From the Feuilletons


Kölner Stadtanzeiger 16.02.2007

"There are no European values, only Western ones," historian Heinrich August Winkler stated yesterday in his retirement speech, which the paper prints: "Europe has never formed a community of values. This applies to Europe understood in the geographic sense, the much-cited 'Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural.' Whether we are aware of it or not, when we speak of the European Union as a community of values, we mean a community of states professing the values of the West. No one has so tellingly expressed the difference between Europe and the West as the Vienna historian Gerald Stourzh: 'Europe is not (only) the West: the West extends beyond Europe, but Europe also extends beyond the West.' Countries that see themselves as belonging to the West as a community of values are the North American Anglo-Saxon democracies of the USA and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand and – since its founding in 1948, Israel. Large parts of Europe, by contrast, had no part in the development and acquisition of values and institutions we typically consider 'Western'."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

On the media page, Heribert Seifert sums up the multiculturalism debate taking place in German on and in English on, emphasising the utopian quality of the conflict: "One of the canonical ideas of the Enlightenment was that of a universal public space to which all intelligent humans could have access at any time or place. The Internet cultural platform Perlentaucher shows that this utopian idea is entirely realisable today."

Munich zoologist Josef H. Reichholf has no doubt that the climate is getting warmer, but he points out that this is not the first dramatic climate change in the history of man, and he finds the statements by climate science wanting: "If, as climate researchers conclude, the CO2 content in the earth's atmosphere is higher now than it has been for a million years, then CO2 alone cannot account for climate change. After all, in the last warm period around 120,000 years ago, there were tropical hippopotamuses in the Rhine and the Thames. There are fossils to prove it."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Verena Lueken writes scathingly of Jennifer Lopez and Marianne Faithfull, both of whom are guests at this year's Berlinale. On Marianne Faithfull as sex club hostess and "wanking widow" Irina Palm in the eponymous film, she writes: "We have never watched another actress thinking for so long, without every finding out what on earth she's thinking about. Because what looks like thinking is – you can say this about someone people are touting as this years winner of the the Silver Bear for Best Actress – the sheer incapacity to think."

Die Tageszeitung 16.02.2007

"Complex and elegant," are the words Marcus Woeller uses to describe William Kentridge's homage to the silent film pioneer Georges Melies, which will show in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin until June 6. "During a plague of ants in his home town of Johannesburg, he made the insects accomplices in an ecriture automatique. Not only in their mass appearance do they look like black spray paint, when they densely cram themselves onto a syrup stain. In their military obedience, the ants form living lines. For days on end Kentridge filmed their traces with video. He dictated their marching direction with sugar water and had them scurry over a course of marmelade remains. Recorded in the contrast of reversal film and digitally altered, they become a whirring abstraction of moving image points and fluctuating lines. "

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Gottfried Knapp finds depth of field to die for in Andreas Gurksky's monumental photographs at the Munich Haus der Kunst, which has specially removed its lighting for the show. "Gursky has liberated himself from the constraints of central perspective, but also from the shortcomings of atmospheric perspective, which makes everything in the distance unclear. In the subtly composed aerial perspective of Greeley cattle market which stretches off into the horizon, one can still count the cows in the most distant paddocks. One could read Gursky's vertical format images with their multiple perspectives and their outrageous depth pull as camera pan wrenched from the horizontal to the vertical. In any case, the seamlessly joining of near and distant details open up a dimension of expression which earlier photography could only dream of." - let's talk european