June 30, 2013

Weary Dreary Holiday Time. Hildegard Knef, Sven Johne, Legacy

Two blogs are bound to make one schizophrenic, so for an optimistic, upbeat view on the upcoming holiday times check out my blog entry La Ballade des Gens Heureux about Die Toedliche Doris. If you happen to be looking more on the downside of summer time, continue reading this one.

Yesterday night I ran around town trying to catch the last art happenings before the  summer slump sets in on the first of July. For the summer season they have the most beautiful expression in German: "das Sommerloch". One of Germany's greatest singers, Hildegard Knef catches the mood perfectly in her Song Holiday Time. We are talking the summer of 1971: "You go for a walk. Read the papers. Slaughter in Pakistan. Slaughter on the Autobahn. A plan crashed. Politicians are cooling their heels. In Munich there will be a beer festival. They had a bank robbery. Police shot the hostage. Olympic Games next year. Lazy days, Leo days, August time, not my time. Hate this weary dreary holiday time". 

Hildegard Knef, Holiday Time, 1971

The Youtube commentators of the 21st century are surprised that the news has not changed a bit since that summer of 1971. Well, we were wondering the same thing last night at the new project space of Christof Zwiener. It is a gatekeeper's house at the entrance of the ADN (Allgemeinen Deutschen Nachrichtendienstes/ General German Newsagency) of the GDR. The building of the former news agency is now being renovated and the artist Christof Zwiener used the occasion to get hold of the small gatekeeper's house that he has been watching for years. His 2 square-meter project space will now be traveling around town, but the first happening took place at the original location in the Wadzeckstrasse near Alexanderplatz. For the occasion the artist Sven Johne was invited to do something with the space. He went to the archives of the ADN and selected articles about West-Berlin. These articles pasted on the windows of the gatekeeper's house told us about rising rents, a lack of housing, and child slavery in West-Berlin. Maybe not child slavery, but slavery at 5 euros and 50 cents an hour is definitely still trending in Berlin of 2013, not to speak of the housing problem. So we stood there, reading those articles and being stupefied how time does not change things.

Project Space by Christof Zwiener

Afterwards I went to the open studios of Mengerzeile, where i just caught a view of the newest work on chicken and Nietzsche by Kate Hers and a collaborative called Kegels for Hegel. But in general I must have been too late because people were playing a game that involved words stuck on their fronts about which they had to ask questions, only to be answered with yes or now: "Am I organic? Am I bigger than a house?" Too existential for a Friday night, I thought, so I called it a quit. To end harmonically and to link this blog to my other blog, let me finish with this rap video that I took on the train from Brussels to my latest holiday destination Ostend. The band is called Legacy. Indeed, things tend to happen on the train in Belgium, like finding this poem by a certain Nanoyo on the train ride between Antwerp and Brussels, written to change the passenger's life: "Tu n'as pas a suivre ces moutons. Ils n'avances qu'a reculon. Ton rythme sera le bon. Evite de tourner en rond. Offre  toi la derision. De croire a l'illusion. D'une vie hors des prisons. Loin de ta contrefacon."

Rap by Legacy

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