This week’s Wednesday eve was divided into exhibition opening and lecture.
First, I passed the opening of the current artist’s in residence exhibition at WIELS. For the exhibition on the myth of The Divine Goat the Greek resident Yiannis Skarimbas did a collaborative work with all the other residents currently working at WIELS. I think that’s a really nice approach, even though the presentation didn’t really say a lot to me … yet, it produced a nice winterly atmosphere.
Well, we hopped further and had the great pleasure to attend a reading by Austrian writer Arno Geiger and a conversation with Belgian writer and philosopher Geert van Istendael at Bozar, organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum. Geiger’s latest book Unter der Drachenwand has been published in Flemish Onder de Drachenwand - this was a good occasion to talk about the genesis of this piece, which he has been working on for more than 10 years and about his remaining œvre. It was such a good in-depth talk about Geiger’s research for the book, which is a kind of “Gesellschaftsroman” counting the story of people in a small village near Mondsee in Austria in the year 1944, from the perspective of not knowing that the war is going to an end. Though Geiger is an historian he tried to completely fade out his knowledge, didn’t research with secondary literature but only reading primary sources as thousands of pages of letters from that time. That’s what makes the novel is so special, thrilling and recommendable. In conversation with Istendael Geiger was so well reflected and quick on the comeback - also when it came to contemporary (Austrian) right and nationalist politics.
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