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dresdner frauenkirche

Dresden, eastern Germany's 'Elbflorenz' (Florence on the Elbe) has a new Frauenkirche, complete with its famous 'Steinerne Glocke' (Stone Bell).

Once the skyline dominating pride of Dresden, the church was destroyed (along with everything else) in the Allied bombing in WWII. It took more than fifty years and the fall of the GDR (a parking lot had been planned there) before reconstruction began, and it was finally reopened a month ago.

Note the darker stones: original ones, salvaged from the rubble and kept in storage numbered and catalogued all those years.

Dresden's Frauenkirche

Dresden's Frauenkirche

Too bad the snake of people waiting to see the inside coiled around the entire square, at below zero temperature.

blue bob

Sure i knew David Lynch was involved in music, creating soundtracks for his films ('Eraserhead') and writing lyrics for Julee Cruise (used in 'Twin Peaks') and Jocelyn Montgomery.

But somehow i'd missed 'Blue Bob' (2002), a collaboration between Lynch and his long-time sound engineer John Neff. An "industrial blues" album, 'Blue Bob' was "based on the pounding machinery of the smokestack industry and the raw amplified birth of rock and roll."

Blue Bob

Of course, it's as moody and dark as anything from Lynch-land. The instrumental tracks especially play like a soundtrack. In fact, 'Blue Horse' sounds a lot like it came from 'Lost Highway', and a version of 'Mountains Falling' was used in 'Mulholland Drive'. But it also rocks, like primitive Rammstein.

As Lynch allegedly told Neff: "I want beats like machines, like dogs on PCP -- when they bite down you feel it."

people's poses

Strange how powerful some of Rineke Dijkstra's simple, frontal portrait photographs are. Awkward adolescents on the beach or in the park, young soldiers in uniform, bloody matadors after bullfights, mothers after giving birth -- all looking into the camera with a mixture of defiance and shyness, vulnerability and self-consciousness. Maybe it's because they're all so obviously posing, and never entirely succeeding.

For lack of a good site, check examples @ Google Images.

Or go see the exhibition @ Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

(Btw, don't miss her video pieces, especially 'Buzzclub/Mystery World', showing hilarious clubbing kids.)

entuziazm

Dziga Vertov's 'Entuziazm: Simfoniia Donbassa' ('Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass', 1930) was one of the first sound films in the Soviet Union. If Vertov's classic 'Man with a Movie Camera' is a bombardment of images, 'Enthusiasm' is a bombardment of sound, experimenting with music, sync sound and dialogue.

Vertov's Entuziazm

Celebrating the first Five Year Plan, 'Enthusiasm' documents socialization and industrialization in the Donbass region in the Ukraine, "fulfilling and overfulfilling the Plan on the sound-cinema front."

At its best, it creates music out of industrial noise (a bit like 'Eraserhead'), though at other times the cacophonic marching music gets just a little too, eh, enthusiastic.

More info: here (in Italian and English) and here (contains samples of the written score).

mythomania

Oliver Sacks, in his collection of neurological case studies 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', recounts the story of a mythomaniacal patient. Like many of Sacks' cases, it reveals as much or more about 'normal' people as about the patient.

We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative -- whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a 'narrative', and that this narrative is us, our identities.

If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story -- his real, innermost story?' -- for each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us -- through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives -- we are each of us unique.

To be ourselves we must have ourselves -- possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must 'recollect' ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.

(...)

Deprived of continuity, of a quiet, continuous, inner narrative, [the patient] is driven to a sort of narrational frenzy -- hence his ceaseless tales, his confabulations, his mythomania. Unable to maintain a genuine inner world, he is driven to the proliferation of pseudo-narratives, in a pseudo-continuity, pseudo-worlds peopled by pseudo-people, phantoms.

(...)

For here is a man who, in some sense, is desperate, in a frenzy. The world keeps disappearing, losing meaning, vanishing -- and he must seek meaning, make meaning, in a desperate way, continually inventing, throwing bridges of meaning over abysses of meaninglessness, the chaos that yawns continually beneath him.