Venice Diary
May 23, 2007
Day 0

We arrived in Venice after a short but sweaty trip. Dragged our suitcases three floors up a steep and narrow staircase. First bad news. No hot water in the apartment! Huseyin's friend Alessandro, the owner of one of the best delitacessens in Venice, cooks for us, and treats us like VIP guests.

May 24, 2007
Day 1

We arrive at the space after passing a plethora of spaces pasted up with dry walls. First good news! The “Don’t Complain” crates arrive at the Artigleria by boat as at the same time we walk into the space. We are dying to see if “ Don’t Complain” is working properly. After waiting for electricians for hours on end to bring us a plug adapter to check the installation we steal an adaptor from the neighboring exhibition and test the light installation to see if all the LEDS are working. Unsatisfied with the white LEDs and faced with the problem of a loose connection on the “I”. Huseyin decides to apply the red filters brought in with the shipment. It is Hard work trying to get the air bubbles out underneath the film. Hmmm, the apostrophe is missing... Photos

May 25, 2007
Day 2

30 tons of wood arrive from Vaasa at the same time as when the electricians show up. The woods were both carried in and brought in with forklifts through the front of the venue. Umberto –the leader of transportation- says “Don’t Complain” is something trans-cultural. The electricians along with our interlocutor- Jacobi, a small guy with huge skills- installs “Don’t Complain.” Perfect! Photos

May 26, 2007
Day 3

Joachim, Maria and Erasmus arrive from Finland to join us. We paint 40 chairs and tables. Ustungel comes back from the long hunt for heavy equipment. Huseyin falls from fatique and starts to dose off. Storm descends upon Venice, so we must hurry desperately to cover the wood ouside. Ustungel makes miracles. The whole Arsenale is empty. Huseyin says it Siricco. We find out the next day that he is right. Photos

May 27, 2007
Day 4

Sunday, an obligatory day off. With nothing much to do, we squabbled over each other. Especially when we learn that Peter, Johan and Hasse’s flights are cancelled due to the strike at Vaasa. This means we lose 1.5 days. At least Peppe and Maria from Cheap Finnish Labor manage to come. Photos

May 28, 2007
Day 5

We did touch ups to the chairs and tables that we painted yesterday. Üstungel and Hüseyin went on a hunt for fabrics to upholster the seats. After an adventurous couple of hours and despite the Venetian siesta, they succeeded in getting the perfect materials. We covered the chairs with great care. Thankfully, at night Peter, Johan, and Hasse arrived in Venice by night. Photos

May 29, 2007
Day 6

The day starts with Maria and Johan drawing the installation plan on the floor. Palettes are placed on the ground accordingly. We construct the wooden basement over the palettes. The old Finnish barns’ logs are placed close to the “imaginary” walls. Like a miracle, in a couple of hours CFL builds up the first barn! By late afternoon, they have almost erected the second one. We seem to be catching up with the installation schedule. We all deserve a dinner together! Photos

May 30, 2007
Day 7

The morning starts with finishing the second barn. We were happy to see the roof is there when we arrive. We wonder why the horseshoe is upside down. Hasse tells us that they changed its position to collect luck! However we did not think that was the case since we saw one of the lamps for the interior come out of the box in pieces. The one that Huseyin loved the most! Then one by one we check to see if the monitors are working properly. Perfect timing, Minna has arrived! We check the hanging gear and give the measures to the CFL. The final job of the day is to cable the barns for screening and building up the two barns in between the main three. Photos

May 31, 2007
Day 8

The very first thing to do in the morning is to install the frames into the interior walls. This is important to do first so that we can do wallpapering and electric cabling over the next few days. The roofs are finished and covered with black paper to reduce the light coming in. Huseyin converts one of the spaces into an office.

June 1, 2007
Day 9

We finally move to wallpapering the interior walls. However, due to a miscalculation of 7 centimeters, we have to put additional wood pieces into the frames completed yesterday. This slows down the process. Meanwhile, we finish the roofs of two of the barns. We had three additional workforces today: Ulrika, Kemal and Gulay. Ulrika directly went to paint the wallpapers, Gulay went to buy more "secure" cables (as the Italian electrician calls them) and Kemal prepared the lighting for the spaces and started to hook up the monitors. Tomorrow we hope to install the new "I" that Kemal brought with him from Istanbul. All is looking good. Photos

June 2, 2007
Day 10

Today we realized that after the main, visible tasks are done, the pace slows down and it gets difficult to finish up disheartening at times. So, we continue with the small, “invisible” tasks: Wallpapering, painting the walls, changing the cables of the lamps, and cabling the whole structure. Since today is a national holiday, we cannot find any shops open to buy the necessary equipment. We have to wait until Monday to install the lamps and the DVDs. Another disheartening thing was that Jacobi who could not come to fix “Don’t Complain”s “I” and the apostrophe as he promised. He wanted us to call his boss Gerardo, and “on Monday,” Gerardo replied. Peter built a nice window for one of the barns. The day ended with Robert Storr’s assistant Anna interviewing Vasif and Huseyin. Photos

June 3, 2007
Day 11

Small, but important, detail work is on our agenda again. We continue with wallpapering and painting the walls, ceilings, and floors. Peppe had “trabant beige” dots all over his face. Hasse, Peter and Johan gave the final shape to the barns by cutting the excess woods on the corners. Camila and Marino arrived today, and Huseyin was as happy as a child! The night ended with Vasif auto-DJing with Mika [Hannula] at a bar by the fish market in Rialto for the low-fi Estonian pavilion party. Photos

June 4, 2007
Day 12

We gather up the all the wood and the garbage we want to throw away. We place them on palettes and the contractors come with a forklift to take them away. Now it looks that we have done quite a job. We bought the necessary equipment for the electric and electronic tasks. The idea was to finish the whole thing today, but there are still a couple of things to be done tomorrow. Photos

June 5, 2007
Day 13

This is our last day before the vernissage. We connect all the lighting and electronics, except for two screens. The electricians finally show up and fix our “I” and the apostrophe. Now, “Don’t Complain” shines with total glamour. The lamps are installed and the floors are cleaned. We are only missing two DVD’s to be prepared and then everything will be complete. Photos

June 6, 2007
Day 14

After a sleepless night the DVD’s are ready for the show. In the early morning we rush to the venue and install the DVDs and we all are horrified with the result: One of the monitors is not working properly! After hundreds of phone calls and stressful time, we find out that we will get the electronic circuit tomorrow carried by Baba Zula.

June 7, 2007
Day 15

The circuit board arrives in the afternoon, and we can only replace it after the venue closes. After 20.00 we finally mend it and can see another piece from Cihangir. This should be the end of the process, we all think and looks like so for the moment.