Diary and Thoughts

Diary and thoughts on architecture | Jan Dekeyser (& students)

Maand: november, 2013

10 nov. 2013 | The rhythm of silence (on the work of architect Peter Zumthor / DAY 2)

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DAY 2
I didn’t finish day 1 completely. We arrived late in Lindau to spend the night and still went to see the nocturnal Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB). During the day this building is what I should call translucent and absent, but in the night it starts glowing in these magnificent grayish, frozen and moonlight white colors. Beamlights inbetween the double-skin façade illuminate the glass cube itself, the separate panels becoming fluorescent grisailles. A silent lighthouse with immobile vertical searchlights, next to a vast lake of which the dark surface mirrors the universe.

I tell the students about the military searchlights at the end of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin. How Hitler, ignoring the advice of his generals, ordered to bring all the searchlights the Nazi’s had to Berlin, leaving the borders unprotected, in order to bluff and suggest they had more. But also, how beautiful and overwhelming the effect was, the vertical focused beamlights on the outside walls of the Olympic stadium, suddenly moving with their rays of light towards one central point and by that creating a kind of monumental dome, a dome of light. In “Olympia, Das Fest der Schönheit”* we can still see how Leni Riefenstah frames these touching lightbeams as if they were a bright shining star, a blinking carbon arclight*, an “arc of light”.
We know, the whole thing was meant as propaganda and Speer, Hitlers architect, knew of course the intimidating power of flags and symmetry, of fake symbols and rituals, what I would call visual rhetorics. The art to convince with just formalistic means. How dangerous this empty formalism can be and how it transforms easily into empty nationalism we know, we should know.
But after all these years, the light dome, this ballet of beamlights, the images of Riefenstahl, still look breathtaking. Apparently this kind of moral issue also stays actual considering the fabulous scenography of Yang Zhimou for the opening of the Chinese Olympic Games of 2012 …

Back at the Hostel in Lindau we still drink a Fohrenburger beer, an Austrian one and brewed according to the “Reinheitsgebot”. Dating from 1516 this “Bavarian Purity Law” defines beer just to be made with the natural ingredients water, barley and hops. In the coat of arms of the Fohrenburger beer a white unicorn is depicted, this fabulous creature standing for untamed power and innocent purity. As pure the animal is, the beer should be. Finally the unicorn leads me into a dreamy world of medieval bestiaries, the Hortus Conclusus, of stars and constellations,

An open sky accompanies the cold night. The Bodensee nearby, the Rhine leaving the mountains and taking a break. One cannot see the mountains from here, but somewhere on the other side of the lake they are silently present. The night is peaceful, the featherbed warm. The celestial globe of Coronelli comes to life. “See, even Night herself is here”*

I have difficulties to wake up because the morning is as silent as the night was, the blinds down leaving the room completely dark. Coffee helps.

As the morning is young, I would like to assume another way of looking opposing the formalism, the visual rhetorics, we talked about yesterday, a more introvert and dialoguing language versus the will to convince. The unicorn being a metaphor, I would like to talk about integrity.

When I see Zumthor talking in his kitchen and atelier (in the documentary “Notes from a Day in the Life of an Architect” made by Wim Wenders), I see an old but integer man. But what does it mean ? How to define integrity ?
I see a man that is not stressed by time, who takes his time to understand “the feeling of things”, as Adam Caruso explains in his essay*. To understand context and content ; on the one hand communicating with the genius loci and on the other hand to premise human expectations and emotions. I see a man who questions his own “imagination, inspiration and intuition”*, who reflects while persecuting the path of experiment, of try and error. I see somebody who thinks out of the projects themselves and develops them with a childish, open minded, spirit. Wandering in the architecture of Zumthor is experiencing processes, how “things” were made and how they grow organically out of the human mind and out of the physiological characteristics of the “things”.

