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Three Suitcases: Walter Benjamin; Agusti Centelles; and the Hypothetical Suitcase of Baltasar Garzon -Part Two

Three Suitcases

“Photography and Time at the Border,” by Janet Sternburg, is a multi-part series of essays that explores issues surrounding history, memory, exile and home. The Museum of Exile is the opening essay that focuses on the Museu Memorial d’Exili, in La Jonquera, Spain, juxtaposed with the music of Paco Ibanez. Three Suitcases, a two part commentary, continues this exploration by linking the lives and work of three pivotal figures: Walter Benjamin, Agusti Centelles and Baltasar Garzon, juxtaposed with the music of Lluis Llach and Joan Manuel Serrat. 3. UNCOVERED Metaphors don’t always line up: a suitcase can be an emblem of belonging to a place, and of ensuring the safety of one’s belongings; it can also signify something ... [Read more]

Three Suitcases: Walter Benjamin; Agusti Centelles; and the Hypothetical Suitcase of Baltasar Garzon – Part One

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“Photography and Time at the Border,” by Janet Sternburg, is a multi-part series of essays that explores issues surrounding history, memory, exile and home. The Museum of Exile is the opening essay that focuses on the Museu Memorial d’Exili, in La Jonquera, Spain, juxtaposed with the music of Paco Ibanez. Three Suitcases, a two part commentary, continues this exploration by linking the lives and work of three pivotal figures: Walter Benjamin, Agusti Centelles and Baltasar Garzon, juxtaposed with the music of Lluis Llach and Joan Manuel Serrat. This is a tale of three suitcases, two real, and one hypothetical, each journeying at different times and in different directions, but bound together by a shared history and ... [Read more]

The Emergence of a New Structure of Feeling

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On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald, by Eric Santner –  The shiver of political anxiety that winds through Eric Santner’s book On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald arises from the work of German jurist and philosopher Carl Schmitt, whose theory of the “state of exception” figured prominently in the juridical foundations of the Third Reich. Santner’s anxiety is shared by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben in his important work Homo Sacer, and by Jacques Derrida in his lectures on The Beast and the Sovereign, and it concerns the way Schmitt’s thesis is once again expressing itself in the world, particularly in America’s “war on terror.” Santner contextualizes Schmitt’s thinking by examining an ... [Read more]

Salvage and Sabotage

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Maya Zack, W.G. Sebald, Walter Benjamin and Chris Marker, A Further Inquiry on Image and Text – With Living Room, an installation I sought out at The Jewish Museum in New York, Israeli artist Maya Zack is salvaging the past of a particular man, Manfred Nomburg, and through his memories of the pre-Holocaust past, the Jewish experience in Germany. Zack is honoring what once was, what was lost and now remembered. But something else is at work, subtly undermining that formulation. Living Room combines the immemorial impulse to salvage with a more contemporary impulse to sabotage, and suggests ways that artists and writers are bringing these impulses together, not as separate and opposite, but rather in generative conjunction. On each ... [Read more]