Wednesday, 10 September 2014

kriegsbilder oder epimetheus

Once events begin to slip from living memory, I think either myths are made or tenants too difficult to reconcile are transformed into something spontaneously decisive and regarded with some kind of groundless anti-legend. Tragically, I believe that World War I is starting to be understood as the latter—while knowing that this is a heading that can be reversed.
The State Ar- chives is hosting a small exhibit of the ephemeral—periodicals, political cartoons, caricatures and patriotic posters gathered from all corners of Europe, highlighting the works of graphic artists Max Beckmann, Ernst Barlach, Kรคthe Kollwitz and Max Liebermann from 1914 to 1918—which are important moments, the scattered sibylline leaves of yesterday's unwanted newspapers, to reflect on.
History, with is its causes and effects removed from witness though we all live with the aftermath, can seem a bit academic and arbitrary, but seeing that the same surety and detracting prescience was in circulation back then too makes the past breathily close and a-pace with usual tumult of commentary and the media echo-chamber.
The proximity of that target of acquaintanceship and familiarity can always be set just a little further back.