Wednesday afternoon I was reading a book on a bench by the canal, waiting for my neighbor to get back from the playground with his kids so I could get back into my apartment. And this guy came over and asked me if I could take a picture, because the self-timer on their camera was broken. I mean, what else was I doing, right? Sure, I can push a camera button.
So the guy (Andreas) and his friend (Peter) told me they were recreating the cover art from Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits. They’d already taken the picture on the back cover, of Simon and Garfunkel in front of a chain link fence, and they’d been trying and trying to get the front cover one right. They were dressed like them and everything, in jackets from the thrift store with the tags still on. (Before every series of pictures they had to grab the tags and hide them again.)
Why were they doing this? Yes, that was my question, too. It turns out they’re artists, and the photos are for the covers of the catalog for an exhibit they’re doing in Munich later this year. The project: They wrote a song for each of five shopping malls around Berlin, then performed the songs at the malls, while videoing their performances and their interactions with security and whatnot.
I feel like this is the kind of experience you come to Berlin to have: helping random strangers create the exhibition catalog about their run-ins with mall cops. So it’s a good thing they found me, two days before I leave town. They were super nice and we had a half-hour or so photo shoot by the canal.
I really hope they use one of my pictures. They said they’ll send me a copy of the catalog, which is, of course, a songbook. Sing-along party at my house!