So this last month I have been mainly in the studio painting and I recorded a couple of sound pieces.
As in my video and in my paintings I wanted to pursue the idea of layering. I created two new sound pieces. In these two pieces I am overlaying voices. Two different identities:
Sound 1: I have asked Fareed, the Syrian artist from Homs who is a refugee in Berlin to send me a recording of his voice, of a poem in Arabic.
Then I wrote a poem in German, that talks about me welcoming him to Berlin. About his lost home country and his new home, it is about the city and about finding refuge. Berlin giving him shelter from the war. What does ‘Heimat’ (home country) represent. A place to heal from the trauma and the terror. What does a refuge represent ? etc. What will become of his home country? When will he finally see his children again? I know that this is not so much about understanding every word what is said, I guess is more about the pattern of languages and someone arriving in a new country in which a different language is spoken. Overlaying identities, such as I have done in the past.
Here is the text of the poem in German:
Poem for my friend from Syria
was bist du?/
was stellst du dar?/
Ich heisse dich willkommen/
in meiner Stadt/in Berlin/
soll sie fuer dich sein/
vor dem Grauen des Krieges/
solltst du von deinem Trauma/
das dich des Nachts nicht schlafen laesst/
Deine Erinnerung an den Terror/
in deinem Land/
Was ist uebrig nun von deiner Heimat?/
und das sinnlose Toeten nimmt kein Ende/
Wird es je zuende sein?/
Gibt es jemals ein zurueck?/
Homs/Deine Stadt ist zerstoert/
Kann Berlin dir jemals eine Heimat sein?
sie heissen dich nicht willkommen/
Sie sagen sie haben Angst/
alles nur dummes Zeug /
im Angesicht der Qualen Deines Volkes/
Wann wird es je zuende sein?/
Wann wirst du/Fareed/
Deine Tochter/ Deine Soehne/Deine Frau/jemals wiedersehen?
Wird es eine Rueckkehr geben/ nach Homs?
Ich fuehle Deine Einsamkeit/
hier in meiner Stadt/Berlin/
die in jeden Knochen zieht/
und uns laehmt/
Du wanderst durch die dir fremde Stadt/
Die Stadt hat viele Narben/
gepraegt von vielen Regimes/ von Kriegen/
von der Teilung und den Herrschaften der Macht.
Berlin hat auch viele gute Jahre gesehen/
traegt besondere Erinnerungen/
viel Leid natuerlich auch/
Doch/kann dort/ wo Menschen/ wie heute in deinem Land/
verfolgt wurden und gedehmuetigt wurden/
jemals das Licht wieder vorherrschen?
Wir/die Menschen dieser Stadt/Berlin/muessen es entzuenden/
Sei willkommen/Fareed/mein Freund
Sound 2: Berlin voices
Here, I used the beautiful voices of Fareed, Malvina, Bill, Louis and my own voice. 5 people who all were in Berlin at the same time, 5 different voices and languages on top of each other….. languages as patterns, different identities layered on top of each other… While Fareed, Louis, Malvina chose the poems they sent to me (and I said I will not censor what kind of peom they send, the poem Bill reads is a poem about Berlin’s Palast der Republik and I am reading the poem “An die Nachgeborenen” by Berthold Brecht, a poem that is directed to the next generation after the generation of Germans who witnessed the Holocaust. The next generation that will ask questions, the poem tries to explain the impossible.
During the past two months I have tried to go away from my strict overlaying of two or more maps. I have started to paint with a brush and I have made my compositions more open, added that element of ambiguity. I wanted to add either structure to the chaos or chaos to the order of maps or structured elements. I did a sidestep from only wanting to talk about the meaning of two different identities, but became very much involved in thinking about the mere process of painting and creating.
As you can tell, I have been painting and experimenting a lot with this new series of 4 paintings. I am trying to figure out where to go while I want to go away from my strict overlaying of two maps. So at the moment I am looking for other ways to talk about those maps, but I want to go looser and abstract those maps more. So in a way I have been playing with putting structure (order) against chaos. Well here is what I have. The two paintings that I am the happiest with are structure IV and III.
I had posted Structure I on the November 15 blog
Here are some process images:
And here are the paintings I finished this month:
Structure II, 36 by 36 inches
Structure III, 40 by 60 inches
And I had also finished the painting with the concentration camp maps which I had thought was finished last month. I added some elements so here is the finished Camp Moschendorf V painting now
30 by 50 inches