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Migrating the Feminine

by
Nora Amin
25.01.16
180 min
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Co-Workers, installation view. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Photo: © Pierre Antoine
Co-Workers, installation view. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Photo: © Pierre Antoine
DIS, The Island (KEN), 2015, Created in collaboration with Dornbracht and co-designed by Mike Meiré, Co-Workers, installation view. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Photo: © Pierre Antoine

The art of the contemporary 5

Marie-France Rafael about "the artist as prosumer"
24.01.16
14 min
Post

INT. DAY. MUSEE D’ART MODERNE DE LA VILLE DE PARIS – FIRST FLOOR

Huge sliding doors dominate the entrance to the exhibition CO-WORKERS – NETWORK AS ARTIST, like the doors we are used to see at department stores. Toke Lykkeberg is standing in front of the moving glass planes. He is one of the curators of the show, waiting to be interviewed by M, an art historian.

M

Lets start to talk about the sliding doors. It’s a pretty uncommon opening for an art exhibition

– can you tell me more about it?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

The show starts with doors sliding open. There are a couple of other sliding doors in the show. This is part of the mise en scène or scenography that DIS has been in charge of. The many transparent and reflective surfaces lend the show a certain lightness so visitors sort of float through the space. It’s like a space of flows of images, of data in a networked world. But it also reflects life in airports, malls, Apple stores and Starbucks. I know this mise en scène might recall ethnologist Marc Augé’s non-places. In the 1990s, in the wake of the introduction of TGV or Trains à Grande Vitesse, he was interested in a new kind of solitary passenger who left places behind at high speed. But DIS has been more interested in the connected and social individuals who linger, meet up, chill or work in environments with good wifi that has a ubiquitous rather than transitory quality. Places are not negated but rather mixed. So it’s a world in which many divides seem to disappear like the barriers between work and leisure, private and public, commercial and non-commercial space and what is inside and outside, for instance of a museum. The show discusses the divides between what we once called ‘the virtual’ and ‘the real’, between nature and society, the biosphere and the technosphere, East and West, and many other such binaries that no longer work as opposites.

Toke and M pass through the sliding doors, that produce a muted but peculiar sound each time they open and close. The couple walk into the first room of the exhibition. The large and elongated space is lit through a skylight in the ceiling. A range of artworks unfolds. Each of them represents a discrete artistic position, but their arrangement spurs a dialogue between the works, and configures a heterogeneous unity of different media and materials.

M

The display of CO-WORKERS makes me think of Dan Graham and his work.

Is it a kind of Dan Graham 2.0?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

If 2.0, then I would say: yes. Dan Graham’s work is a reflection on and of the ‘modern’ world and its modernist architecture, but Co-Workers is not discussing the concept of the ‘modern’ world in general.

M

So CO-WORKERS is about the contemporary world? What would you say – in what kind of world do we live right now?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

Of course we wanted to create a show that reflects what is around us. While working on the show we realised that our surroundings were changing while we – and many others – were studying them. The problem with art called contemporary is that it is more fleeting than ever. When things accelerate around you, it is very difficult to be contemporary or ‘with time.’ We’re rather out of time.

M looks around at the different works of art. She focuses on a cubic construction in the middle of the room. It is made of glass and steel, forming a space within the larger space of the exhibition hall. Inside the cube there are three flat screens, a work by Cécile B. Evans, accompanied by a fish tank by Aude Pariset and Juliette Bonneviot and a workplace curated by Felix Burrichter.

M

If I look at this display…

The art historian points at the cubic construction in the middle of the room.

M (CONT’D)

… which seems to be open and closed at the same time – a space floating inside another space. It reminds me of an aquarium, can you please say something about that?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

The glass box traversing the space mimics an open office space. It is a transparent barrier. While it divides the space, it also emphasizes the flow from one space to another. We wanted to give each individual artist, group or collective his, her or their own space, but we did not want to cut it off from the rest of the show. 

Today an artist stands out as an individual, but at the same time as part of a network. They are ‘networked individuals.’ Sometimes you cannot tell one work from the other. The works are shaped by overlapping yet personalized networks. It is almost impossible to separate the part from the whole, the individual from society, they constitute each other. Bruno Latour explains this idea in the following way: If you want to check out a person, you google his name, for example ‘Bruno Latour’. The more links you find about Latour spread out across the Internet, the more he comes together as a person. You might feel you loose yourself in the network, but it might also be where you resurface.

