Photo Series: "Persian Miniature vs. GDR Aesthetics" - excerpts

From my recent work with photographer Franziska Burkhardt a.k.a. Wald Füchsin.
This is a rather long post. Please feel encouraged to scroll down....

Beauty as a reflection of the divine, the search for the light of Paradise and the perpetual oscillation between the joy of the here and now as well as the longing for dissolution in the infinite are characteristic of the poetic impetus of Persian art.
In order to underline this costumes and poses of Persian book illustration ("miniatures") were put into the surreal environments of industrial wasteland and GDR architecture.
The incongrousness between the model and the surroundings creates universal aesthetics beyond the alledged borders between Orient and Occident. The dancer tests and eventually transcends cultural, political and religious boundaries in the intuitive physical experience of dance.

From the 16 principles of urbanism, passed by the governement of the German Democratic Republic on July 27, 1950:

"Cities do no develop and exist 'per se'. Cities are predominantly build by the industry and for the industry."

The dancer, in contrast to the architecture, is not limited by space and time, but dissolves and re-creates it in the movement.
Architecture is history in itself, while the dancer is its thrown-into-existance equivalent. The myth of dance exists in its nature beyond history. Each conscious movement dwelling from emotion and artistic activity leads finally to a collision of history and myth, where art comes to existence and creativity and creation coincide.

"The growth of the city needs to be subordinated to the principle of utility and has to respect certain boundaries."
The city posseses space and spirit, and dance is spirit and space.
The city has a topography and a building which remains solidly in one place. It needs history and political change to wander around. The buildings, once firmly anchored in the GDR, have been transported by the stream of history, have changed their place in time and exist now in a different country.
The dancer, on the other side, takes her cultural and personal biography and unfolds it like a garden into the free areas and spaces, as if the Other did not exist.

"It is impossible to transform the city into a garden."
The materialist essence of Marxism understands culture as created and not as something which has developed. The creation of culture which denies nature and time has transformed into a garden of delights and mystical reveries. Like dance by itself grass breaks through the concrete and conquers Time and Truth. In this process the building is torn down and rebuilt by a dancer.


Music Picks: 33a - Kari Kris

My dearest readers may be puzzled both by the name of the band I chose for today and the title of the song, but please, follow me once again to the mythical land of Georgia...
33a is an Georgian folk rock band founded in Tbilisi in 1994. The musicians around Niaz Diasamidze combine Georgian folklore elements with pop and reggae and perform mainly in Georgian and French.
The name "33a" comes from the address — 33a, Paliashvili street, where the founder of the band Niaz lives.

I heard the song karis kris for the first time in a Georgian movie long before youtube made everything available I was fascinated by the modern interpretation of Galaktion Tabidze's poem "Whirles the Wind" ("Kari kris"). This poem is very melodic with many alliterations and its magical sound is rendered by the congenial translation by Innes Merabishvili, that I refer to here:

Whirls the Wind

Whirls the wind, whirls the wind, whirls the wind

And the leaves whirl from wind still to wind…
Rows of trees, lines of trees bend in arch,
Where art thou, where art thou, why so far?..
How it rains, how it snows, how it snows,
Where to find, where to find… Never know!
But pursued, but pursued by your eyes
All the time, everywhere, every time!..
Distant skies drizzle thoughts mixed with mist…
Whirls the wind, whirls the wind, whirls the wind!...



Music picks: Hussain Al Jasmi: Boushret Kheir

Boushret Kheir mean "good omen". Good omen from Egypt? you may ask, if you follow the political and social struggles this country is going through at the moment. And the more you think about it the more you love this song. Because this is what is needed most in Egypt. Good news. People that stand together, dancing and laughing. People from all over Egypt, regardless of skin tone, political orientation and religion. Together. Dancing. Celebrating.
Hussain Al Jassmi is a singer from the United Arab Emirates. Lyrics with English translation here.


Music Picks: El Dey - Maria

Sun is shining today, summer feeling around, so my song you today is perfect for a summer night party at the beach.

El Dey (named after a part of Algeria's capital, the district "Hussein Dey") is a new band consisting of four really nice guys playing the guitar and singing since they went to college together. Their music is fresh and hilarious. A song bursting with optimism and the simple fun of doing something pleasant with some friends is a rare exception; the social, political and economic situation in Algerian is a desaster especially for young people.  
The song Maria a mixture of Spanish and Algerian musical elements tells us the story you can easily understand from the video clip; a beautiful foreign girl comes around and the Algerian boy falls immediately in love with her; their story goes on via facebook, but he doesn't get the necessary visa to join her and she doesn't write anymore. As he is devastated his mother tells him to look at the beautiful girls from his quarter, and in fact he gets married and is happy. 
This short tongue-in-cheek song tell a lot about the reality of young men in Algeria; dreams of going abroad and to leave the boredom of the own country ends when the family decides to get the lad married; in the end, what can a girl from abroad offer a girl from home doesn't have?
Read a short interview here.


Long time

Gosh, something has to happen to this blog! I realized that I did not post anything almost for a year now! Awwww, ok, I had a lot of work, finished my PhD thesis, took part in Helene Eriksen's dance project ANAR DANA, and so on. But enough with excuses. Now, let's go to work!
Ok, now two new projects I want to realize here, that will hopefully bring some movement to this sleeping blog.
ONE: As you all know my husband is from the beautiful country of Algeria, a land geographically not far from Europe, but very neglected from the rest of the western world. During our last trip I had the feeling that I could finally manage the language (after seven years of marriage it seems very late to me. But since my approach to languges is very academic, a language without a written base, with no dictionary to check was very difficult to grasp. With my notions of classical Arabic I had some clues, but it felt like being given a German grammar for somebody who wanted to learn Svedish), and finally have the impression that I could understand some of the things people are thinking and doing. At least a little bit better than before. So I will start a series of thoughts here in loose order, stay tuned!

Second, and this will defintely the fun part, I will share some of my oriental and folk music pickings, some old, some new, but worth to listen to (once again).

Have fun!

So, my picking for today is a cute, tongue-in-cheek modern interpretation of a very famous traditional Georgian folk song with beautiful dancing scenes with and without national costumes. The band's name is BANI, and I couldn't find out more than that, anyway, enjoy some fresh Georgian Popfolk!
BTW: The dance is called Lekuri, also known as Lezginka, a common dance in the whole Caucasian Area! 


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