From the Feuilletons


Monday 17 September, 2007

Süddeutsche Zeitung 17.09.2007

At a special service for the inauguration of the Kolumba art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne, Archbishop Joachim Meisner stated on Friday: "Where culture is estranged from worship, the cult stagnates in ritualism, and culture degenerates. It loses its centre" (news story). The remark has met with widespread disapproval, echoing as it does the Nazi idea of "degenerate art." Gustav Seibt responds by remarking that Christianity itself is not innocent of developments in modern art. "The legacy of Christian art is still with us today, bearing witness to the drama and emotional excesses born of the tension between the consciousness of sin and the hope for redemption. The excessiveness of Catholic baroque painting in Italy unsettled the Protestant classicist Goethe so much that decades later he asked how one could paint such appalling things. The second legacy of Christian art is its relentless realism, above all in painting. God became human as the son of a craftsman, and was born in a manger. Again and again, art has been inspired by these beginnings to devote itself to the simple realities of life, epitomised by Caravaggio and Rembrandt. In their works the Apostles have calloused feet and the prophets are short-sighted old men."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 17.09.2007

Verena Lueken saw several American films that centre on Iraq at the Toronto Film Festival and concludes: "While political commentators have been debating for a long time if and what parallels there might be between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, cinema has already decided that the engagements are completely different. But the errors of legitimation, the self-conception of America that stands behind them and the atmosphere on the home front is comparable. And it is definitely the case that, just as cinemas the world over have had the Vietnam film since the 70s and 80s, they now have the American Iraq-film."

Der Tagesspiegel
, 17.09.2007

Writer Kathrin Röggla has read Naomi Klein's new globalisation-critical best-seller "The Shock Doctrine" (more). She is persuaded by Klein's thesis that the liberal economic theories of economist Milton Friedman have been implemented through crisis scenarios induced for the purpose. "She looks at the influence of his school in a variety of countries over the last 50 years and concludes that this most radical form of a market economy never comes about democratically, but rather is established through shocks and crises that are often instigated by multinationals with the cooperation of the CIA or other government organisations and then maintained with terror – simply because the process involves plundering entire classes of society whose potential for resistance has to be broken."

Frankfurter Rundschau
, 17.09.2007

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich encourages us to forget Anna Netrebko: only mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli deserves the crown of prima donna. The conclusion is reached after listening to Bartoli's latest album, "Maria". "Taking a close look at the 150-page picture-booklet stuck into the CD, one notices that there is only one picture, on page 9, that looks even moderately like the real Bartoli. Why deny it: Ceclia Bartoli is small and chubby. But on stage she is a ball of power and lithesome energy, wild in every fibre, a passionate or intelligent-reflective, wide awake actress, cat-like in a different way from Callas but with no less talent for grandeur."

Saturday 15 September
, 2007

Berliner Zeitung 15.09.2007

Sonja Margolina presents a manifesto by the influential journalist with the congenial name Maxim Kalashnikov. The document, promoted by the Orthodox Church, addresses the renewal of Russia: "The 800 page manifesto blends conservative organisational ideas from the 19th century, fascist approaches to modernisation and post-modern Eurasian fantasies. Clearly visible, in addition, are Soviet thought patterns which betray the origins of the supposedly Orthodox thinker. Soviet ideology, cross-fertilised by Orthodox nationalism, has given birth to clerical fascism."

Die Tageszeitung 15.09.2007

The newspaper prints a special edition dedicated to the future of the newspaper in the era of the Internet. The most optimistic anti-Internet spokesperson is Swiss publisher Michael Ringier, who speaks in an interview with Bascha Miki and Georg Löwisch: "In the Internet, I mostly find what I'm looking for. In newspapers I find things that I never knew interested me. When I glance at the double page of a newspaper, within seconds I've picked out what I want to read. It can be something I wouldn't have found otherwise, because I'd no idea it existed. Added to that, reading a paper is far more enjoyable than reading a monitor. No technology in the world can change that."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 15.09.2007

Roger M. Buergel, curator of the Documenta 12 exhibition in Kassel, has been widely criticised for this year's event, and has himself criticised his critics in Spiegel magazine. That doesn't stop Gottfried Knapp from taking negative stock of the show, which ends this coming Sunday: "The criteria used by Buergel and his team to select the artists for this year's event were all too transparent. Apparently this show was meant to morally rectify earlier Documentas by illuminating niches that had previously been ignominiously overlooked. The basic prerequisite for participating this year was that artists should belong to a minority neglected by the market. They had to be either women - more than half are - or have made clearly critical political or social statements with their works. They had to be from the Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa or South America. Or they had to have the benefit of old age and have made meaningful contributions to art thirty years ago, which unfortunately went unnoticed at the time." - let's talk european