From the Feuilletons


From the Feuilletons

Die Welt 03.07.2010

Silke Hohmann celebrates the exhibition "FischGrätenMelkStand" curated by the artist John Bock in Berlin's Temporary Kunsthalle. "The artist is a brilliant curators of other artists' works. He clusters them in groups of his own naming: 'Black Soup in Tinnitus" is a fragile interplay between an installation from Nina Canell and a wall piece by Ingrid Wiener; 'Mother Death with Pepperoni' is the name he has given to the duet between Martin Kippenberger and Heimo Zobernig, where the walls are covered in burnt salami pizzas, and restaurant plate inscribed with classic Kippenberger nonsense sits in the middle of the room, opposite a portrait of the artist scribbled by Zobernig."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 03.07.2010

Tobias Mater reports back from a deeply unsettled Pakistan which, try as it may, is struggling to come to terms with Islamic extremism. This applies for the realm of politics as well as the not insubstantial intellectual milieu: "On a stage in Lahore this evening, half a dozen liberals gathered to discuss the freedom of expression and opinion in the time of war, and the 'talibanisation of thinking' which has taken root in all areas of society. It is not a proper discussion but a series of rather protracted monologues from thinkers who are starting to feel like the last bastion in the fight – not against terrorism, but self-censorship."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 05.07.2010

Noemi Smolik decries the catastrophic legacy of the Milan Knizak, the former head of Prague's National Gallery, which will continue to be felt far into the future. "Tragicomedy is the only word to describe Knizak's collecting activities. When a body of work by Milan Grygar, the documentation of an acoustic performance and one of the key works of 1970s Czech art, went up for sale, it was snapped up by the Centre Pompidou. This was not a one-off incident. Soon you will have to travel to Paris, London or Vienna to see important Czech works of art. All we have are the works by his students."

Die Welt 07.07.2010

If you believe Manuel Brug's description of the latest German conductor crisis, this time at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, then the incumbent Music Director Kent Nagano never had a chance against Nikolas Bachler: "The chemistry between the Austrian director - a man with a mission and history of emerging victorious from intrigues - and the quiet, introverted American conductor, was wrong from the outset. It was clear that it would end in a conflict that would, at least in part, be played out in the public eye." Read more about the controversy here.

From the blogs 07.07.2010

Anette Kahane of the Amadeu-Antonio Foundation describes on the website "Mut gegen rechte Gewalt (courage against right-wing violence) a call she received from a journalist: "In Taucha, Saxony-Anhalt, a teenage boy had been singled out from a group of visitors and beaten up by some right-wing extremists, she told me. They were shouting 'Piss off you shitty Jew' and other obscenities. 'So Frau Kahane, what do you make of this? Is this anti-Semitism?' 'Of course, what else could it be?!' I replied. ''Well,' she said, 'the victim was an Israeli, you know'."

Jungle World 08.07.2010

Magnus Klaue sums up the Berlin Communism Congress. He found it deeply unpleasant that Alain Badiou (and Cecile Winter and Slavoj Zizek) seemed so intent on ascribing a progressive function to Christian anti-Judaism in the fight for universalism: "These three have all decided that in the name of the 'idea of communism', it is time to bid farewell to the view, which stems primarily from critical theory but which was also shared by Jean-Paul Sartre, according to which the fight against anti-Semitic delirium was the a priori to all forms of communism. This is the only satisfactory explanation for Badiou and Zizek's insistence on rehabilitating Christianity - something, one would otherwise expect to scare the living daylights out of even the most conformist member of the cultural Left."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 08.07.2010

The Israeli writer David Grossman, the winner of this year's Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, appeals to Israel to offer Hamas a ceasefire. Whether or not this would have any success, it would be an important gesture: "I really want to think beyond such suggestions and direct people's attention to the motives behind them. In particular, to the feeling that Israel has been trapped in a state of paralysis for many years now, and that this is spreading so rapidly that any one with eyes in their head has to acknowledge the apathy, helplessness and even the gradual disappearance of any healthy instinct for self-preservation. This is the real danger for Israel, and it is much more destructive than anything Hamas has to offer."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.07.2010

"Theatre has rarely been so disturbing, fantastical, subversive or beautiful," raves Barbara Villiger Heilig after watching Christoph Marthaler's "Papperlapapp" at the Papal Palace in Avignon. "Fragments of Palestrina and Satie, Wagner and Verdi, Bach and Mozart, Chopin and Liszt enter into a fragile dance which will open the ears of anyone willing to hear. This eclectic mix does not invite you to sing along; instead it points to the silence behind the tones. Marthaler's at once concrete and abstract, physical yet metaphysical world theatre reaches a new dimension here. It compels the audience to abandon old habits of seeing and hearing, and to surrender itself entirely to the here and now: the mysteries of the Papal Palace, the blue night, the balmy air."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 09.07.2010

On Monday, the court in Moscow is due to deliver its verdict in the trial against Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev. The public prosecutor's office and the right-wing 'People's Assembly' group want to see these curators sentenced to three years in a prison camp for their exhibition "Forbidden Art" (more here). As Sonja Zekri explains, the trial is really all about role of the church: "Is the 'People's Assembly' simply voicing the feelings of a 'marginal splinter group' as Yerofeyev recently told journalists at a press conference? Or is this trial 'a moment of truth' (Samodurov) which will reveal the hostility of the Orthodox Church towards modern art? Is the church making a bid to control Russia's cultural life? And if so, why is no one trying to intervene?" - let's talk european