Thinking with the heart creates “Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition”. Through heart thinking we can experience the truth in a moment of intuition, for it is in this moment that truth stands within the human being as a reality, as an objective human experience, and not as some abstract theory”*. Perhaps a bit ethereal said, but Zumthors thinking and craftsmanship roots in the ideas of Goethe, Rudolf Steiner and Joseph Beuys. Approaching Zumthors work from this point of view, this “historical line”, is also a way to define integrity.
Opposite to the entertainment, the glamour and the vanity stands the “Gebrauchsmusik”, in a manner that J.S. Bach, as a craftsman, wrote his music to be functional for specific occasions. Opposite to idolatry and the star statuses of architects and artists is the anonymous character of the work itself, which makes the difference between consuming and throwing away, and experiencing, identifying and absorbing. “Things” that need some time, buildings as a Gestallt.

The temporary exhibitions of the Kunsthaus Bregenz show contemporary art. The concept of the building is simple and regarding the way artists, as Hiroshi Sugimoto and now Barbara Kruger, worked in these spaces, very efficient and inspiring.
Apparently Zumthor wanted the spaces to be abstract and absent. The Kunsthaus consists of a square ground floor and 3 other levels, which slightly differ. Each level being one open space, marked by a  terrazzo floor, either a concrete (ground floor) or glass ceiling (3 levels), either concrete (3 levels) or glass walls (ground floor). Three concrete offset walls parallel to the facades guide or hide stairs, elevator, deposit space.
The skin of the building is doubled ; rectangular shields in glass at the outside, glass (ground floor) or concrete (3 levels) at the inside.
There are a lot of links in this design, the grid referring to the Roman origin of the city of Bregenz, Brigantium, – the grid organizing the Roman Castra -, the square and open space inside being a reference to the National Gallery of Mies, ….

The magical trick however is at the first sight not visible from the inside. Also the ceilings of the 3 levels are doubled into a constructive concrete part and a lower suspended translucent ceiling. At the height of this internal “technical” space, the concrete walls of the inner skin is replaced by glass, allowing natural daylight to enter the spaces.
As fluorescents are attached to the concrete ceiling, daylight and artificial light mix up and illuminate the space through a diffusing ceiling. Along the grid of the square glass panels some 220v.-rails are integrated allowing to add spotlights and by that compensate this diffuse light with more focused light.
The wonder however accomplishes when staying a bit in these spaces and noticing how the light changes according to the daylight conditions outside. So by means of light, the way the sun softly infiltrates, Zumthor transformed these neutral and abstract spaces, the art and people again into a continuous vivid perception and experience.

Barabar Kruger is an American artist (b. 1945) who works with graphic techniques of advertising and marketing. She combines found photographs from magazines with strong quotes or slogans in her very specific black-white-red style. “I shop therefore I am”.
Visually text and image are integrated, but contentwise there is a clash that obliges us to halt and to question.
In the Kunsthaus she implements her work in a conscious spatial way, the three floors becoming each a part of an ABA-structured sonata. On the first level the complete floor is covered by black and white-text divided in two parts by a red and white-text line segment in the middle. In addition with the vast surface of the floor, small work is presented on the concrete walls. On the third floor one quote “Der sinn des lebens besteht darin, dass es endet” is stretched out over the complete length of the walls, again in the same black, white and red colours, being a “variation on the theme” (of the first floor). In contrast with the “silent”, static and illuminated floors, the second level, the B-part of the sonata, is darkened for 4 continuously and simultaneous projected videos, creating some confusing fuss.

We see again, after beautiful installations of Sugimoto, Olafur Eliasson, … how an artist takes profit out of these balanced spaces and how architecture can be present in a peaceful way and serve the artist and his, her work. This can only be the case when the architect creates a kind of no man’s land, a very functional space which lost its function, an “empty” space.

Next to the KUB, in the former Post Office building, hundreds of Zumthors models are exhibited. They are functionally stored in industrial metal racks, one on top of the other. All kinds of models, big and small, detailed or rough, focusing on the environment or on a technical matter, on scale or more sculptural, professional or childish, … All of them meant a certain question and a successive step in the developing processes of Zumthors projects. We get a better insight in the way Zumthor thinks by constantly materializing his thoughts. Thinking and making, questioning and craftsmanship go integrally together.
As a teacher being involved in the education of (interior) architects, I cannot emphasis more that the research issue should NOT be separated from the designing, To research, or better said to look to the world with curiosity, should be an attitude, not a preparatory study. In these models of Zumthor we can pretty well see the reason why.

