The Local View ? Neighbourhood Cinemas and Alternative Film Projects

Many small neighbourhood cinemas invested in the future. The digital options for showing films are opening up new vistas for alternative projects. Not all of them are legal.... more more

GoetheInstitute

24/10/2006

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Süddeutsche Zeitung 24.10.2006

Andrian Kreye travels to New York to watch curator Klaus Biesenbach at work in his new post at MoMA where he is setting up a new department for media. Biesenbach has commissioned a new video by US artist Doug Aitken and goes to meet him and the cast, Donald Sutherland included, on set. "What now follows is one of these society rituals which make life in America so pleasant while casually constructing new rungs on the career ladder... Biesenbach is one of those people who master these rituals with perfect ease. In MoMA he is already cultivating them with exclusive cocktail parties and glamorous openings, where a network has formed of young artists, actors and musicians who have been homeless since the decline of the downtown club in New York. Back in Berlin, where Biesenbach has built up the Kunst Werke art institute since 1990, his contemporaries were always suspicious of his social intelligence. Only recently a gallerist told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that Biesenbach's networking abilities were nothing more than 'slimy social posing'."


Frankfurter Rundschau
24.10.2006

Ulf Erdmann Ziegler portrays British artist Stephen Willats, who is now being featured in an exhibition at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Siegen. Willats moved out of Notting Hill in the 70s to do "folk art without folklore." That worked particularly well in Berlin's Gropiusstadt council housing estate, where he let the inhabitants speak into a tape recorder. The result was predictable, writes Ziegler. "Yet Willat's mouse-coloured, concrete-grey installation on '4 Islands in Berlin' (meaning West Berlin) – with photos criss-crossed with graphic symbols and bare loudspeakers rambling on above the suspended partitions – is a shock, because it really does succeed in arresting time, and in rendering the psycho-social atmosphere of the day. The work dates from 1979/80. Later Willats went back to Berlin and portrayed in a delicately coloured tableau the situation of a young woman, the last resident of a condemned student dormitory on Schlachtensee lake. The work 'I want to live in a democratically determined household', depicts the glaring gap between utopia and reality."

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich reports on a shocking development at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, one of the most important annual festivals of contemporary music: "The cosy little forum for contemporary music premieres is now bursting at its seams. Insiders of avant-garde music are now in the minority. Ever younger audiences fill the halls, which simply couldn't be big enough. A powerful tradition is, so to speak, reaping the profits of its brand name... Even now some new productions no longer have enough space. That the Arditti String Quartet had to perform its intense, arduous programme (Wolfgang Rihm's new piece 'Akt und Tag' is slightly disappointing despite its distinct qualities) as many as three times in a church (people still had to be turned away), is a tour de force for the musicians that's almost bad for their health. People back at the Südwest Rundfunk broadcaster, which organises the festival, are rubbing their eyes at how a seemingly marginal event has turned into a major cultural attraction."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 24.10.2006

Eleonore Büning was also at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, and was most impressed by Georg Friedrich Haas' sound installation "Hyperion", which in turn is conducted by a light installation by the artist Rosalie: "Very soon the sounds swell up and are hammered out in repetition. An avalanche of brass glissandi and chord shifts build imaginary walls before rubbing up against the audience from all sides. Five dozen strings saw away to the left, four grand pianos play to the right, and brass instruments blare out from the gallery. Across from them the woodwinds have formed a line of attack, while eight percussionists give a structure to it all."


Die Tageszeitung 24.10.2006

Benno Schirrmeister visited the Bremen Society for Contemporary Art where an exhibition "bin beschäftigt" (I'm busy) explores our neurotic relationship to work. "On the side wall, German artist Corinna Schnitt's video 'Between four and six' is being beamed. Schnitt has filmed the spare-time activities of an elderly couple and their grown-up daughter. In their housing estate, this family gets up early every Sunday morning - and cleans the traffic signs.... Schnitt's camera follows at a distance as they stride through the empty suburban streets: three people with ladder and bucket, always waiting for the green man before crossing the road, although there are no cars about. Three people doing nothing wrong, carrying out an activity which harms no one. Every Sunday, and in case of illness, a voice from the off says, the neighbour springs in to help - so infectious is the fire of involvement, so communicative the energy, yet so mysterious. Because there's no way of knowing what this activity is an ersatz for, what fears it numbs and what horrors it hides."

