Musk Ming, Memory Void & the Garden of Exile

Yesterday and today have ended up packed. I met a fab artist, Musk Ming, who does playful and very sexy queer-Commie art. I am sure that I do not do Ming’s work justice. If you are in Berlin, check out the gallery that he is a part of. Wonderful, fab work. This is the T-shirt I was able to get my paws on today, straight from the artist. The artwork is called, ‘Berlin Power’. This from Ming re the chinese characters: “the chinese means “forget about all the rules and be unrestrained”, which was taken from an ancient calligraphy masterpiece by Wang Xizhi in the year 353 AD.
The 4 chinese characters expresss The feeling of Berlin to me :-).” And here is a link fleshing out the characters, too.  Ute asked me, where are you going to wear that shirt? I said, Anywhere they’ll let me. Ming’s work ought to be out there big time.

Before meeting Ming, I’d been at the Jewish Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind. Architecturally, it puts a visitor in the state of exile and displacement. The Garden of Exiles is comprised of 49 concrete pillars, about 24 feet tall each, with olive trees planted at the top. That is reminiscent of the Museum to the Murdered Jews of Europe. But, in the Garden, it is the ground that devastates. It is sloped and angled in such a way that one can never really get a good footing. It’s not that you’re going to lose your balance, it’s that you don’t ever really reach a solid position. One is always inclined a little too much one way or another, upwards or down, forwards or back. It is exactly, I told Vajdon, what it was like approaching the border six years ago. If that experience were expressed architecturally, it would be this Garden.

In the photos that follow, too, you’ll see the room where one ends the Axis of the Holocaust (the basement is comprised of three corridors that intersect: Axis of Exile [ending in the Garden, above] and the Axis of Continuity). At the end of the Axis of the Holocaust is Holocaust Tower. One ends up in this room, a 24 foot concrete tower: no plaque, no guide, no nothing. One wonders what s/he is doing there until, slowly, it dawns on you. You are in a concrete room with no apparent purpose. There are no explanations. The ladder to climb up and out is just too far out of reach to access. One sliver of daylight forces through a corner like it is flourescent. One can imagine. And is grateful that the door has been opened. You see the people milling about and waiting. One can imagine.

There is too a ‘Memory Void’ of metal faces that look like littered film cannisters. As one walks on them, the crunch and clack of the hard steel is just what memory can be to experience.

Today was better than yesterday. Don’t cross a Berlin train conductor, even by accident. It is very shrill with lots of ‘Nein, nein, nein,’ and so on.

Some things I learned at the Benjamin Archives yesterday though, include:

1. The Nazis shifted p.o.v.’s from the personal to the national..

2. In the aestheticization of politics, in a rally for instance, the masses become ‘present-minded’ (wholly in the present) the more that they are distracted/shaken by trauma. This displacement makes them ‘absent-minded’, which is just where the N’s wanted people. An ‘absent-minded’ people is very easy to lead.

3. Proust in A La Recherche  & WB in A Berlin Childhood both use three stades, structurally (WB was imitating P): the musical, the architectural and the textile (tissee).

4. WB comes to know Berlin by studying Paris.

5. Facism relies upon two things: monumental art & technology.

Every synagogue here has 24-hour police protection. Just outside the front door is a little police structure. Every site, at each Jewish memorial, is heavily guarded. One passes through security just like an airport.

The Hefeweisen is very, very good.

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~ by Thom on May 11, 2011.

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