At the same time of the year, the Pacific woods already burst with wildflowers.
Here we see the Trillium ovatum, whose white flowers slowly turn pink while they age.
The threefold symmetry sees the occasional exception with the appearance of a quadrillium, which has fourfold symmetry, like the four leaf clover. With astonishment I saw here a specimen with two-fold symmetry of leaves, petals, stamen and sepals. Duollium?
Any mention of a Winterreise evokes Franz Schubert’s song cycle from 1827 based on the poems by Wilhelm Müller.
Anselm Kiefer’s tight installation with the same title at the Diversity United exhibition in Berlin displays a wintry landscape on a stage in a narrow optical perspective.
Actors appear as labels on wooden tags: Names like Joseph von Eichendorff, Madame de Staël, Ulrike Meinhoff, Hermann Hesse and many others make it clear that the scope is larger than German Romanticism from the 19th century.
The extension happens in space, towards France, and in time towards our century.
The choice of objects include mushrooms from a fairy tale forest as well as war relics: A discrepancy between imagination and reality that has only been partially processed by the actors-writers on stage.
Schubert’s and Kiefer’s Winterreise both warn us about illusions. Why do we never listen?
Below is a stereo pair for creating a 3D illusion for those of us capable of cross-eyed viewing.
The Dorotheenstadt Cemetery is permanent home of more eminent German writers than any other cemetery I know. It is located in in Berlin-Mitte and belongs to the former eastern part of the city.
There are very famous ones like Bertold Brecht with Helene Weigel above or Anna Seghers with Johann-Lorenz Schmidt below.
The style of the tombstones varies enormously – permitting individualism that the living did not necessarily enjoy.
While looking for a proper quote from one of all these writers that have come here together, I came across this little sonnet by Wolfgang Hilbig:
Blätter und Schatten
Nicht neu kann sein was du beginnst – denn immer nimmst du was dir längst gegeben und gibst es hin: wie in der Liebe da es mir gebricht an jeder Kenntnis: rot wie die Buchen Laub verstreun maßlos am Wegrand wo ich schon sehr frühe ging … und kannte nicht den Weg und kenn ihn jetzt noch nicht und kenne nicht das Kind des Schatten mir vorausläuft und weiß nichts von der Sonne die ihr rotes Gold dem Blattwerk einbrennt. Und weiß nicht mehr den Herbst der ernst in meinem Rücken ging und dem ich Schatten war: stets neu entworfner Schatten ungezählter Herbste.
Leaves and Shadows
New cannot be what you begin – because you always take what you’ve already been given and give it away: like in love where I lack all knowledge: red as when the beeches scatter leaves along the trail where I walked so early … and did not know the way and still don’t know and don’t know the child whose shadow runs ahead and know nothing about the sun that burns its red gold into the foliage. And don’t know the autumn anymore that once walked solemnly in my back and to which I was its shadow: Always newly drafted shadow of countless autumns.
Having become a shadow doesn’t mean to be forgotten.
The words still reach for us, like the hands in George Tabori’s tomb stone below.