M

Do you think this is an aspect of our contemporary world – gaining something by losing parts of our individuality?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

Douglas Coupland says somewhere in his recent writings: „At the moment we don’t know which will triumph: the individual or the mob. It might be the biggest question of this century.“ My answer to the question would be: both.  

The individual might only reinvent itself, if it gives in to or adapts to its surroundings. You can only shape an environment that you are a part of. By resisting today’s world or simply keeping it at a distance, you don’t change its course. To a certain extent, you might rather have to lose a bit of control in order to regain influence. At least, many artists in the show work along these lines. Parker Ito, for example, creates images that are meant to be photographed by others.

Toke turns to a series of large format pictures. Each part of the series seems to be composed out of different images, drawings and written texts superimposed on each other, in a somewhat raw manner akin to graffiti. Yet, the pictures are framed with a silky and highly brilliant material that lends them the touch of a glossy magazine illustration.

TOKE LYKKEBERG (CONT’D)

The reflector fabric on which he has printed the images are hypersensitive to the faintest change in the light. So depending on the light, the angle, your camera, every photo of his work will be somewhat unique. Parker wanted to make an ‘undocumentable’ work that triggers a multiplication of images the moment it is documented. The work taps into and prolongs a network of images.

Toke takes his mobile phone out of his pocket and points it towards the pictures. He turns flash on and pushes the release button. And indeed, the colourful pictures on the wall suddenly turn black and white, as if they are loosing all their colours when hit by a bit of light.

M

These pictures seem to have lives of their own, changing and never being the same again. The whole exhibition in general somehow reminds me of a living organism, which can be likened to a network, doesn’t it?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

Yes, it might be troubling that something has a life of its own. An oft-heard critique of contemporary network theory is that the individual, the human subject is without power. By reflecting on these networks we might however empower that disempowered individual to impose itself in the networks.

M

Following your definition of network, one could think of an organism?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

If you want things to circulate in a network you need mediation from one node to another. This mediation might be undertaken by an intermediary or a mediator. In the case of the intermediary, there is no transformation of content from one point to another. However, when an image travels from an exhibition space to a camera, to a computer, to Photoshop, to Facebook, to Instagram and ends up as a bad quality print, there’s transformation. There are mediators translating the image so information is both lost and added. Artists work with such mediators in the same way they now work with bacteria, animals, plants and so on. So I’m also interested in networks at the intersection of bio- and technosphere.

Toke and M step into the cubic construction and sit down around the workplace layout.

M

Keeping this gain of loss of information in mind, can you tell me something about the rematerialisation of the art object?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

It goes back to Lucy Lippard’s idea that conceptual art of the sixties and seventies was a dematerialisation….

M

… in favour of the information, becoming the immaterial?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

Yes, you might call it the ‘Helvetica ideology’, following the idea that you can create a form – in this case the Helvetica font – that is so transparent you only get the content. In the course of the democratisation of telecommunication in the sixties and seventies people started to communicate across long distances with ease. They were preoccupied by the feeling of talking with a person without being in his or her presence. So this development was experienced as a disembodiment, a dematerialisation. Some artists got into telepathy, thinking about how they could make thoughts travel from one mind to another without taking on a material shape. Materiality was secondary to the content and ideally you could have pure content. That continued with the way the Internet developed in the nineties. However, with Web 2.0 it became social and now with the ‘Internet of Things’ the virtual and immaterial is evidently embedded in the real and material. So both can make us understand how things rematerialise rather than dematerialise while circulating in the network, but also how the network works and how it is constituted. In a way, we’re not only looking at who is walking around the house, but also looking at the house itself.

M

That is an interesting metaphor. Is this exhibition the housing hosting what is in that larger house?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

We are trying to present images, objects and information that recall the images, objects and information that are around us, but also their surroundings. We both want to present the artworks and the environment in which these artworks make sense.

Toke and M continue walking through the exhibition. They pass by the work of Timur Si-Qin, The Struggle (2012), an installation made of four apparently excessively designed pedestals on which Nike gym bags are hanging. Each of the bags is filled with stones and water bottles. Finally the couple stops in front of a gleaming installation, a cubic box lit by neon lights. On its backside is an image of a boy, which is reflected by a glass surface installed behind the cubic box.

M

Please tell me about this work.

