghamshire as a world unto its own!
I didn’t get around much because 1. I was in college full-time and 2. I was relatively broke most of the time, being an already poor American in a country whose currency strengthened against any dollars I had saved up the day after I moved there (seriously day one was around 1.2$ to 1£ and within about six months it was nearly 1.9 to 1! eek!) – I even remember explaining to one of my tutors why, for the first two months I lived there I strictly made pencil art, was because I couldn’t yet afford anything else other than pencil and paper!
But this time I’m making up for it.
Still, hailing from the working class means it’s taken me nearly the entirety of those three years I’ve been away to save up, and I expect it will go faaaast. Thankfully through my participation in Flux Factory’s BudapestNewYork project at the Sziget Festival this year, about 3/4 of my plane fare is sponsored, and food and accommodation while in Budapest are covered.
I am working up until the day before I depart; I will be dismantling the current exhibition the eve before the eve of departure! I arrive in Budapest – which I might note is where my father’s family is from, on the Buda side of the Danube – the morning of 31 July. Immediately I set to work on the Flux Factory installation. Most of the other members will have already been in Budapest for nearly two weeks, but construction on the island can’t begin until 25 July, so I should arrive just on time to start my installation work (details of that in the near future). After 8 solid days of installation, the Sziget festival opens (8 August). I only plan to stick around for a couple of days, hopefully to see Napalm Death perform, but if they’re not in the first couple of days I will just have to depart. Plans are to get to Croatia for a couple of days, where my friend and fellow artist Olja Stipanovic was born, and visit her at her beach front property! Ahhh the Croatian sun! From there a 3-day stint in Kassel, Germany, for Documenta 12 is in order, and then to places such as northern Italy (least likely but potential), Zurich, Luxembourg, Brussels and Amsterdam. An ambitious list but I’m not thinking more than a day or two in any city, and after Budapest I have 15 days to get to London, where-from my departing flight leaves for NYC on 25 August. I definitely need at least 4-5 days in London, which squeezes the other countries into 10 days; Kassel will need at least 3, which leaves me with 7. Okay maybe Zurich and Italy are out of the question!
Still, an exciting trip, and one desperately needed since I didn’t get out of the USA at all in 2006 or 2005 for that matter.