Monday, November 9, 2009

The Berlin Wall and Kristallnacht

Berlin is staging the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Mauer (wall) demolition today.(Berlintwitterwall) Theme park-like (re) constructions steer tourists through the cold war topography. The “Festival of freedom” and daily fireworks are under way privatising various public spaces. Cavalcades of black idling limousines lined Bernauer street today. Mauer mobs recreate the wall on social media. A spectacle of remembrance.

Amnesia seems to have befallen the public consciousness about another historical anniversary: The Kristallnacht. Today is the date that commemorates the Crystal night pogrom. On the 9 to 10 November 1938 "eliminationism" became sanctioned by the German state. Mob law ruled in the Night of Broken Glass, wrecking 1,400 synagogues (video), homes, shops and human lives. Hordes indulged in an orgy of destruction, destroying sacred places, demolishing shops and homes leading to the final 'assault on humanity': the holocaust.

Today the 'death strip' is walled in acoustic assault from mega building projects, the new conflict scape. Howling chainsaws eradicate the trees as obstacles to lucrative real estate. Broken party glass litter the streets and powerful fireworks detonations pollute and fill the dark sky with disoriented birds.

Meanwhile walls are being constructed around the world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Zeitkunst - Chamber Music and Contemporary Literature

The Festival Zeitkunst für Kammermusik und Gegenwartsliteratur (Contemporary art, chamber music and contemporary literature) is on. An ensemble of chamber musicians actors and authors perform music and texts for two days in Villa Elisabeth, Mitte.

The delightful Ardeo Quartet's performance of György Ligeti: String Quartet Nº 1 Métamorphoses Nocturnes was stunning. (Video)
Bela Bartók was performed by Christoph Ehrenfellner, Sergey Malov

The multilingual texts seem to concern themselves with mental states, family and existential orientations ("Dasein", "Befindlichkeit"). Ubiquitous offspring and prams lingered through the texts . Zeitgeist Mitte?

Update: 7 pm session:
Arnold Schoenberg and unintentional sounds of a toddler sounded incompatible.
Christoph Ehrenfellner, Gustav Mahler and and Anton Webern were performed passionately well.

The collaborate team effort of all and the place provided a good ambiance.