Winterreise (Berlin XVIII)

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.

Remains to be Seen (Berlin VIII)

Mona Hatoum’s impressive installation of this name was shown in the Diversity United exhibit in Berlin this year, and the catalogue speculates that what we see here are the ghost-like fragments of a house.

I saw these hanging concrete pieces as probes into space, an attempt to make visible what has disappeared.

In this reconstruction, I am using PoVRay to probe textured space. A texture in PoVRay is function of the three spatial coordinates whose values is used in a color map to determines the color value of an object at the point given by the three coordinates. Above the function is sqrt(x2+y2+z2), and the color map a simple grayscale gradient, so that spheres centered at the origin have the same color value. Objects placed into the scene appear to be carved out of this space.

Above is a more complete reconstruction of Haroum’s installation, using the same spatula texture with added reflection. And below are the same probes, using an entirely different texture based on the function sin(x)+sin(y)+sin(z).