TOKE LYKKEBERG

It is a work by the French artist David Douard, called The reason we no longer s’speack. Slipper of snow (2015). It is an image of a boy that Douard has reworked. His eyes have been erased, the boy’s hand is almost inside his mouth. In a way, right now, I can’t help thinking of The Thinker by Rodin. Rodin got the motif of the thinker from the Last Judgement fresco of Michelangelo, in which one man sits bent over, encircled by the flames of hell. Rodin isolated the figure in his sculpture from any surroundings: The individual suddenly is left alone with his or her troubled mind. This is the modern man. Douard’s contemporary speechless version is a reflection in glass in two ways: A boy is reflected in the glass in the midst of reflecting on himself, withdrawn into his own world. Maybe Douard presents an image of someone in the Internet age who has the possibility to reach out for information anywhere, but ends up trapped by what he’s already into. Today, any new search query is biased by an older one and, as a consequence, one might get caught up in a so-called filter bubble. So a network culture also creates certain disconnects.

M

Would you say that this work is framing a critique of the Internet based society?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

I would personally not use the word critique. It implies looking at looking at the world from the outside. But an artist is always more engaged in the world through his or her work than the critique teaches us. I’d rather say that Douard’s work evokes the pains rather than the pleasures of network culture.

M

So it is more a reflection on the state of things?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

It is an attempt to understand an aspect of a networked world. If you do not feel a certain pain looking at the work, I am not sure you’re on the right track. I am against dividing works into categories such as affirmative or critical. Most works are both.

As they continue, Toke and M find themselves in a room whit a video work by Rachel Rose – Sitting Feeding Sleeping (2013). This visual collage shows images of animals that the artist took in different US-American zoos, as well as computer screenshots and iconic paintings from art history. The saccade rhythm of the video is alternating with more contemplative sequences, conveying a strange feeling of detachment, which is even more accentuated by the alienating computer voiceover commenting the images.

M

For a few years, there’s been a discussion concerning the question whether we should slow down our lives or adjust to the speed of information technology developing faster and faster. What do you say? Is the exhibition a comment on or even a contribution to that discussion?

TOKE LYKKEBERG

About ten or fifteen years ago the French artist Pierre Joseph said: In order to understand how a car works, you have to take it apart. But artists today rather get inside the car and drive it. If we understand the world as networked then there is no outside anymore. Artists are less interested in utopias and more in the potential of the world we inhabit. We should accelerate some things, others we might slow down. But I don’t believe in history given in advance, i.e. that there is a certain goal to reach at the end of the journey, therefore I am not sure what it might mean to speed up the process we are in the midst of.

M

So taking up your metaphor of the artist as a car driver, you understand an artist today as what you call a prosumer: a producer and consumer at the same time.

TOKE LYKKEBERG

Yes, that’s another dichotomy that I would like to mention as example of the end of the great divides, namely production and consumption. What characterises the artist today is that he is a prosumer to a certain extent, part of a network where production and consumption are difficult to tell from each other. So today I see artists more as mediators or prosumers.

Toke and M reach the last room of the exhibition and stop in front of a work by the collective DIS. The Island (KEN) (2015) resembles at first glance an ordinary, white coloured kitchen in IKEA design. One notices water coming down from time to time from an object that might be mistaken for an exhaust hood. Close inspection reveals it works as a shower. The Island combines the social space of the kitchen with the private space of the bathroom – thus creating a scene in which anything can happen, production and consumption becoming one, and the spectator an activated mediator himself.

Blood and Fear at Le Petit Cambodge

with
José Lira
Georg Diez
20.01.16
60 min
60hertz

We met at a café not too far from where it happened. José Lira was calm, composed. He is an architect who has been living in Paris for a few months, working, learning, changing. He is good-looking, he has a beard that is well-trimmed, he seems like somebody you could meet anywhere from Bogota to Beirut, from Bangkok to Bejing. This is the 21st century. But not everybody agrees. Or: What are the reasons, exactly? There was a lot of talking and explaining, some go very far back in history, as far as the 19th century and the story of colonalism and oppression and exploitation and humiliation and broken promises of the West. Some go to the banlieues of Paris. It is all good, it is all important, connecting the dots. But José’s story is different. He just was there. And he wrote down, what he had seen and felt. This is his account: Read it. And listen to the conversation we had.

