Coming up to recall our workshop in Kassel, a background atmosphere, remote but dominant, comes to me. It is a post war atmosphere that this city cannot escape from. At the same time, Kassel after its demolition in the Second World War was really reborn due to the “dOCUMENTA” exhibition.
So the city was also introduced to the world map as a cultural event of extreme importance. However, it is this same exhibition, where every time you return, always reveals to your eyes as a repetitive memory of the war. The “dOCUMENTA” eternally echoes and documents the deep melancholy and pain as if the war has become a permanent, trans historical part of our collective body.
The inspired walk around led by the exhibiting artists of the team didn’t make me forget the melancholic context. On the contrary, a reflection on the past war brought out to me interesting interconnections and combinations between the artworks:
In Toril Johannessen’s workaround, her own poetic reminiscence of fuel mechanics met Janet Cardiff’s Alter Bahnhof video walk. This work blindly led us to feel the nightmares and dreams that hang around the Station from the Nazi’s times.
Maria Thereza Alves’ concern on the political aspect of culture led her walk around pass through Rossella Biscoti’s “Trial”. There came to us, strong and clear, the sense of prolongation of the World War in Italy through the political struggles and conflicts of the 70’s.
Claire Pentecost’s artistic and political concern about the soil brought us in a wandering around Karlsaue Park. The soil on which we were walking was taking its cultural meaning both from the works on the site as well as from the shadows of a past tank invasion to the city’s ground floor.
Now I think that the European continent persists in being an eternal scene of battles and wars. Maybe in its present state of unification, an economic war, inside the Union, continues its long living history. Thinking of the various artistic, architectural, theoretical practices we all follow, concerning nature and our addiction to it, I believe that this nature – oriented attitude should be “naturally” integrated with research and practice on the geopolitical substance of the European ground.