Quisquilia: Lib. nov.

Quid autem tanto fortunae strepitu desideratis?

Category: art

Autobibliophile

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Matadero, Madrid. Mar 2016.

Matadero, Madrid. Mar 2016.

Technicité et sentiment, synchronisme insécable.

Book vending machines – or book-o-mats – are, surprisingly enough, not a particular novelty, cooked up in the Machine Age, and yet they still offer ingenious ways of not only circumventing censorship – as supposedly already did Richard Carlile in Georgian England –, but also, in quite a dialectical fashion, of disrupting consumerism by providing the book as an everyday-article – free from auratic notions of literature – at most unexpected times and places and thus a respite from both modern day’s tenets of efficiency and (self-)optimisation and ubiquitous distraction. Reclam’s persistent success, for instance, as a staple of German literature (and its teaching) is owed to no small degree to its pioneering of automated bookstalls at hubs of public transport, at highly competitive prices. This idea was renewed in 2003 by Berlin’s independent publisher Sukultur with its carefully placed “book drops” for the quick fix in between, by now a series of more than 150 small booklets sufficient for a commute or the time in line in front of a club. As evidenced above, the idea of book disposals for a dime is still alive and kicking: subverting the very same conditions of automatisation and technocracy it uses to spread the beauty of imagination. La arrebatadora – fürs schöner Lesen!

– Quote: Le Corbusier. Thanks for your visit!

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O Tejo é mais belo…

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Saudade. Cais das Colunas, Lisbon. Dec 2017. Saudade. Cais das Colunas, Lisbon. Dec 2017.

…que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia. (Fernando Pessoa)

There is great longing at the river banks of the Tejo, history nigh impending on the horizons and the remnants of former rule and global reach that speak to you: step forward, immerse / yourself in history and grandeur / can you feel the invite to take on a step or two? / The clear path across / the other shore a mere step or two away / the tempting fate? But in the tired demeanor of a man on his way to or from work there lies a moment of rest, and rest he will – and take a resolute step back then to the trades on Praça do Comércio.

– Thanks for your visit!

Defy the barbarians

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You cannot defeat us. Charlie Hebdo. Jan 2015.

You cannot defeat us. Charlie Hebdo. Jan 2015.

You are little men with nothing but hate and violence in your hearts. You cannot defeat us. Freedom will prevail. Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo!

Berlin School of Existentialism

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Esmarchstraße (?), Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Oct 2014.

Esmarchstraße (?), Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Oct 2014.

What if that all did not have any meaning? Keep on living, even so?
Even the shutters in gentrified Berlin bear witness to German existential angst.

Thanks for your visit!

Woodwork medieval-style

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Doberan Minster, Bad Doberan. Sep 2014.

Doberan Minster, Bad Doberan. Sep 2014.

Detail of the choir stalls. Ornamental work dating back to ca. 1380.
I cannot shake off the feeling, that there is an owl in hiding.

Thanks for your visit!

Still life

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Anhaltinisches Gemüse, Berlin. Aug 2014.

Anhaltinisches Gemüse, Berlin. Aug 2014.

A still life with vegetables from Saxony-Anhalt: Yellow zucchini, cucumber, and a variety of tomatoes. Thanks for your visit!

Bicyclical Semiramisian

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Humboldt University, vis-à-vis Neue Wache, Berlin-Mitte. Jun 2014.

Humboldt University, vis-à-vis Neue Wache, Berlin-Mitte. Jun 2014.

The so-called Hanging Gardens have plants above ground, and are cultivated in the air, with the roots of the trees above the tilled earth, forming a roof. […] Palm trees lie in place on top of the pillars, alongside each other as cross beams, leaving very little space in between. This timber does not rot, unlike others; when it is soaked and put under pressure it swells up and nourishes the growth from roots, since it incorporates into its own interstices what is planted with it from outside.

Philo Byzantinus or Philo the Paradoxographer. Thanks for your visit!

Swedish pick-up shoes

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Artillerigatan 49, Östermalm, Stockholm. Jun 2014.

Artillerigatan 49, Östermalm, Stockholm. Jun 2014.

While I spent a few days in Sweden’s capital in early June, the city languishing in the sun, I noticed quite a number of abandoned shoes in Stockholm’s streets, some of them neatly arranged in pairs, more often though a single one on its own, some of them in the most unlikely places, tied to a window grate or footwear slung into a tree top swinging high, some in plain view,

some seemingly set aside just for a bare moment, some having turned over time into a token or rather a faded landmark, a single kid’s green sneaker here, a svelte sandal airing its heel there, each one an unfolding tale or witness to such. It made me wonder about the many reasons to leave behind a shoe or two in the public space…

For measurement, as manifest lagom? Are they to be picked-up eventually? Are they kind gifts for a stranger, charity, or just cheerfully redundant and spotty? A postmodernist wink and nod to contemporary whims? Is the typical Stockholmer a perpetual traveller on the move, his resolve a steadfastness on the go, is he a city slacker? Jag vet inte. – Thanks for your visit!

Glasscapism

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Laika Café, Berlin-Neukölln. May 2014.

Laika Café, Berlin-Neukölln. May 2014.

With the horse under him in time / to a movement of legs and hooves / upon a timeless sand:
This horse was a mighty occasion! / The intensity of its feet! The height / of its immense body!
And so the hero, the / hero! stepped that gracefully / into his redemption, losing / or gaining life thereby.

– Robert Creeley. Thanks for your visit!

It’s all Greek to me

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Junction box, Fontanestraße 31, Berlin-Neukölln. May 2014.

Junction box at Fontanestraße 31, Berlin-Neukölln. May 2014.

You speak well, hares, but where are your teeth and claws? – With the hares close-by, only a cynic wouldn’t recognise Antisthenes.

Thanks for your visit!