“These are the times when we are at a loss. We don’t know what to do, what to think, I don’t know what to say, but many friends have written to me, concerned, all the terrible news coming from Paris are amplified through the distance, also thanks to the awful tone of news media, resounding with a public that likes tragedy, blood, fear. There was even someone who made up that a Brazilian architect had died in the attacks… I write to tell you that I am well, and to share a little bit of what I am feeling. Perhaps this might help you and me think some more, perhaps feel more closely what happened. I still have not been able to read much about what happened, and I confess that I am shocked by the way the news are treated, in a way that is sometimes too abstract, sometimes too sensationalist. The fact is that I cannot forget the fragile but serene gaze of the victims by my side yesterday evening.

“I had spent a blissful Friday afternoon in the company of two former students from the School of Architecture at the University of São Paulo; soon other friends, almost all of them Brazilian and architects, joined us. We decided to have dinner at the Petit Cambodge, a delicious restaurant, in a vibrant, youthful part of the 10ème. At around 9:30, when we were almost done eating, the shots began. We were eating at a sidewalk table, the sound of the machine-gun was very close to us, I saw sparks on the other side of the sidewalk. I swear I first thought those were fireworks, perhaps part of a performance in this neighborhood so full of artists and irreverent people, and I thought it was odd that everyone got up and started running. How extreme! But the shots wouldn’t stop and began to hit all the dishes and bottles all around, and impulsively I joined the flow of people who were running from the restaurant to a grocery store next door. Once in there, I realized that only two of my friends were there; we didn’t know where the other five were. Back inside, there were about twenty of us, and no one had any idea about what had just happened. One of my friends was bleeding, perhaps from glass shards on his forehead.

“Ten minutes later, the firemen arrived and we left; then came the police, as always truculent and insensitive. The scene was indescribable. A Holocaust at the level of those back in the day in Cambodia. I didn’t know where to look, there people on the ground, groups of friends comforting the wounded, people crying, some people already dead lying alone, others almost dying. We were looking for our friends. I saw one of them on the ground, assisted by her French friend, also covered in blood. I approached her. A beautiful young woman, her body so small, her skin so fine, very wounded, who spoke to me serenely in Portuguese: “I need to get out of here, I need to get to a hospital.” We tried to comfort her, to embrace her, to stay by her side while waiting for the medical help that had not arrived yet. The firemen helped her with oxygen and a blanket, but they did not know who needed the most help, they did not know what to do.

“Two other friends appeared, in good shape, and took us to one of my former students, an amazing young man, a person from the most precious kind, who was splayed inside the restaurant. He was very hurt, but conscious, my friends surrounding him, helping him as we could, while he kept repeating with us that he would stay strong. Once in a while I trembled, I begged for medical help, I glanced to one side and the other and was met by the serene gaze of the other victims, perhaps the only people who, partly in shock, partly in the humble or resilient manner of vulnerable people, observed all that movement like angels, waiting, processing, looking at the world from up high, perhaps, more than us, stunned by this world which each day becomes more terrible, more intolerant, more filled with hate, with ressentiment, with fear, with despair. I could not move to help the others, the men, the women, their bodies so fragile, more or less wounded, with their eyes attentive to everything that was happening. We were magnetized by the single goal of saving our friends, and the firemen and the police still not knowing whom to rescue first, who was in worst shape, telling us all the time: “There are 10 dead, there are 20 dead, there are 40 wounded, patientez!”

“I will not get into this issue now, but it is very strange to see so much security, so many military and police on the streets of Paris, and so little preparedness to deal with the eventual victims of what they most fear. I will not get into this, because I just want to tell you that what really concerns me, and increasingly so in life, is the feeling in the singular, the pain in the singular, people in the singular. Something so hard to convey, to share, as we know; and also (and not only) for this reason so ignored by the analyses, the news, the leaders, their technicians and technologies, by the aggressors, by people and groups, accustomed to speaking of tens, of hundreds, of thousands. I don’t speak of their personalities, of whether they are intelligent or not, cool or square, happy or not so much, successful or frustrated. But I speak of their bodies, their pain, the look in their eyes, their frailty, their smallness, our skin that tears so easily, our bones that break, really, our organs that sometimes fail, our breathing, labored sometimes. Our voice that murmurs, whispers, whines, talks, asks for help if needed, when possible, our bodies which collide, can’t move, can support other bodies, comfort them, protect others at risk, run when threatened, our kind of automatic reactions that proclaim all the time: “I want life,” I want to preserve life, this potency of feeling, acting, thinking. So brutalized today.

