Showing posts from December, 2013

"Speak yourself"

Is this the quintessence of what art is all about? 

Except, it could not be any farther from what art is supposed to be - in theory.

The painting consists of two layers. A background of random color bombing onto the wall to symbolize the authorities' need to give up their control. On top of that the precision of the stencil with the representation of the vocal cords at the center. Almost violent in their black and white shadowing with paint running from them. A painting on what a painting cannot do. Movement and sound.
And yet the vocal cords are portrayed with such violence that we feel the strain in our own vocal cords when confronted with it. It is a head calling, screaming, singing out. Botho Strauss has a wonderful scene in his "Wohnen Dämmern Lügen" in which a singer performs Das Lied von der Erde with all movement, all power concentrated around her mouth, her vocal cords tense all the way down to the collarbones. Her mouth is framing that unbelievable gift of mus…

"Everything can be excused apart from the drawing!"

It was so sad not hearing his voice, because you rarely got in many words when he was around. Yesterday my brother and I paid our last respects to our one-of-a-kind uncle who passed away last Sunday. We had a quiet time with him at the chapel reading him poems by Nizar Qabbani and Aboul-Qacem Echebbi and all the while he looked as if he fought to sit up to have his say because a new idea had just popped up.

All children should have such an uncle. He was an incorrigibly curious intellectual, always asking, always playing with possible explanations. He would pose at least two hypotheses to you on the phone. When it was possible to reach him by phone, that is. He was a specialist on the Middle East and when he gave sound, it was usually from some new place between the Mediterranean and Afghanistan from where he would refer to a handful of languages, noting the development of certain words from one language to another, which might indicate…(insert next hypothesis here)...

- and so it was…

A Strange Kind of Love



Kære Ven,
Du spørger, efter vores TV udsendelse igår aftes,  hvad jeg har imod Richard Winthers hus, nu åbnet som museum i Vindeby på Lolland???

"To the Warmongers"

"I am back again from hell
With loathsome thoughts to sell;
Secrets of death to tell;
And horrors from the abyss (…)
"(…) Young faces bleared with blood,
Sucked down into the mud,
You shall hear things like this,
Till the tormented slain
Crawl round and once again,
Moan out their brutish pain (…)"

The quoted lines above open the poem To the Warmongers by Siegfried Sassoon were written when he was wounded in hospital in 1917. A poem of a young man having seen too much to an extent that it becomes an existential question whether this is life? Is this what lies at the core of human life which we usually do our best to hide, or is this what should never be? Are these the eyes of someone who has seen the truth?

To which there are no answers and yet the first answer lies right in front of us: The atrocities of World War I were manmade. Someone was culpable just as they are responsible in Egypt today, a new set of warmongers in military uniform, this time when meeting the pro…

On the Importance of Not Obeying

Lately I have been involved in at once very difficult and very positive dialogues with ALS-patients, who feels the time is creeping closer when they have to make the decision whether to choose a ventilator. It is a choice between life and death, and there is no simple answer to the question.

However, as many doctors are against ventilators, they are very persuasive in talking their patients out of it. Consequently the said doctors are at worst putting themselves into the position of Higher Beings with the word to decide for or against:

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