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The Beggar's Diary, 11.09.2007.- Filch heard a story about Andreas, one of the characters in Valérie Jouve’s film. Andreas is the man who collects bottles all around the city so that he can trade them for money. Today Filch saw this man, looking through the garbage in silence. He really has a talent at not calling any attention to himself: he's one of those silent public characters, like the man who wanders around carrying flags from all over the world, the same man who SP07 visitors, and even tour guides, have on occasion mistaken for Filch. Valérie Jouve insisted on giving Andreas credit for playing in her film, so the people of the Landesmuseum had no choice but to offer him a contract. But Andreas only goes by his name, he does not give his family name, and so he is, accordingly and officially, called Herr Andreas. "So it is possible," thinks Filch, "to drop Charles if I want to." Still, he must admit he's fond of saying: “Filch... Charles Filch.”

Filch checks his bag to see what he can sell today and sees his still unsold foreign currency: “No use keeping it, I am going nowhere (but home)." He decides to sell money. He is carefully installing his stand at the Spiekerhof when a woman comes to him and says: "Oh, my boy, I think you should better go to the bank." Filch explains banks no longer accept Deutsche Marks or small change. The woman lowers her voice, comes up close to him, and whispers the following secret in his ear: "You must use the sentence: 'Ich habe gehört das hier nette Menschen sind.’ That might help!" A group of school students pass by and one boy sings: “money, money, money, it's so funny," and leaves Filch behind with the ABBA tune stuck in his brain.

A truck stops right in front of his stand, leaving very little space for people to circulate. A man in a hurry turns and steps right on the money, then looks at Filch, shakes his head, and just goes on. "Here we go again, people blaming me for just standing still." The truck leaves and behind it, as if by magic, three girls appear, all smiles. They've come from Lithuania, and are curious about The Beggar. They check the money, but instead of buying some, they give him some more foreign money: 10 Litas (the Lithuanian currency). They even have a story to tell about the two men printed on the Lithuanian bill, Stepanos Darius and Stasys Girenas. It is rare that two people should figure on one bill, at least so they say. In any case, these two men had attempted a non-stop flight from America which ended in a crash in what is now Poland. [They were not shot down by Germans (this was 1933), and they crashed in what was still, back then, Germany]

Poland? … There goes the David Lynch character again, the woman who smiles while riding her bike and saying, in a deadpan tone: "Mein Freund sitzt am Domplatz." Her smile really beams every time after she says that. Filch smiles back, considering the hidden meaning of it, and they both stay there as in a video still.
A group from Latvia comes by him, and they gives him one Hryvnia (from Ukraine); the David Lynch-esque woman disappears.
A middle-aged German comes to his stand, and takes out his glasses to inspect the money. He shows a genuine interest for the 10 Deutsche Mark.
"Want to buy some money?" asks Filch.
"How much you want for the 10 DM?" the man asks.
"It's worth 5,11 Euro, but as it is older and is sort of a collector's item value, I’m asking for 6 Euro."
The man is not impressed; he opens up his wallet and shows Filch an identical 10 DM bill.
"But why would you want to keep that?" asks Filch.
The man explains he believes that the Euro won't last and the Deutsche Mark will return ("in great style," Filch completes the sentence). "Then you should buy my 10 DM!" But the man laughs and leaves the scene.

Things are quieting down again, and Filch isn't one Euro cent richer than he was at the start of the day. Some SP07 visitors walk around his spot, consult the map, and then turn into the Wegesende, the street where most visitors expect to find The Beggar. This is all because the number 06 on the map is placed on the Wegesende, which is, as its name says, a dead-end street. They come back, as many others visitors before them, and find Filch there ready to sell anything: "You wanna buy a balloon from the Sculpture Project? I have them in different colours!! Only 10 cents!"
It’s possible Filch might have come on too strong, because they try to get rid of him, but he insists, this time adopting a new strategy:
"Looking for sculpture 06?"
And a man, clearly annoyed, replies that they've already seen it.
"Oh, really, and what does it look like, this sculpture 06?"
"Well, it's a metal hedge with red and white colours and a sign."

The last man he meets at the Spiekerhof is a very fervent Scandinavian. Filch had already cleared his stand and was ready to leave. But, to prolong their conversation, and given that the man wanted to see the video of Drama Queens by Elmgreen and Dragset, they head to the museum together.
This man, Mats Gustafsson, turns out to be a dentist and a rock star, but Filch has quite forgotten the name of the Scandinavian country he’s from and of his band, because he was more interested in the social security system over there. When asked, Mats answers that, once you are unemployed, you can receive money forever.
"Wow… I have to see it to believe it!"
"Well, I'll invite you to come over and we'll pay for everything!"

Filch goes into the museum bookshop and finds a book with drawings of all the SP07 sculptures. He remembers Cyril Bihain,* the man who drew his portrait some weeks ago … well the book is now published! Filch cannot hide his pride and shows the book to the shopkeeper; her friend says Filch is like a messenger in town, just by being there.
He says: "You always leave a mark."

A young man in town is trying to sell some CDs from some sort of Hare Krishna label. His own, actually; the man lived in India for five years. Although Filch feels a lot of sympathy for the man (he looks uncannily like him), he simply cannot afford to buy one of his CDs. In the end, after Filch discloses his identity, they trade 5 Australian dollars and 1 American dollar for one CD, plus a pamphlet about the revolution to come—a peaceful one, most certainly. They talk a bit longer, and Filch learns about the Dharma of the beggar and Madhu Kari, which means "honey bee": as a bee, a Sadu or holy man goes from home to home to receive some food, but they do it in such a way that "they don't overburden one house."

Filch tries to distribute his little fliers for money but all he gets are negative responses from the people of Muenster; they are absolutely not interested. He only manages to secure a little attention when he presents himself as No. 06, from SP07. Then people read them. But somehow this doesn't make him happy at all.

He goes all the way to the Tormin bridge to be left alone. He needs some time all by himself. As he sits down near Susan Philipsz’s piece, two fishermen throw their lines just as the song starts: "Lovely night, oh night of love, smile upon our joys!"

*Cyril Bihain, "Travel between sculptures: Münster in 2007"
Monsenstein and Vannerdat

Thu 13
Sep 2007

hey PB! not a bad idea, but

Posted by anonymous user

hey PB!
not a bad idea, but then ur stories must be reeeeeally good

Thu 13
Sep 2007

hey filch, you know what?

Posted by anonymous user

hey filch, you know what? I've been making up stories during the whole "spätschicht" to get massages. Thank you. I'll ask MQ if she possibly can imagine starting up an enterprise with that.

Thu 13
Sep 2007

Isn't it always like that?

Posted by anonymous user

Isn't it always like that? People have to present themselves as a number before they get the attention they actually want...another unnessecary (sic!) experience some people (also Filch) have to go through.

carpe diem!