[-empyre-] re/claiming and unsettling / continuing artistic practices

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 07:54:29 EST 2012

Dear Johannes, I was struck the same way as you after the description of
Athens as a trruly European city. I have been in almost the whole European
continent and never found two cities similar to each other, not either the
Scandinavian capitals, in the perifery of Europe, almost like the Romans
I was in Skopje last year, in Belgrad as well, in Tuzla in Bosnien and
never found a familiarity or a common ground.
That's because I put into the discussion Damascus, Istanbul and Jerusalem,
more related to each other than Paris to London.
Ana, totally agree with you about Benjamins irony. I have read Passagenwek
in different languages, but never owned it. Ans Spanish is still my best
language, followed very narrowly by Swedish :

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 9:33 PM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> dear Ana, i can empathize with you enjoying the arrival of Benjamin's
> Passagenwerk,
> hmm, but i hope you share his saddened sense of irony ("we always have
> nostalgia of what is left behind")
> it's of course best not to indulge in sentimental nostalgia, wouldn't you
> agree, especially in this conversation?
> i still owe you a critical synopsis of Zizek's thoughts on the failure of
> resistance and resilience and recalcitrance
> vis à vis totality of capitalism;  i also am finding it hard to translate
> the "Sparta" metaphor, but will try later;
> first I wish to ask how others reacted to Aristide's evocation of Athens
> (Greece) , considering "it the contemporary city
> that comes first in a series of cities that cannot anymore be included in
> a homogeneous European community.
> The city changed violently during the last years......The violent changes
> in the city divided a homogeneous territory
> in gated communities and ghettoes...    "a war field... indicative of the
> future."
> You may find my reaction insulting, or as patronizing as I assume Alain
> Badiou et al to be ("Save the Greeks...")...
> but i do find what you write overly dramatically in tone, and you speak of
> what one might find a completely imaginary
> "homogeneous European community" that I doubt existed in any way you wish
> to state or propose  here.
> "Europe" or the Euro-Zone never existed as a homogenous community.
> respectfully
> Johannes Birringer
> PS:  and the messianic side of Benjamin was probably destroyed for good in
> 1939-40.
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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