31/05/2007

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.

Die Tageszeitung 31.05.2007

Mykola Riabchuk, author and co-founder of Krytyka magazine, defends Ukrainian democracy. Of course it's not perfect, he says, but people aren't shooting each other either: "It's true that Ukraine is now bordering on a bloody conflict. Yet we shouldn't forget that post-Soviet politicians, as obtuse and egoistic as they may be, are now sitting down at a table with their rivals and making deals they're not entirely happy about afterwards. But that's exactly what democracy is all about."

The initiative "Art goes Heiligendamm" is carrying out last minute preparations in the disused shipyard where the show is being held in the Baltic city of Rostock, near the seaside resort of the G8 summit location Heiligendamm. Irene Grüter visited the show, curated by Adrienne Göhler, formerly Berlin's cultural senator: "Brightly-coloured tubular stuffed cloth sacks hang from the ceilings and lie as cushions on the floor, forming an inscription that means 'Allah', according to the catalogue. 'Stitching the Wound' is the name of the work by Indonesian artist Arahmaiani, but in this context it seems more playful than painful. More than 50 artists have contributed works on the theme of globalisation. Many deal with borders and overcoming them. In 'Love Sum Game,' a video by Eytan Heller, an Israeli and a Palestinian hit a tennis ball back and forth over a high wall without ever seeing each other. Francis Zeischegg has erected a strip of fencing used for containing animals in the courtyard, fitted with a wooden ladder that invites one to climb over it. Beside it countless plastic bags rustle in the wind, which Dodi Reifenberg has knotted together into a sort of a wire fence."


Die Zeit 31.05.2007

This week's Die Zeit is a work of art. Photographer Wolfgang Tillmans (see our interview with the artist here) has had a free hand designing the feuilleton in this issue - with his own photos and selected texts, for example by the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti about fear and freedom, or by music journalist Dave Rimmer about real estate lunacy in London.


Süddeutsche Zeitung 31.05.2007

"Fences and walls across the world, as far as the eye can see!" sighs Burkhard Müller, as he looks at the one that has just gone up around the site of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. He lists fences and walls that have been put up by Syria and Turkey, by the Americans in Iraq, by Iraq against Iran, by Iran against Pakistan, by Pakistan against Afghanistan, before returning to Germany. "It would not be too exaggerated to say that the GDR became the victim of its fence – and of the awareness that was increasingly impossible to numb that it was there and what that meant. It was also the victim of enormous material costs that ensued, which however could not prevent people from seeing how they were being driven into poverty. At the end the GDR had shrunk to the size of its fence. It's similar with the G8 in Heiligendamm, even before it's started. The news reports are entirely concentrated on this fence. (...) What the parties on either side of it might otherwise be interested in has receded into the background. And so the fence remains what it always is – a blatantly symbolic act, by which violence disavows and manifests itself."


Frankfurter Rundschau
31.05.2007

"Of course a presentation like 'Met in Berlin' is going to go all out for the hits," writes Elke Buhr a day before the opening of the art blockbuster of the season, the show with 150 French masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in the Neue National Galerie Berlin. "There's no changing the fact that one can no longer expericene what once might have been radical in these works. What remains are the originals of a series of famous poster motifs."


Der Tagesspiegel 31.05.2007

Tilman P. Fichter remembers the beginning of the anti-authoritarian revolts in Berlin. On June 2, 1967, Benno Ohnesorg was shot by a police officer. "On June 3, two days before the start of the 'Six Day War', around 4,000 students gathered in mourning in front of the Economic and Social Sciences faculty of the Free University of Berlin to demand the resignation of the Berlin government. Günter Grass, who was obviously involved in an entirely different set of discussions at the time and therefore completely failed to grasp the explosive power of our protest, was petitioning for resolution to 'Israel's life-threatening situation'. We students who were still in shock about the death of Ohnesorg rejected this without debate. The same went for another proposal in which Grass offered to chair a meeting between 'young' police officers and students, which was met with an incredulous silence."

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