From the Feuilletons


Monday 5 February, 2007

Süddeutsche Zeitung 05.02.2007

Eva-Elisabeth Fischer was at the premiere of three new choreographies by William Forsythe at the Festspielhaus Hellerau in Dresden. "Like music, dance is mathematics. Bill Forsythe calls one of his new pieces "Fivefold", and the name refers to the simple arithmetical structure derived from 15 dancers: 15 : 5 = 3. 'Fivefold' plays with the form of the trio. Between the other performances of the evening, which tend to come across as overly-intellectual, such a pure piece of dance clears the air and focusses on the instrument of dance - the body. It is like a virtuoso finger exercise, an artistic etude. And once more Forsythe lays bare the structures of ballet, to investigate and analyse its history."

Werner Bloch was at the Berlin transmediale festival in Berlin, which under the motto "Unfinish" focusses on "the gaps, limitations and black holes of new media art which has long resigned itself to being the Rumpelstiltskin of the Nineties." (...) "No one is pushing further at the boudaries of media art than the Australian artist stelarc. He is making his own digitally altered body into a work of art. Recently he attached a 'third ear' to himself. The new ear that is implanted on the underside of his arm is designed to receive WLAN impulses. With the help of a sound chip, anyone in his immediate vicinity will hear something, 'the artificial ear will whisper nonsense into the natural one.' ... "The 'third hand' that he had implanted for an earlier installation he now finds outdated and is keen to sell to the highest bidder."

Die Tageszeitung 05.02.2007

The Berlin International Film Festival, or Berlinale, starts on Thursday. Festival director Dieter Kosslick talks with Christina Nord about one focus this year: the menaced identity. "Whether we're dealing with pubescent youths or people thrown off balance by the pressures of globalisation, for example in the turbo-capitalism of today's China, people are having difficulties getting a grip on themselves and coming to terms with their systems."

Saturday 3 February, 2007

Die Welt 03.02.2007

Jörg Friedrich's book "The Fire" about the bombing of German cities during WWII, has met with huge interest in England, reports Thomas Kielinger from a jam-packed bookshop in London. "He repeatedly refers to himself as a 'storyteller', he wants to describe what happened at ground level and address the question of why every SS soldier who was punished for his deeds after the war was given just punishment but that the bombardment and extinction of hundreds of thousands of civilians from the air could and had to go unpunished." Because: "Civilisation had simply forgotten to contain this sort of warfare within the conventions of punishability. Which is why Friedrich refuses to be provoked by even one of the indignant questions put to him in which he was accused of branding Churchill as a 'war criminal' in his book. 'This is precisely what I do not do,' he counters. 'And I will tell you why. Firstly Churchill was a victor and there was no court he had to answer to. Secondly the mass killing of civilians did not count as illegal warfare.'" Read Jörg Friedrich's essay "The Mongol Devastations".

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In the weekend supplement the newspaper's publisher and editor Frank Schirrmacher eulogises cheeky British graffiti artist Banksy, whose tags can be purchased on Ebay and Southeby's alike – if you can chip them off the walls. But Shirrmacher is also a fan of Banksy's museum stunts. "He pulled off one of his masterpieces in the British Museum. Unbeknown to the institution he smuggled in a piece of wall on which he'd painted a hunter-gatherer cave painting. It shows a buffalo with spears in its back and a human pushing a shopping trolley. The fragment in question ('A rare specimen, most having been removed by dutiful city authorities', according to the plaque below the exhibit) was on show in a prominent place in the museum for eight days. Now the museum director has had it installed in a permanent exhibition of cave paintings."

Die Tageszeitung 03.02.2007

Magdalena Kroener has visited the Cologne exhibition "Gespräche ohne Worte" (discussions without words) showing erotic works by French philosopher Pierre Klossowski. "In Klossowski's works, men and demons struggle with feminine powers. Sometimes they appear as schoolboys, fascinated by the sight of an eternally unchanging woman with almost masculine features and matron's clothes. In this world of absolute desire there is no place for democratically negotiated equality. The woman is seduced, abducted and marvelled at, watched through an open window in the throes of love-making. Again and again, particularly in the mythologically-inspired scenes, there are overtones of sexual overpowering - where the woman always has the upper hand." - let's talk european