So it is a pleasure for the eye to see how, even on the scale of the model, Zumthor tries to express and translate the characteristics of construction, the tactility of materials, the sculpturing of the light, …, how our sensibility is already so strongly addressed by these small exercises.
There is no method in the making of these models, but every serie shows a continuity and a certain uniformity. Step by step we can see how the pigeonholes in the thick walls of the Kolumba museum were developed. We can see the primary hut which functioned as the formwork for the rammed concrete for the Feldkapelle, …
It is not allowed to take pictures of the models, a pity yes, but Zumthor wanted us to look with our eyes and to be aware. Through the lens of the camera we see “snapshots”, just fragmented moments and of course Zumthor wants us to see the whole working process, also the long labour. I sit down and wait till all the students saw the documentary by Wim Wenders. My eyes dwell around all these models. I’m glad we could witness how these marvelous buildings took shape bit by bit, model after model.

We continue our way to Vals, Switzerland, on the same day. Vals, a small alpine village at the end of a winding road, top of the valley, at the altitude of 1.250m. Half buried into the hill side, surrounded by sixties hotels and on top of a thermal spring, Zumthor created the “Thermen”.
Every Sunday there is a midnight session allowing the hotelguests to use the Thermen between 11pm and 0.30am, in full silence. The day has been long and exiting, so I will write about the Thermen tomorrow. Lets end the day by swimming in silence. Swimming outside, next to the flanks of these huge mountains that one can barely see through the fog of the hot water. The cupper fountains outside stopped spitting the hot well-water. It starts snowing, I worry a bit for the way back tomorrow.
It is strange to see how tactile and touchable everything and everybody becomes, the stones in Valser Quartzite, our skins. How intimacy and silence get interwoven, becoming one. How intimacy nestles in silence.
Floating around in the water with no aim, nor purpose, the water relieving all weight. A submarine that carries some sailors, taking a breath at the water surface, floating around in the night. Whirling snowflakes, intimate silence.

Jan Dekeyser | Sunday Nov. 10th 2013

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*1Olympia, Das Fest der Schönheit“, movie by Leni Riefenstahl (1936) ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHt927h9B5Y
*2 The carbon arclight :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8e_u_xqN30
*3The Fairy Queen“, semi-opera by Henry Purcell ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoY9fuhOli0
*4The feeling of things“, essay by Adam Caruso /
Ediciones Poligrafa, Barcelona 2008 (ISBN : 978-84-343-1186-2).
*5  “Wisdom of Man, of the Soul and the Spirit“, Rudolf Steiner / GA 115 1911.
*6A thinking heart for the 21st century“,  essay by Ian George /
National Gallery of Victoria 2007
(Joseph Beuys & Rudolph Steiner : “Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition.” /  ISBN 9780724102914).

References :
http://expositions.bnf.fr/globes/loupe/ciel.htm
http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/Bio.html

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9 nov. 2013 | The rhythm of silence (on the work of architect Peter Zumthor / DAY 1)

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DAY 1.
We park the car at the edge of a rainy glowing landscape, in the middle of the Eifel Highlands, and start walking towards the “Bruder Klaus”-feldkapelle. Time already slowed down getting off the highway and driving along these small rural villages with their old half-timbered houses. Just farmers making their living in that area, already up for hours, woken up by the noises of their cattle. Looks like being back in medieval times.
The walk to the chapel takes about twenty minutes. I walk on my own. I guess, everybody knows this kind of feeling, a bit lonesome, walking and thinking. It sounds as if there is silence, but there is the wind. Listening well, somewhere in the distance, one can hear the noise of speedy cars on the German highways. Especially in this area, from Cologne to the NRW-region, these highways are everywhere and the monotonous buzz always present. Feels like small madness all the time being surrounded by “autobahn”.

One way or another I became very sensitive to these sounds. Strange because I always lived in the city and got used to the hectic and the urban soundscape. I even remember as a child I couldn’t stand Sundays, because the rhythm of daily life seemed to come to a halt.
But now, when I hear that world waking up with the baleful sounds made by masses of cars and trucks, it stresses me. It’s like nobody takes care anymore of anything. World in distress, everybody trying on his, her own to be somewhere in time. Erasing context and content. Losing the overview.

