Jeder Geschlossene Raum ist ein Sarg

 

In Moskau wohnte ich in einem Hotel, in dem fast alle Zimmer von tibetanischen Lamas belegt waren, die zu einem Kongreß der gesamten buddhistischen Kirchen von Moskau gekommen waren. Es fiel mir auf, wieviele Türen in den Gängen des Hauses stets angelehnt standen. Was erst ein Zufall schien, wurde mir unheimlich. Ich erfuhr: in solchen Zimmern wohnten Angehörige einer Sekte, die gelobt hatten, sich nie in geschlossenen Räumen aufzuhalten.

–walter benjamin

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Seeing An Organ

(001) Slideshow: Carl Einstein, Manuscripts · Courtesy Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Carl-Einstein-Archiv,no. 245.Key terms handwritten by Einstein in red crayon on front sides offolded sheets of paper, in which he collected his notes

Tautology
Primitive
Totality
Proportion
Language
Projection
Irony
Tecton [-ics, -ic]
Space
Immanence
Forgetting
Form
Metamo [-rphosis, -rphotic]
Analogy
Stylization
Seeing An Organ
Repetition Rite Language
Image
Conscious
Discrepancy
SC [subconscious, subconsciousness]
Imaginative
Person I
God
Hallu [-cination, -cinative]
Causality
Turmoil
Poetry
Reality
Crisis
Abstract
Gestalt
Thing
Split
Metaphor

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Fever Pitch

Thyssen II,
Duisburg-Ruhrort, June 2017

The year is 1930—a present wracked by profound crises worldwide. The social order is coming unstuck, but so are traditional categories of knowledge. Europe’s imperialist expansion is at its zenith even as its very legitimacy is being radically called into question. Political and social conflicts quickly assume global dimensions. The First World War, revolutions, the industrialisation of production, the scientization of everyday life, and new images and encounters with alterity distributed by mass culture have shaken the Eurocentric worldview to its core—and all the old certainties that came with it. Both economic and social crises corresponded with an epistemological nervosity that has reached fever pitch. The individual’s place in time and even the concept of history itself have become problematic. In search of new beginnings, a new critical awareness manifests itself in a recourse to all things archaic, to “deep time,” and to notions of humanity’s “childhood.” Ethnologists and prehistorians play a crucial role in the anthropological speculation sparked by origins of all kinds. Disseminated by the media and by the increasingly important field of art journalism, “world art”and the spectacle of cave painting become cultural formulae for a revised view of history and modernism. Taking Carl Einstein’s “Handbuch der Kunst” as its operative center, Section A sheds light on pictorial and textual articulations of the “archaic illusion” of the period from the 1920s to the 1940s.

— from a Catalog on the works of Carl Einstein

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Mißtrauen, Mißtrauen und Mißtrauen

Mißtrauen in das Geschick der Literatur, Mißtrauen in das Geschick der Freiheit, Mißtrauen in das Geschick der europäischen Menschheit, vor allem aber Mißtrauen, Mißtrauen und Mißtrauen in alle Verständigung: zwischen den Klassen, zwischen den Völkern, zwischen den Einzelnen. Und unbegrenztes Mißtrauen in I. G. Farben und die friedliche Vervollkommnung der Luftwaffe. Aber was nun, was dann?

— Walter Benjamin, Der Surrealismus, 1929

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