A couple of relections from last weekend and speakers that made for a quite extraordinary experience, and the sun shine! My usual experience of mud of which there was none. I guess the 2nd week with rain is different.
All my comments have some link to me however spurious to the work I have been doing on Henry Moore.
3 talks on the Saturday seemed immeasurably linked together.
Neil McGregor former director British museum spoke about what happens to art that was deemed acceptable by the Nazis and the process of reassigning both names and purposes to works of art in Germany, e en some reappropriation of Nazi memorials. He mentioned in particular the elephant that at the Berlin station which had been a memorial to German imperialism and when the genocide in German south east Africa came to light it has become the symbol of recognition and reconciliation.he mentioned that the Banhoffer contemporary art museum is currently staging an exhibition of Art acceptable to the Nazis. He commented that Germany is the most progressive European country in having to deal with the enormity of its past, nothing of this nature has happened in the Uk despite the inheritance of colonisim and the Rhodes controversy.
Svetlana Alexievvich Nobel prize winner for literature of her accounts of Russian women’s account of war. The process of gathering womens’ accounts. The victors and executions can be compared but often are the same people. She compared the crumbling soviet empire with Germany after the 2nd world war.
Edmund de Waal also after giving an inspiring almost evangelical address on the process, discovery and engagement with white porcelain. Linked back to his discovery that the Nazi hierarchy appropriated figures made this material for gifts between leaders such as Hitler and Goebals. This lead searingly back into his own Jewish ancestry, and their persecution, portrayed in the ‘hare with amber eyes’
These are reflected back to the experience of my visit to Berlin and the work I’ve been undertaking on An artist whose art is the manifestation of public art in the Uk in the 1960s and 70s.