On the track towards the chapel one can still hear the turmoil, but after some time the wind takes over. The wind and a bit of rain calms the human mind. The walking becomes a repeating physical rhythm inducing a small trance state. The rhythm of steps. Thoughts pass my mind.

Repetition is the power of music. In minimalistic music, but moreover in a way themes are developed and appear back again in variations. Characters and their “Leitmotive” evolve. Perhaps by recognizing melodies we absorb the music and make it our own, like people identify with personages on stage. We assimilate rhythms, we easily participate in them and are surprised by syncopations and off beats.

The music that appeals me the most, is based on repetitive structures ; the chaconne, fuga and passacaglia, these old baroque forms developed out of the canon practice and still inspiring contemporary composers as Ligetti, Penderecki*, … . Some of them, as the Passacaglia for violin solo by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber* and the descending ground in the farewell song of Dido, the “lament”, are so simple, simply pure, and by that so moving.
When I’m laid in earth”, a descending chromatic line of seven notes, the seven falling “lacrimae” being a favourite theme for Elizabethan composers, Dido walking towards the reign of Hades.
Its autumn and the ploughed soil embraces the raindrops. The walking track towards the chapel appears to be a transgression zone. The reddish earth reminding us, giving us the feeling being connected with nature and her cycles.

I really feel comfortable with people when I do not have to talk, when being together in silence. Of course I had to learn talking because it’s necessary to explain to your children, to communicate projects to clients, to teach, … but still at the end it exhausts me. I even got used to talking, getting the attention of others, being busy, … but still. At the end I prefer silence. In our culture when there is no talk it feels uncomfortable. We call long periods of silence “dead time”. In Japanese culture silence is interpreted as a sign of interest and wonder. Silence is associated with truthfulness.

I reach the feldkapelle and remember the first time I was here, inside. A strong smell of burned wood made me questioning about the building process. Apparently tree trunks, functioning as a tent shaped formwork for the rammed concrete, were put on fire in a finishing phase, the building itself becoming a fireplace, a chimney. The smell and wood disappeared, but one can still touch the black burned edges of the moulded concrete.

The concrete is colored by reddish sand of the Eifel Highlands, the horizontal lines of the layers following the glowing landscape. But the five sided irregular prism also stands like a monolith, proud, guarding, protecting the genius loci. Resisting the elements. Maximum three of the side surfaces of the prism are visible from one point of view, seeing a volume but only being capable to reconstruct it in the mind and understand, by encircling it.
Fire and earth referring to the first housing, when human kind and cattle settled down. A spiral curved oculus is pointing towards the sky. Before letting light and rain inside, it must have guided the smoke outside. Fire to keep warm, fire to bake the bread, to share.
The chapel has no reference to the symmetrical “Latin cross” ground plan. One can just pass on his own through a small entrance corridor. The shape reminds me of the space between the “praying hands”, the pen-and-ink drawing by Albrecht Dürer, the tips of the fingers touching softly up there and suggesting a roof inside. Entering the chapel feels like going underground again, to the origins of our beliefs. Into the catacombs where people had to pray in silence. It feels like being a child hiding under the protecting table. Feels like being in the primary hut, in the archetype of shelter, the one that Lars Von Trier created for the end scene of “Melancholia”.* I feel humble.

More rain is falling. We hurry back to the cars.

In some buildings we developed a code to be silent ; in museums, churches, libraries,… A silence that permits people to concentrate mentally ; reading a book, talking in silence, … When the theatre curtains go up and public lights fade out the chatter dies down to a murmur and finally to silence. A silence that, at  that moment in darkness just as the play is about to begin, is pregnant of expectations and wonder.
As Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals do, the buildings of Zumthor extort silence themselves. Wandering in these spaces silence comes naturally. Echo’s emphasize every small sound, but softens them, make words inaudible. Spoken words become fragments of Gregorian chant, melisms fading away. People start whispering. The silence being a counterpoint to the whispers.