“But what I wanted to say is that five Brazilians, among them myself, did not have their bodies hit by shots. Our two friends underwent surgery and are recovering. We are all together. Their fragility and their strength, their serene and vulnerable gaze, their delicate way of saying “I feel pain, I don’t, here, please help me,” all of this will make a difference. Because life does not wait. We will go back to Brazil soon. And well. To this Brazil that has given us so many signs of intolerance—religious, ideologic, ethnic, politic, moral, gender intolerance. But, after all, our home. Thank you for your concern!”

Le texte est paru en portugais sur ce lien: 

http://www.saocarlosemrede.com.br/brasil/ex-professor-da-arquitetura-da-usp-de-sao-carlos-estava-no-restaurante-atacado-por-terroristas-em-paris 

Beton Is Beautiful

with
Paul Feigelfeld
Lukas Feigelfeld
20.01.16
60 min
60hertz

Lukas Feigelfeld is currently finishing his final film school project „Hagazussa“, a dark tale about witchcraft, paganism, social exclusion, sexism, and psychological trauma, set in the 15th century Austrian Alps. With his brother Paul, he discussed film making as a technology of fear and analysis. Going back through his studies and career, they explored his dystopian scifi world of his quantum-reality-drama „Interference“, as well as his rogue handheld and POV shot project „Beton/Concrete“, in which Lukas stars himself as a young unemployed Gabber youth of Vienna, whose exploits with his girlfriend into drugs, violence, and crime spiral out of control. Music plays a major role in Lukas’ projects, with the Greek experimental drone string trio Mohammad composing the soundtrack to „Hagazussa“, Roly Porter of Vex’d collaborating on „Interference“ and Lukas himself producing Gabber speedcore tracks for „Beton“.

On Refugees

19.01.16
6 min
Conversation

Dear Georg
 
Time has quickened its flow along the course of this conversation. The horror of the Paris attack is yet to recede, a fresh round of attacks is underway in Jakarta, and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Earlier this week it was Istanbul.
 
I also read of the attacks on young women in Cologne over the New Year, the inevitable blowback, and Charlie Hebdo’s controversial illustration suggesting Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who drowned en route to Europe, would have grown up to become a sexual molester.
 
The cartoon has drawn the usual reactions from the usual suspects, but it does signal a macabre closed loop of events that you refer to in your mail: the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the refugee crisis, the Paris attacks, the violence in Cologne, and then a Charlie Hebdo cartoon to round things off. As you conclude in your mail – everything is connected to everything else.
 
Thank you for the reference to Zizek’s piece – I had missed in when it came out; and on reading it now – I was struck by an interesting passage towards the end:
 
“When I was recently answering questions from the readers of Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest daily, about the refugee crisis, the question that attracted by far the most attention concerned precisely democracy, but with a rightist-populist twist: When Angela Merkel made her famous public appeal inviting hundreds of thousands into Germany, which was her democratic legitimization? What gave her the right to bring such a radical change to German life without democratic consultation? My point here, of course, is not to support anti-immigrant populists, but to clearly point out the limits of democratic legitimization. The same goes for those who advocate radical opening of the borders: Are they aware that, since our democracies are nation-state democracies, their demand equals suspension of—in effect imposing a gigantic change in a country’s status quo without democratic consultation of its population?”
 
Zizek responds, suggesting that Merkel was correct in not seeking popular consultation. He writes:
 
“Emancipatory politics should not be bound a priori by formal-democratic procedures of legitimization. No, people quite often do NOT know what they want, or do not want what they know, or they simply want the wrong thing. There is no simple shortcut here.”
 
I was interested in your perspective on this issue. What do you think about this limited section I have excerpted above?
 
I agree that popular consultation or a referendum would have made it politically impossible to accept refugees – but I instinctively disagree with his tired formulation that “the people” don’t know what they want, and so we need a principled vanguard to lead the way.
 
In many democracies, significant and irreversible decisions are occasionally solved by referendum; but it is interesting that nation states almost never call for a referendum before going to war – an epic and irreversible decision if there ever was one.
 
So I suppose the question is: Will the arrival of 4 million refugees to a continent of 750 million result in what you call a “metaphysical shift” in Europe – the sort of thing that should require politicians to go back to the people for their views?
 