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 11 - 17 December, 2010

A clutch of German newspapers launch an appeal against the criminalisation of Wikileaks. Vera Lengsfeld remembers GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs and how he met death in his cell. All the papers were bowled over Xavier Beauvois' film "Of Gods and Men." The FR enjoys a joke but not a picnic at a staging of Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" in Berlin. Gustav Seibt provides a lurid description of Napoleonic soap in the SZ. German-Turkish Dogan Akhanli author explains what it feels like to be Josef K.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 December

Colombian writer Hector Abad defends Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa against European Latin-America romantics. Wikileaks dissident Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticises the new publication policy of his former employer. The Sprengel Museum has put on a show of child nudes by die Brücke artists. The SZ takes a walk through the Internet woods with FAZ prophet of doom Frank Schirrmacher. The FAZ is troubled by Christian Thielemann's unstable tempo in the Beethoven cycle. And the FR meets China Free Press publisher, Bao Pu.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December

Danish author Frederik Stjernfelt explains how the Left got its culturist ideas. Slavenka Draculic writes about censoring Angelina Jolie who wanted to make a film in Bosnia. Daniel Cohn-Bendit talks   about his friendship, falling out and reconciliation with Jean-Luc Godard. Wikileaks has caused an embarrassed silence in the Arab world, where not even al-Jazeera reported on the what the sheiks really think. Alan Posener calls for the Hannah Arendt Institute in Dresden to be shut down.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

The theatre event of the week came in a twin pack: Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, a post-colonial "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" opened at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Thalia in Hamburg. The anarchist pamphlet "The Coming Insurrection" has at last been translated into German and has ignited the revolutionary sympathies of at least two leading German broadsheets, the FAZ and the SZ. But the taz, Germany's left-wing daily, says the pamphlet is strongly right-wing. What's left and right anyway? came the reply.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

The NZZ asks why banks invest in art. The FAZ gawps at the unnatural stack of stomach muscles in Michelangelo's drawings. The taz witnesses a giant step for the "Yugo palaver". Bernard-Henri Levy describes Sakineh Ashtiani's impending execution as a test for Iran and the west. Journalist Michael Anti talks about the healthy relationship between the net and the Chinese media. Literary academic Helmut Lethen describes how Ernst Jünger stripped the worker of all organic substances.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 16 - Friday 22 October, 2010

A new book chronicles the revolt of revolting "third persons" at Suhrkamp publishers in the wild days of 1968. Necla Kelek is appalled by the speech of the very Christian Christian Wulff, the German president, in Turkey. The taz met a new faction of hardcore Palestinians who are fighting for separate sex hairdressing in Gaza. Sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the new Chinese willingness to restructure the heart. And the Cologne band Erdmöbel celebrate the famous halo around the frying pan.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 9 - Friday 15 October, 2010

The FR laps up the muscular male bodies and bellies at the Michelangelo exhibition in the Viennese Albertina. The same paper is outraged by the cowardice of the Berlin exhibition "Hitler and the Germans". Mario Vargas-Llosa remembers a bad line from Sweden. Theologist Friedrich Wilhelm Graf makes it very clear that Western values are not Judaeo-Christian values. The Achse des Guten is annoyed by the attempts of the mainstream media to dismiss Mario Vargas-Llosa. The NZZ celebrates the tireless self-demolition of Polish writer and satirist Slawomir Mrozek.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare explains why his country has become uninhabitable. German Book Prize winner Melinda Nadj Abonji says Switzerland only pretends to be liberal. German author Monika Maron is not sure that Islam really does belong to Germany. Russian writer Oleg Yuriev explains the disastrous effects of postmodernism on the Petersburg Hermitage. Argentinian author Martin Caparros describes how the Kirchners have co-opted the country's revolutionary history. And publisher Damian Tabarovsky explains why 2001 was such an explosively creative year for Argentina.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 25 September - Friday 1 October

Three East German theatre directors talk about the trauma of reunification. In the FAZ, Thilo Sarrazin denies accusations that his book propagates eugenics: "I am interested in the interplay of nature and nurture." Polemics are being drowned out by blaring lullabies, author Thea Dorn despairs. Author Iris Radisch is dismayed by the state of the German novel - too much idle chatter, not enough literary clout. Der Spiegel posts its interview with the German WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt. And Vaclav Havel's appeal to award the Nobel prize to Liu Xiabobo has the Chinese authorities pulling out their hair.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 18 - Friday 24 September, 2010

Herta Müller's response to the news that poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant was one of overwhelming grief: "When he returned home from the gulag he was everybody's game." Theatre director Luk Perceval talks about the veiled depression in his theatre. Cartoonist Molly Norris has disappeared after receiving death threats for her "Everybody Draw Mohammed" campaign. The Berliner Zeitung approves of the mellowing in Pierre Boulez' music. And Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, allowed to leave China for the first time, explains why schnapps is his most important writing tool.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 10 - Friday 17 September, 2010

The poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant, the historian Stefan Sienerth has discovered. Biologist Veronika Lipphardt dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's incendiary intelligence theories as a load of codswallop. A number of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Germany have written an open letter to President Christian Wulff, calling for him to "make a stand for a democratic culture based on mutual respect." And a Shell study has revealed that Germany's youth aspire to be just like their parents.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin has buckled under the stress of the past two weeks and resigned from the board of the Central Bank. His book, "Germany is abolishing itself", however, continues to keep Germany locked in a debate about education and immigration and intelligence. Also this week, Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has been awarded the M100 prize for defending freedom of opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the award ceremony: "The secret of freedom is courage". The FAZ interviewed Westergaard, who expressed his disappointment that the only people who had shown him no support were those of his own class.
read more