#DearDiary – Back to #LondonLife. Carmela and #JosephCornell in the City. A #Wanderlust tale.

Today I feel more Carmela and less *artemporary.

I guess my “settling down” process is not really over yet. I feel with ONE foot in Zurich and one in London. So many strings attached. So many cuts to make. So many things to let go.

Today it is day 10 in London – a glorious sunny Friday. Yet I have that very strange feeling that something is missing. My work routine perhaps, my non-routinary social life, my friends, my comfort places, my comfort-bratwurst maybe. I am not sure.

Royal Academy of Arts, London, Piccadilly
Royal Academy of Arts, London – The courtyard (pic @artemporary)


Two days ago I finally went to visit my very first exhibition: “Wanderlust” by Joseph Cornell at the Royal Academy of Arts. I was sooo excited as I was standing in front of the majestic building on Piccadilly… But as I stepped inside the exhibition space, I felt like intruding someone’s very private space. Mr Cornell’s space. All his meticulously collected paraphernalia were exuding such an intimacy: a space made of loneliness and solitary voyages around the mechanic city.

Wanderlust: literally “a strong desire to travel”. Yet, aside from the period he spent at the academy in Andover, Joseph never travelled beyond the New York City area. Almost incredible, considering that his works seem to be infused with all the magic and melancholy of this world.

Before I stepped into the Royal Academy, I did not know Joseph, and our meeting was just a coincidence. There are so many artsy things in London that I could not really pick a single one. I could not. So I let my daily  errands decide the tube stop and led my way to whatever nearest arty event. And there it was – Joseph and his boxes waiting for me. A quiet encounter between two people living their lives in a big city and trying to find comfort in small and apparently frivolous things.

I have the impression I am trying to cut out and reclaim my spaces in this big city the same way Joseph claimed his corners of world in his shadow boxes. And – in doing so – we have the same feeling of nostalgia, yet this is all instilled with the purest beauty of people who have a good heart and who can still look at the world with a romanticized and almost naive Instagram filter that has still to be developed. And if the world deprives us from the magic, we create some – my private Hollywood moments.

If you are stuck in the City and feel a deep need of evasion, then Joseph Cornell’s Wanderlust is your place to be. Go and lose yourself in the poetry of the lost, forgotten beautiful objects he has assembled for his posterity – you have time until the 27th of September.

Carmela Tfr
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @artemporary

Joseph Cornell


Royal Academy of Arts

4 July — 27 September 2015

For tickets prices and exhibition info, click here.