Nico Ihlein at Schiefe Zaehne / Berlin

Nico Ihlein / Zeit mit Sarajevo

June 30 - August 05 2017

Schiefe Zaehne, Schliemannstr. 37 10437 Berlin

Open: by appointment +49 179 1204102 /

Time with Sarajevo  It happened fast. My yellow baseball cap, stolen from my father, fell into the toaster and the filaments braised a big hole into the casing. This accelerated the deterioration of the now almost 20-year-old cap (summer games request Sarajevo?) and it was soon lost. Every time I wore it, I felt a special connection to my father. Buying baseball caps is more complicated than buying clothing for the torso, arms, legs. Old ones are better than new.  In May, when the sun started to shine stronger again, I began to look for one. On eBay, only used, not that many. Went to a couple of department stores, not ready for the Woolworth bling. The caps in the hobby shop had nice colors, but were too small.
My second hand store at the corner: “Do you have baseball caps? I need something to cover my head.” “Wait a moment I believe we had two.”  The old saleswoman, type Berlin bark at its finest, has a look around, doesn’t find anything, looks surprised. She chats with her male visitor, also about 55 years old. A woman holding a cellphone to her ear comes inside and looks through the articles on the clothes hangers.  “Il me dit, elle me fait...” I start to look through the silk scarf box.  “There’s only scarves in there.” “Maybe there’s something in between. Oh here. A wool cap.”  Too small  “Tu sais il me dit...” I give up and make social noises with the male visitor.  “Il me dit...” scanning blouses. The Bark herself begins to rummage through the silk scarves.  “Tu sais il me dit...” No T-shirt for me here. She’s up to her shoulders in the silk scarf-pool. "Je me dis..." leans over the saleswoman into the belt and bag barrel behind her. “I’ve had enough of you. Can’t you wait. I’ve got no room here. And if you have to talk on the phone the whole time, then go outside.”“Je me dis...”, the dark-skinned woman leaves. “Always this family. I find it incredibly exhausting. Good she’s gone outside.” Scraping time. A shoulder in the silk scarf glitter-barrel.  “Ah here’s one. I knew it.”  “Thank you.” The cap is a bit ugly, dark blue/dark green checkers, golf logo and a thick synthetic fabric that’s supposed to look fancy, but doesn’t really manage.  “It’s too small for me. I can barely get it on my head.” Male Visitor knows how to make it bigger. It fits, just need to bend the bill to minimize the pressure on my forehead.
“Now it fits. One problem less. How much is it?”  “1€ please.” It’s 30°C. We’ve gone swimming at the Karpfenteich. Miranda swims and swims and swims. Kamilla and I stand calf-deep in the water in the sun to dry off in front of the fashionable French girls, some topless, kissing. I put on my new cap. Still too hot.  Let's go to Halbschatten, the half-shade. Miranda, all grin, gets out of the water. Lies down. A woman with a headscarf bathes with her 3-year-old daughter.   “I am swimming today for the third time.” “It is so great that it is right next to your studio. You can go for morning swims.” “Yes. That is what I did today.” Miranda looks at my cap. “Have you been there?” “Where?” “The golf course. St. Andrews in Scotland.” I look at my cap.  “Ah no.” “I think it is the one that Donald Trump owns.” “No, I haven't been there.”