Am I – by virtue of being far away – underestimating the long-term impact of Europe’s crisis ? As the optimistic resident of crowded chaotic city – 24 million and counting – I am inclined to think that we are simply in the initial “shock and awe” stage of this process, which will eventually culminate in some form of compact of coexistence between those already in Germany and the new arrivals.
 
I am in the midst of reading a fascinating new book – Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India – written by Bhrigupati Singh, an anthropologist at Brown University.
 
In his book, Bhrigu offers up the idea of “Agonistic Intimacy” – from the Greek “Agon” or “contest” – to try to understand how “potentially hostile neighbouring groups” might come together to forge a vibrant, yet contested peace by somehow including each other in their respective moral and spiritual worlds.
 
Living together in “agonistic intimacy” involves both conflict and co-habitation, and this subtle balance – Bhrigu reveals – has formed the basis of many human societies across time and space.
 
To extend this argument to the current predicament in Germany: it is possible that Syrian musafirs may not “integrate” immediately and seamlessly; but more likely the communities shall probably forge unexpected and possibly fragile bonds over a long period. Some bonds shall be largely symbolic, influential and fickle – one generation down the line, the child of a Syrian refugee might score a vital goal for the German national team or miss a vital penalty (I suppose here I am thinking of Mesut Ozil). Other bonds shall be less visible but enduring and intimate – like Syrian born workers in factories, Syrian-born nurses and doctors in hospitals. There will also be demagogues – of the likes of Trump, Marine Le Pen, and Nick Griffin, to contest and hinder this process at each step.
 
But is it impossible to believe that, given 20 years, these enduring bonds, prejudices, and encounters, shall converge into a mélange of myth, narrative, and ritual to consecrate the arrival of the musafir and the “recultivation” – to borrow another of Bhrigu’s phrases – of idea of the German identity and people?
 
The problem with Habermas’s “public sphere” – as you point out – is that he assumed that everyone will not just be rational, but will also publicly perform their rationality for all to see. This is demonstrably not the case.
 
A lot of politics, and most of life, is thankfully lived out of this public sphere. We are gradually realizing this in India where every week, a high-ranking government official or minister, says something implausible, violent or outright bigoted, with complete awareness that the national media shall amplify his (its usually always men) statements.
 
I agree that words have consequences, particularly when uttered by seemingly powerful people, but society has a fluid resilience – it coheres even as it transforms. It is this paradoxical resilience that keeps me hopeful.
 
Yours ever
Aman

The Future Was Yesterday

with
Armen Avanessian
Georg Diez
Paul Feigelfeld
Christopher Roth
18.01.16
60 min
60hertz

Christopher Roth, Armen Avanessian, Georg Diez and Paul Feigelfeld talk about Christopher’s upcoming exhibition BLOW OUT (opening at Esther Schipper on January 22, 2016), loops, Theo-Angelo Adornioni, beauty, science fiction, reactors, bunkers, Quentinporary architecture, and more. During the conversation, they wander through the still unopened exhibition, while Armen takes a lot of pictures, before he reads some Adorno to the magical soundtrack of Bobby’s video work.

60pages
People

The Mehringdamned

with
Armen Avanessian
Julia Zange
04.01.16
60 min
60hertz

Gregor Quack and Harald Staun talking about Literary Theory, the editor of Ferdinand von Schirach about his job, Johanna Warsza and Florian Malzacher on the Orbanization of Polish Politics, Anne Waak and Christian Werner on (the impossibility) of Monogamy, Anne Philippi about lipstick as investment, Jeanne Tremsal and Georg Diez about sex addiction, Timo Feldhaus asking the wrong questions, Tom Lamberty declaring Publishing as Love, Christoph Knoth twittering and Annika Kuhlmann still not too drunk to quote Wittgenstein.

No Future pour cette Pipe

27.12.15
4 min
Post

So I think I might have got all the “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” meaning all wrong. 

I’ve recently heard that what it meant is that it wasn’t really a pipe because it was the painting, the image of a pipe, a representation, and not the pipe itself, of course.

All my life I thought it wasn’t a pipe because a pipe being called a pipe is just a convention and not the real thing, like anything could’ve been a pipe, but it ended up being that object. I guess it is the same but with a word instead of an image, I don’t know.

