21/10/2005

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, 21.10.2005

Senegalese author and journalist Boubacar Boris Diop expresses anger at the images coming from Ceuta and Melilla – anger at the EU which is so radically sealing itself off from the refugees, and anger at the African governments that make life so unliveable for their inhabitants. "What hurt me the most was the spectacle of these miserable exile candidates, waiting like animals at the slaughterhouse to accept their fate. As an African I felt shame and – I'll admit – a dull anger. If you're ready to sacrifice your life to leave your country, why not put all that sacrificial energy into serving it, into investing your life there, at least to help future generations? That's what I find hard to understand."


Der Tagesspiegel, 21.10.2005

Christina Tilman and Michael Zajonz talk with painter Bernhard Heisig ("Ikarus") about a major retrospective of his works opening tomorrow in Berlin after Leipzig and Düsseldorf, and about the "Leipzig School" of artists, of which he is generally regarded founding father. "I can't say anything about it. Neo Rauch was sent to me by Arno Rink to be a 'Meisterschüler' under my direction. After his fifth time at the atelier he was doing exactly the opposite of everything I said. I suggested we forget the whole thing. I simply didn't understand how he was programmed. But the term 'Leipzig School' was always questionable. In fact it wasn't a school at all. For instance Wolfgang Mattheuer ('Guten Tag') and me were diametrically opposed. Even Werner Tübke ('Man – the Measure of all things') had a completely different way of viewing art. But what bound us together was our commitment to the human figure. For us that was the most important medium for an artist."

See our feature "The only thing I can really paint well is anger", an interview with Bernhard Heisig.


Die Welt, 21.10.2005


Wibke Gerking reports on the Donaueschinger Musiktagen festival, where Beat Furrer and director Christoph Marthaler put audiences of their work "Fama", based on Arthur Schnitzler's novella "Fraulein Else" in a sort of shoebox with a lid. "The sounds comes from outside the box, whose walls are like vertical roller blinds. Each segment can be rotated, leaving sometimes larger, sometimes smaller amounts of air and sound into the box. The musicians sit facing the box or slip back and forth along the wall, while the lead actress slips in and out through the gaps. Sometimes she speaks her text, sometimes she stutters it, recreating the gripping atmosphere of what it's like to be constricted and at the mercy of others, to long for the outside world. It's as though you were sitting in the soul of Schnitzler's Fräuline Else, the young fin de siecle woman who, just after discovering her own beauty, is to be married off to a wealthy man. Naked and alone in her hotel room, she prepares to create scandal, driven on by her disgust at the world.... Furrer and Marthaler make good use of the impressive acoustic possibilities of the sound box. In the dark, the urgent voice of Isabelle Menke comes close to your ear. Then everything is bathed in harsh light while brass tones blare in from outside, making you blink and shrink back. At no point can you anticipate where the voice, music or light will appear next."


Die Tageszeitung, 21.10.2005

French author and philosopher Camille de Toledo speaks in an interview with Jochen Förster about his book "Goodbye, Tristesse", globalisation and why he isn't able to draw breath any more in this world order that promises so much happiness. "The so-called free democratic system is a closed system, in other words ignorant. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West has been dominated by an economic rationality based on product and service, merchandising and consumption. It spreads quickly and is, at the same time, cynical, empty and slick. Imagine you were Christopher Columbus and wanted to know what was on the other side of the ocean and someone comes and tells you, we know already, it's already on our map. There is no outside in this order and therefore we all have problems breathing."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 21.10.2005

With Germany hosting the upcoming FIFA World Cup, the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin has opened an exhibition that explores the relationship between soccer and art. Thomas Medicus writes, "'Rundlederwelten' (round leather worlds) is the name of an exhibition conceived by Harald Szeemann, who died recently. 'Rundlederwelten' sounds like the password into a universal culture full of magic, myth and secrecy even though in the World Cup of 1986, leather had to give way to synthetics. One enters into the Foosball game of the Uruguayan artist Federico Arnaud. The playing surface is a heavenly light blue, the players are angels and saints and Jesus figures. You only have to look once at the Futbolito altar to comprehend something of the Christian-pagan significance of football in South America, in fact on the entire continent. Similar is the impression made by the video projection of Stephen Dean, which shows neither a player nor a ball but rather Brazilian spectators, whose enthusiasm is expressed in a ritualised, spontaneous choreography."

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