Favorites of the week: If you resist, you don’t have a smartphone – culture


Moulin Rouge in Cologne: Party for the exhausted

The fact that the year 2022 will last for several more weeks is an impertinence that perhaps only Cologne can help to cope with. In particular, the Broadway musical “Moulin Rouge” that has just started there. Walk in, into the new cathedral on the Rhine, take a photo of the spectacular stage set (if you resist, you don’t have a smartphone), take a seat, forget the world. “Moulin Rouge” is based on the film of the same name about the nightclub of the same name, voulez-vous couch avec moi? Paris, 1899, the bohemians of Montmartre, two men are fighting for the star of the house, the house is fighting bankruptcy, everything is dazzling, fast, wild. And a dizzying number of songs from 160 years of pop history are rewritten with the finest humor and woven into the story: Offenbach, Rihanna, Madonna, David Bowie, Sia. A party for those who are too weak to dance, çe soir. Laura Hertreiter

Art action: trees without borders

Favorites of the week: This year's motto of the exhibition "Art Safiental"at which the work was shown until the end of October, read: "Learning from the Earth".

This year’s motto of the “Art Safiental” exhibition, in which the work was on display until the end of October, was: “Learning from the Earth”.

(Photo: Art Safiental, Julius von Bismarck; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022)

The tree line in the Alps is approximately 2000 meters above sea level. It is visible to the naked eye; it runs through the mountains as a horizontal line above which trees no longer grow. However, she is not telling the truth. The earth is currently heating up so rapidly that vegetation cannot keep up adaptively, with the result that the visible tree line is long outdated and shows the status of a few decades ago. The real tree line is now far higher.

The artist Julius von Bismarck therefore took a larch tree out of the valley for the outdoor exhibition “Art Safiental” in the Swiss Safiental and transplanted it to a height of 2370 meters to demonstrate how much further the border has already moved up. Nobody knows exactly how high it is today, the 370 meters is an informed estimate. The only thing that is certain is that the Alpine forest in its current form will no longer be able to survive for much longer and that if you wanted to save it, you would have to move it up a few hundred meters. Nobody has time to wait another four million years for vegetation to decide to adapt to the climatic conditions. From a landscape architectural point of view, the replanting is therefore something of a pioneering work.

When it comes to raising public awareness of climate change, they seemed to be art and activism in the end rather irreconcilable. They are immediate neighbors. Both are active in the field of image production and both consider the iconography of the existing to be insufficient. While the activists’ basic accusation is that art vainly distracts from the essential, Julius von Bismarck produces images that make the new conditions visible. Land art, landscape architecture and forestry work caused by the climate could prove to be the fields of activity of a new performative avant-garde. Exactly 40 years after Joseph Beuys had 7000 oak trees planted in Kassel for his “Stadtverwaldung”, the tree has again become a relevant signifier in contemporary art. Felix Stephen

Pop music: 50 years of progressive band “Banco” from Italy

Favorites of the week: Francesco Di Giacomo, singer of "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso"at the Sanremo Music Festival in 1985.

Francesco Di Giacomo, singer of “Banco del Mutuo Soccorso”, at the Sanremo Music Festival in 1985.

(Photo: imago/Leemage)

Intricate rhythms, extended instrumental passages, melting melodies: If you want to get to know the wonderful music of the Italian progressive rock era, you should read the first two albums by Banco del Mutuo Soccorso Listen. They appeared exactly 50 years ago, in the sacred Progressive year 1972 – marvels of exuberant ideas. The music of this era, which has been largely forgotten today, comes to a fabulous peak here: the synthesizers of the two brothers and band founders Gianni and Vittorio Nocenzi whip up the sound that takes your breath away, but between the high-frequency organ sounds Banco mix classical musical instruments, especially the harpsichord, which was often used at that time. Both albums push the listener to the limit of what is bearable, for example in the 14-minute song “L’evoluzione” on the concept album “Darwin” – but then, like in a clearing in the darkest forest, a beautiful melody suddenly breaks out of the thicket. And above everything floats the passionate, almost melodramatic voice of Francesco Di Giacomo – so emotional and velvety that no singer of the English competition ever had. There is no boredom at Banco until the very end. Marc Hoch

Comic book: “Lucky Luke” for vegetarians

Favorites of the week: Achdé, Jul: Lucky Luke.  Rantanplan's Ark.  Translated from the French by Klaus Jöken.  Egmont Verlag, Berlin 2022, 48 pages, softcover 7.99 euros, hardcover 14 euros.

Achdé, Jul: Lucky Luke. Rantanplan’s Ark. Translated from the French by Klaus Jöken. Egmont Verlag, Berlin 2022, 48 pages, softcover 7.99 euros, hardcover 14 euros.

(Photo: Egmont)

What would the Wild West be without cowboys, herds of cattle and steaks! In the new “Lucky Luke” volume “Rantanplans Arche” (Egmont Verlag) this is exactly what becomes reality and Cattle Gulch – an inconspicuous western town where horses are ridden and cows are eaten – becomes Veggie Town, a place where meat eaters are threatened with the gallows . How can that be? Rantanplan, the dog who is known to be dumber than his shadow, had brought unexpected wealth to a local animal rights activist by finding a gold nugget, after which he found dubious support from veggie desperados.

Scenarist Julien Lucien Berjeaut aka Jul and illustrator Hervé Darmenton aka Achdé paint the vegan vest in iridescent colors. A cardsharp is no longer tarred and feathered, but tarred and leafy, and a trapper, traditionally dressed in skins, is stripped to the skin. As a cow driver and meat eater whose best friend is his horse Jolly Jumper, the title hero Lucky Luke has a fundamentally ambivalent relationship to farm animals. And yet he can’t stand by and watch as a group of vegetarian mercenaries (with names like Artichoke Jim, Quinoa Bob or Tofu Sam) terrorize the residents of the western town.

The virtue terror in the comic is reminiscent of the controversial climate protest actions of the “Last Generation”, but the volume should not be taken that seriously. But it is definitely a plea for animal protection, if only because of the loving drawings: A turtle, a coyote or a talking parrot, cows, horses or a bear – all animals are lovingly portrayed as individuals. With the animal rights activist Ovide Byrde, the authors also allude to Henry Bergh, the founder of the first American animal welfare association. In Germany, the volume is published in cooperation with the German Animal Welfare Association. He’s allowed to solicit donations on the last page, after all – after all, we’re not in Veggie Town – not at gun point. Martina Knoben

Classic CD: Schikaneder’s music workshop

Favorites of the week: The baritone Konstantin Krimmel explores the works from Emanuel Schikaneder's music theater factory.

The baritone Konstantin Krimmel explores the works from Emanuel Schikaneder’s music theater factory.

(Photo: Alpha Classics)

Emanuel Schikaneder was a gifted theater entrepreneur. He knew what the audience wanted to see, he had the building for it, the Theater an der Wieden, and he had the right people for it in his workshop. The lyricist Christoph Martin Wieland, for example, and of course Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose “Magic Flute” is only part of Schikaneder’s series. Before Mozart’s Singspiel, which is celebrated today as a unique masterpiece, there was “Oberon” by Paul Warnitzky, and there was the “philosopher’s stone”, in which Mozart co-composed. Rüdiger Lotter has now recorded excerpts from this music theater factory with the Munich court orchestra under the title “Magic Opera”, Konstantin Krimmel sings so beautifully “that a fiacre could sing it”. This is how Mozart described his own melodies – mass taste served at a select level (Alpha Classics). Egbert Tholl



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