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GoetheInstitute

26/04/2006

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.

Olaf Metzel's contested World Cup sculpture

The city of Nuremberg is now installing a sculpture by artist Olaf Metzel that will cover up the city's landmark, the Schöne Brunnen or Beautiful Fountain, with a double-helix of chairs removed from Berlin's Olympic Stadium during renovations. Nurnberg citizens have been up in arms in protest for the last two days, calling the 17 metre high sculpture entitled "Auf Wiedersehen", one of several sculptures by contemporary artists commissioned across the country for the World Cup, a disgrace to their city.

Peter Iden comments on the protests in the Frankfurter Rundschau: "Anyone who decides in favour of Metzel should be well aware who they're dealing with here: without question the most provocative artist in Germany today." Yet Iden finds it strange that the plan to cover up the fountain for six weeks is ruffling feathers, because "in fact the fountain as it stands does not contain a single original stone. Just a few fragments are now kept in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. The act of hiding the well is suddenly being recognised as the artistic event that it actually is: covering it up is in fact a means of discovering it."

"If you like, this sculpture should be seen as a lethal pass with a flick of the ankle." In an interview in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Olaf Metzel answers the widespread brouhaha caused by his sculture, saying he will stick things out to the end: "I used to play soccer myself. I was a forward, on the left wing. When I'd had enough and told my coach to take me off because I couldn't go on, he said: You stay in until there's a corner kick from the right. I always faked the corners then played the ball behind the backs of the defence, and the ball was in. After that I was allowed to go off."


Die Tageszeitung, 26.04.2006


Newspaper publisher and writer Ilija Trojanow describes the nightlife on the small island of Bahrain, which every weekend is swamped by Saudi Arabian men "hurling themselves headlong into everything that is forbidden back home.... They stop at the first 'Bottle Store' which belongs to the prime minister of Bahrain and guzzle down their first bottles like thirsty camels. Then they drive around the island, drinking, looking for bars and drinking, and some end the evening in discos like Garfield's. There you find elderly sheiks in traditional dress with under-age Thai girls on their laps." This "lack of orientation" writes Trojanow, stems "not from fact that the Arab world has failed to modernise, but that it has modernised too fast."
See our feature "The collector of worlds" on Ilija Trojanow's latest book.

Roland Pawlitschko presents the Austrian phenomenon Mpreis, which has yet to find a footing in Germany. The supermarket chain sets store by the architecture of its outlets. "Together with Innsbruck architect Heinz Planatscher, the company built their first free-standing shops in 1980, and caused a furore with the ambitious architectural design. Generous, clearly-structured and translucent interiors, a delicate balance of materials and multiple views of the Tirolean mountains afforded by a liberal use of glass, set new standards among self-service supermarkets. Now the company has around 140 outlets, countless architecture prizes and awards, and 15 stores were even on show at the architecture Biennial in Venice in 2004. 'There are supermarkets, there are super markets and there is Mpreis', British design magazine Wallpaper once wrote."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26.04.2006

Jordan Mejias presents choreographer Alonzo King and his Lines Ballet from San Francisco. For King, ballet is not about artificial style, it's something natural: "The type of dance performed in the court of Catherine de Medici still affects ballet today. For example in Alonzo King's classically trained troupe, who are not scared off by jetés or fouettés. But King is not content just to trace his art back a mere half millennium. He's also turned his attention to the Central African BaAka people, where he's discovered the same turns and jumps that once delighted the French court."

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