I never liked the collection of religious art in the Kolumba museum. What is, good heavens, “religious” art. As if there also exists an atheist art ? So this time I don’t enter the museum. The spaces with their curtains like old human skin, Japanese translucent paper, the pale and glossy floors reflecting the light so nice, the walking track on top of the ruins, … are however clearly in my mind. I walk around the building, following the old boundaries of the cloister which was ruined during the second world war. The old arches in Gothic broidery have been closed with masonry. Could be like parts of the Berlin wall with its houses and windows made inaccessible, but one way or another this intervention doesn’t look offensive at all. With their soft colours the bricks refer to the thick walls which made the intramuros and extramuros so clear in the Middle Ages. Above the ruins horizontal layers of masonry with thousands of small pigeon holes allow the light to enter. On top of these, big windows frame the view to the outside, the city of Cologne.
To quote Zumthor himself ; “to plan the building as a pure mass of shadow then, afterwards, to put in light as if you were hollowing out the darkness, as if the light were a new mass seeping in”.*

Trees have lost their leaves. There is a patio with some skinny trees enclosed to the museum. The fragile silhouettes of them contrast against the pale walls and ruins. Japanese calligraphy. The poetry and imaginary power of ruins.
The Kolumba museum is one of the few buildings  where I like to see people dwelling around. As with the trees, the silhouettes of the visitors are being outlined in this kind of architecture and light. It seems like the lonesome wanderer in the painting of Caspar David Friedrich stepped out of the misty landscape and is wondering now in these atmospheres. Beyond that melancholy Zumthor’s spaces surround and comfort people, take care of us. The presence of people create another layer of looking, we look together, sometimes from the point of view of the other. We look over the shoulder of “the wanderer” towards so much abstract beauty and (de)light.

Jan Dekeyser | Saturday Nov. 9th. 2013

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*1 “Passacaglia” (Symphony nb.3), by Krzysztof Penderecki ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEunrI3vYbM
*2The Guardian Angel“, passacaglia for solo violon, Mystery Sonata’s (1676), by H. I. Biber ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBVX35qecWA
*3Melancholia“, a movie by Lars Von Trier (2011) ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcZWZhUozr4
*4The Light on Things“, essay by P. Zumthor
Atmospheres” / Birkhäuser GmbH, Basel 2006 (ISBN 978-3-7643-7495-2).

References :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praying_Hands_(D%C3%BCrer)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caspar_David_Friedrich_032_(The_wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fog).jpg

31 okt. 2013 | “Odysseus achterna” (over “OdysSea, Moments before the flood”).

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvTpFEZGGMw

Als jonge man was ik sterk onder de invloed van de antieke Griekse cultuur. Ik las “De Vleespotten van Egypte” van Marnix Gijsen en “De mythe van Sisyphus” van Albert Camus en was verwonderd door die honderden mythologische verwijzingen.
Een nonkel uit Antwerpen gaf me het schitterende boek “L’ordre Grec”, Essai Sur Le Temple Dorique”, waaruit ik onmiddellijk besloot dat al ons gevoel voor proportie en schoonheid wel van de oude Grieken afkomstig moest zijn. Van de Joden onze godsdienst, van de Romeinen de wet en het verkavelen, van de oude Grieken dus de lichamelijke en spirituele schoonheid (filosofie), de zin voor verhouding in de dingen en tussen de mensen (democratie).
Toen mijn ouders, na een kleine opstand van de zonen tegen de zoveelste saaie “Zwarte Woud”-reis in het vooruitzicht, een suggestie vroegen voor een “andere” reis, twijfelde ik geen moment : Griekenland ! Mijn eerste vliegtuigreis, de eerste maal van de zo vele malen richting Middellandse zee.
Ik bereide de reis zorgvuldig voor met nog meer Marnix Gijsen, Niko Kazantzakis, …
“Odysseus achterna”.
Torcello, Istrië, Komiza, Lopud, de route die de vluchtende Caravaggio aflegde ; Napels-Palermo-Siracusa-Malta, Constantinopel-Istanbul, Sounion, Volos, waar Jason en zijn Argonauten uitvaarde, Pilion ; het land van de Centauren, Elefsina, …

Van al die mythologieën die zich als uit een doos van Pandora openbaarden, heeft de Odyssee van Homeros mij nooit kunnen bekoren. Vanuit het veilige nest en het (te) beschermde milieu waarin ik opgroeide, kon ik niet begrijpen waarom een man zo kon dwalen, afdwalen en willoze speelbal kon zijn van de schikgodinnen. Waarom een man op terugreis van het ene avontuur in het andere verzeilde en zo vrouw en kroost jarenlang het kijken naliet.

