Berlin Lab

Favorite Moments from Berlin: Maria Nicanor, Curator

Maria Nicanor, Curator

Maria Nicanor, Curator

Last fall, in the wake of the Lab’s time in New York, I collected and shared one favorite memory from several people who had worked at the Lab. The resulting post, “As We Move Forward, a Nostalgic Look Back,” turned out to be among my favorite ones from the New York Lab. The reason? It encapsulated a truth about the Lab itself: just like a city, the Lab is defined by an indefinite mass of individual experience.

With this in mind, I decided once again to talk to some of those who made the Lab possible, and ask them to share the moments that will remain with them long after the Lab has departed for Mumbai. We’ll feature memories from one or two people every day this week, so come back tomorrow for more reflections on Berlin.

Today, thoughts on the Berlin Lab come from Maria Nicanor, Curator:

“More than a favorite program or event at the Lab, one of my favorite moments has more to do with how we make a space our own. One day, during a well-attended program, our friend Emal, who had been coming by the Lab almost daily to cook pancakes [using] a mobile kitchen, finished his daily cooking and was looking to pack his things for the day. But he had to wash his pancake gear [first]. The program—a lecture during Rachel’s hosting time at the Lab—was just underway, and it had started pouring with rain.

“Seeing that the rain water was rushing down the copper chains that function as gutters for the Lab structure, Emal just moved over by the gutters and turned them into his own personal rainwater sink/dishwasher, brushing and cleaning his pots and pans while the speaker went on with his PowerPoint and everyone looked in amazement to see how Emal had made the Lab his own. He went on undisturbed for quite a while until the pots and pans were clean, making the Lab—the otherwise high-tech looking, cold carbon-fiber and the copper-chain system—more his own than anyone else I’ve seen use it before.”

Emal at the Lab

Emal at the Lab

. . .
Photos: by Christine McLaren