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GoetheInstitute

29/08/2007

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.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 29.08.2007

Barbara Spengler-Axiopoulos reports on how the the forest fires in Greece have been shamelessly exploited by television and politicians. While the first push out the tears, the second lure voters with wads of cash. But real help lies elsewhere, Spengler-Axiopoulos writes. "Already in July, the WWF demanded that the EU introduce a ban on construction in burned-out forest areas. Conservationists count real estate speculators, negligent forestry officials, incompetent politicians and sprawling garbage dumps among the causes of the catastrophe. In their opinion droughts and extreme heat waves will increase due as a result of the climate change. They demand sustainable reforestation, an end to the practises of monoculture and uniform tree growth, and the reintroduction of local tree varieties."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 29.08.2007

Johan Schloemann speaks with archaeologist Ulrich Sinne on the extent of the fire damage at Olympia and fires in Antiquity: "Certainly, even in ancient times people were unhappy about having to choose between human lives and temples. If we leave aside the notorious arsonist Herostrat, that is, who set fire to the famous Artemis temple in Ephesus to ensure a place in history. Another widely revered temple, the Hera Temple in Argos on the Peloponnese, once went up in flames through the carelessness of a priestess, who had failed to watch over the oil lamps one night. That was considered an enormous sacrilege, and she fled rather than face punishment. From such reports we can judge how the loss of a temple - that is a divine possession - was measured in those days. In fact it was the norm back then to demand that people should first save the property of the gods, and then those of the mortals."

Karola Grässlin (45) is the new curator at the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. As the daughter of the famous Schwarzwald collector family (more here) she grew up with art. In her debut exhibition at the museum, "Who's afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?", "Grässlin proves her skills as a dramaturg, with a sophisticated staging of the school of colour. Gerhard Richter's 18 colour panels are each allowed to unfold their effects in isolation, and then mixed together they form the sad "Grau" (1976) which hangs opposite. Each room extends the spectrum, colour surfaces enter into an exhilarated dialogue. Heimo Zobernig's energetic brush strokes bring dynamism to the black canvas. Dan Flavin creates immaterial colours with neon light. Günther Förg nears the sculptural, the metal surfaces of his lead-painted canvasses are painterly reliefs with idiosyncratic, organic forms which contrast with the harsh lines and planes. And to crown it off, Stephen Prina has performed an attack on the monochromatic painting. In "Push comes to love: Untitled" (1999/2000) he sprayed a black dripping blotch onto a blue background, emptying the contents of precisely one spray can."


Die Tageszeitung 29.08.2007

The Venice Film Festival opens today and Tilman Baumgärtel talked to Philippine filmmaker Lav Diaz. Diaz' 540 minute opus, "Death in the Land of Encantos" combining feature film and documentary will be shown at the close of the festival. When asked about the length of his takes, Diaz explains "I no longer believe that cinema involves sitting in the cinema for two hours to watch a story that has been compressed to fit this time span. My films are like paintings which, first of all, are simply there. Nothing changes. You can watch them for eight hours at a stretch and have an enriching experience. Or you can leave for two hours and they'll still be there when you come back."


Die Welt
29.08.2007

Hanns-Georg Rodek gives us the lowdown on all we need to know about Bollywood megastar Aishwarya Rai, whose film "The Last Legion" hits German screens tomorrow. For example, that she was allowed to marry the son of supermega star Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, despite being born under the wrong Mars constellation. "The problem was Rai's date of birth, November 1st 1973. She came into the world as a 'Manglik' and those born in this Mars constellation are only supposed to marry other Mangliks. If you break this rule, astrologists warn, you risk illness, irascibility, divorce and the first to die will be the non-Manglik. Quite out of the question for the Bachchan clan. But the curse of the stars can be broken by first marrying someone else, which is why Aishwarya the bride, was first pledged to a tree."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 29.08.2007

Eleonore Büning spent eight thrilling evenings listening to rare piano music at the "Raritäten der Klaviermusic" festival in Husum Castle in Schleswig-Holstein on the North Sea. "Of course there were also several monumental virtuoso pieces, legendary Himalaya peaks you often hear about but never hear played because they surpass every limit of the humanly possible. Charles Valentin Alkan's 'Grande Sonate op. 33' is one such summit. It depicts four ages of man, and dedicates a stormy, seven-voiced fugato to man in the prime of life in the form of a scene from Faust. Another such peak is Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji's piano adaptation of the final scene from Richard Strauss's opera 'Salome'. It had the floorboards palpitating in the concert hall, and brought the flock of crows circling in the castle park to a momentary hushed silence."

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