[-empyre-] Benjamin, Peter Weiss, the city as performative?
agora158 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 08:05:07 EST 2012
Thank you Lucio to make the movement from the axis Paris-Modernity to
Berlin-Modernity as well. And thank you Alicia for putting Benjamin and the
flaneur on the board.
Interesting how we forget that Germany was not Germany before the late
1800-century and Preussia succeeded unificating Germany after they defeated
France. The French and German social movements are very connected and the
Art as well. The imperial transformations to Paris made by Haussman are
very similar to what Berlin had. And I wonder if l'Arc du Triomphe and
L'Etoile are not inspired by the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.
On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM, Lucio Agra <lucioagra at gmail.com> wrote:
> During several years there was this judgement about the 20th century and
> its culture, that sustained Paris as the centre of European Modernism
> whereas the center, if it really existed, should be considered either
> Berlin or Moscow. While people got scandalized by Strawinsky's/Nijinsky's
> Sacre du Printemps, Malevitch, Khlebnikov, Krutchonikh and Matiushin were
> enjoyed by the russians. And in Germany Wedekind, Heym and Kokoschka
> produced the scatological world of strange, noisy paranoia of its early
> modernism. Berlin kept this spirit of unconquerable anti-harmony which is
> still part of its charm. I also lived there for three months that could
> value as a year. The people who visit always feel this amazing sensation of
> property but the city is contradictoire also. At the same space we find the
> relics of Bauhaus and, some meters ahead, the Wittembergplatz station from
> where, under the subterraneans of KDW, left trains to concentration camps.
> The construction of the so called Museum Insel is a tremendous work of
> robbery produced by the Hohenzollerns, who piled lots of Eastern treasures
> and put it inside the big museum. Nothing different, in fact, to what was
> made in France or England.
> I remember the inscription that probably still exists in Savigny Platz S
> Bahn Station, saying "we are the scum of the world". Found something about
> this sensation of being a foreigner and part of that all simultaneously at
> Mixed feelings is what Berlin provokes to anyone, even the most
> indifferent. Thank you Ana for your comments on Weiss, it is going to be
> interesting to look for these references. You should write something about
> this case of Barber and Gert, Alan! It is a great oportunity of thinking
> about the neglected origins of performance art..
> Lucio BR
> 2012/3/13 Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com>
>> Interesting references, Alan! The Living Theatre is an important part of
>> my own past, they defined themselves as anarchists and I met them in
>> several opportunities.
>> But going back to Weimar and to Weiss and to Anita Berber and Valeska
>> Gert, I am not aware of Weiss refering to them, not in his writings not in
>> his interviews. We lived in the same city, Stockholm, and I met him twice
>> before he died. He strucked me as a very humble man, not making great fuss
>> about his public persona.
>> But I was in Berlin last year and visited again the Bauhaus archive and
>> it was indeed Weiss time and the city as presence.
>> Berlin doesn't have the same literature or/and atmosphere as London, Rom
>> or Paris, but I love the city, I visited it many times, when the wall still
>> existed and afterwards. And I saw the altar of Pergamus which Weiss writes
>> about in "The Aesthetics of Resistance", probably the most magnificient
>> piece of religious and political architecture from the Ancient times.
>> Berlin is as a city, for me, a great example of what we discussed last
>> week, resilience and resistance.
>> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> There's a lot of material on Weimar performance which tallies with this;
>>> I'm thinking particularly of performers like Anita Berber and Valeska Gert,
>>> both of whom have had a large influence on my work. Interestingly, much of
>>> the best performance work, much of the legacy, is the work of women. Gert
>>> later came to the US, and opened a cabaret/cafe here in NY for a time; she
>>> had an effect on Living Theater. Both Gert and Berber were within the
>>> imaginary of resistance; their own identity was on the line. There was also
>>> Mary Wigman, many others. This was all swept away of course. I'm just
>>> curious - did Weiss reference any of this?
>>> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I am reading again Peter Weiss "The Aesthetics of Resistance", the best
>>>> description of Berlin together with Döblins Berlin Alexanderplatz. The city
>>>> is described as a hub of energy, as the place where all converge, where
>>>> utopian thoughts and political work blends and interact.
>>>> Curiously I don't find in Weiss work (not only this one but all of his
>>>> writing, his Marat-Sade, his Process, etc) any reference to Benjamin. They
>>>> were not in the same age, Benjamin was born 1892, Weiss in 1916. They
>>>> belonged to different generations and they were intellectually quite
>>>> Weiss saw himself as a people's intelectual, as someone anonymous, as
>>>> anonymous as the builders of the altar of Pergamus, which play such a
>>>> principal role in his book "The Aesthetics of Resistance". He was a
>>>> communist and believed in the workers as the base of the society, the ones
>>>> being destroyed by the gods in the altar of Pergamus.
>>>> Benjamin chose another path but for both writers the city was this
>>>> canvas where all activity could be performed and be herself a performer.
>>>> mobil/cell +4670-3213370
>>>> "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
>>>> empyre forum
>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> directory http://www.alansondheim.org tel 347-383-8552
>>> music/sound http://espdisk.com/alansondheim/
>>> email sondheim ut panix.com, sondheim ut gmail.com
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> mobil/cell +4670-3213370
>> "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
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Se vc tem urgência de falar comigo, me ligue no celular! É mais rápido!
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
"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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