It reminded me of one day, I was standing next to the sink at my first guy’s house. We had a 6 months relationship. Their family was all around the place. Parents and sister, who was originally my friend and the reason I’ve met him. It was always a bit uncomfortable because his parents are German and I was 16 and I didn’t rally know how to behave around them because they would just start speaking in German whenever and they sounded mad or bossy when doing so. Like the first time we we sort of “together”, which was just kissing because I am such a late bloomer. We woke up on the couch together and his mum was shouting in German and I knew it was about him but he made up it was about something else. I guess German or Argentinian, an angry mum sounds like an angry mum all over the world and you just know what it is about no matter the language. Well, back from the flashback, we were in the kitchen, and it was towards the end of our relationship. He wanted to be my boyfriend but I didn’t want that. He seemed awfully depressed that day, he eventually ended up sitting in one of the kitchen’s corner and he just seemed so blue. I asked him kind of in a grumpy way why was he blue. He said he was sad because he thought that when the Sex Pistols sang “No future” they were talking about the inexistence of future because time didn’t really exist, like no past, no present, no future. I thouht it was ridiculous that the Sex Pistols would be that deep regarding the meaning of their songs. So I told him what they meant, like no future because no jobs and no money for their class and the whole England system of classes and shit like that, much more mundane, and he said “Yes, I found that out today, it depresses me so much.” And I’m not sure why, no idea, I think the idea was in the back of my mind already, maybe, but at that exact moment I felt the click. I’ve stopped liking him for good. I was later sitting next to the sink and he would come to me and kiss me and I couldn’t feel it, it felt so weird and he could tell something was off and also I didn’t want displays of affection near his German mum, which is really cool to talk to years later but was kind of scary before (they live a block away from my house). He asked me about it, so I tried to fake the whole thing. Awful. Then a week later, 2 hours before my birthday party, which I always celebrate the night before because mine is always a holiday due to Independece Day, anyway… I felt really uncomfortable and decided I didn’t want to have a boy around during my party so I got together with him. We stopped at this corner with a lovely tree that had red leaves in autumn/winter. This was in July, so winter. There were lovely leaves all over the road in that corner and I told him right there that I wanted to finish it and told him he could still come to the party, which he did. It was so awkward, I felt like a bitch. That night I kinda fell for my best friend’s mate, but that is another story… The next morning, on my birthday, July 9th, it snowed. I was thrilled because that only happens every 50 years or so in Buenos Aires.

What is magic?

with
Helene Hegemann
Julia Zange
Georg Diez
25.12.15
52 min
60hertz

Helene Hegemann, German all purpose Wunderkind, seemed the right person to have along for the first installment of a new venue of 60pages: 60hertz by Julia Zange, Armen Avanessian, Paul Feigelfeld and Georg Diez, generously hosted by Berlin Community Radio at their epic studio right on Weinmeisterpark, where Mitte meets Prenzlauer Berg, every Monday at seven pm and as a podcast for ever here on your very own 60pages site.
Helene had been all over town in the weeks before, she had been shooting the film “Axolotl Roadkill” based on her debut novel which had been first greeted with great enthusiasm and was then damned in a mix of envy and gloating over some allegations of plagiarism. It remains one of the best and most exiting and unique German novels of the last five years, and the filming itself was glamourous and fun enough to promise a movie which lives up to the morbid spectacle of the book.
She was kind of hesitant to talk in English, so we started with an exception to establish a rule of no rules, as is our overall principle. The beauty emerges out of a pattern of thought, ambivalence and fearless forging ahead, rules cannot really help you in that endeavour. The studio was small, it was our first show, so the quality might not be too good. We talked about k-hole and their latest manifesto, we talked about Helene’s work and much more. Enjoy, in German only.

Migrating the Feminine

by
Nora Amin
25.01.16
180 min

The art of the contemporary 5

Marie-France Rafael about "the artist as prosumer"
24.01.16
14 min

Blood and Fear at Le Petit Cambodge

with
José Lira
Georg Diez
20.01.16
60 min

Beton Is Beautiful

with
Paul Feigelfeld
Lukas Feigelfeld
20.01.16
60 min

On Refugees

19.01.16
6 min

The Future Was Yesterday

with
Armen Avanessian
Georg Diez
Paul Feigelfeld
Christopher Roth
18.01.16
60 min

The Mehringdamned

with
Armen Avanessian
Julia Zange
04.01.16
60 min

No Future pour cette Pipe

27.12.15
4 min

What is magic?

with
Helene Hegemann
Julia Zange
Georg Diez
25.12.15
52 min