“OdysSea” is ook een documentaire over het project “Moments before the flood” dat de Magnum fotograaf Carl De Keyzer momenteel realiseert of inmiddels heeft gerealiseerd. Althans daarover gaat de film ; een reis langsheen en het fotograferen van Europese kustlijnen. In de documentaire worden drie plekken uitgelicht, de Kroatische kust, de Noordzee en de Fjorden in Noorwegen.

Ik ontmoette Carl een pak jaren terug. Inmiddels is blijkbaar ook hij vader van uit kluiten gewassen kinderen. Toen werd hem gevraagd het maakproces van een hedendaagse opera te registreren. Timide en rustige man, ogenschijnlijk afwezig, maar met een verbazend gevoel voor timing en het bevriezen van dat ene bijzondere moment in beweging.

Recentelijk antwoordde Carl me nog kort : “Dag Jan, leuk nog iets van je te horen. lezingen doe ik niet zo graag en ik ben er dan ook maar mee gestopt, de herhalingen vielen me lastig. (…). Groetjes, Carl”. Geen man van grootspraak.

De documentaire speelt zich af als een roadmovie. Het vertrekpunt is de nakende klimaatsverandering en de veronderstelling dat grote delen van kustlijnen zullen overspoelen. En wat zal verdwijnen wordt plots onder die dreiging iets meer uniek, of althans ervaren wij als een allerlaatste “unieke” kans om te zien. Wanneer een afscheid zich aankondigt worden momenten en beleving intenser. Ikzelf neem niet graag meer afscheid.

In de film zien we Carl dus reizen en met regelmaat zijn tripod opstellen. Op een licht onderkoelde toon worden bedenkingen en soms pakkende quotes uitgesproken.
Liefde en kunst zullen de wereld redden”.
Dat Carl alleen reist heeft iets droevig of eerder melancholisch, maar maakt dat die dwangmatige noodzaak om te fotograferen sterker uit de verf komt. Het is een beetje cliché, die “eenzame kunstenaar in zijn ivoren toren”, in dit geval “een pelgrim op zoek naar”, die unheimliche hotelkamers, … maar het maakt het contrast met de zich zo weinig bevragende buitenwereld wel aanschouwelijker en aangrijpender.

Carl vertelt ook over de relationele brokken die hij gemaakt heeft. Als er op het einde toch een happy end aan de documentaire wordt gebreid, lijkt alles wat geënsceneerd …
Ook met de weergave van de foto’s loopt het plots verkeerd. De kleuren van de foto’s steken te schril af tegen de met film geregistreerde beelden. De foto’s lijken gefotoshopt en de kleuren opgepimt, waardoor ze hun unieke spontane karakter verliezen.

Jammer is tevens de korte tijdsduur van de film. De trip is te kort en comfortabel om tot een katharsis te leiden, het geheel werkt daardoor te vluchtig.
Er is geen sprake van eerder werk van een van onze meest gewaardeerde fotografen. OdeysSea blijft uiteindelijk steken in een te algemene beschouwing over de klimaatsverandering en de zoektocht beperkt zich tot een aantal anekdotische plekken.
Nochtans hadden het trage(re) ritme, de eerlijke beschouwingen over o.m. schoonheid en het bij wijlen intelligente filmisch werk best doorgetrokken mogen worden.

Een epos, een epic journey zoals de makers het stellen, is het dus helaas niet geworden, wel een boeiende (te) korte inkijk in het leven en werk van Carl De Keyzer.

Na al die jaren denk ik ontvankelijker te zijn geworden voor het verhaal van Odysseus. Ik denk dat ik de man beter begrijp, een beetje op de dool, zichzelf kwijt. Zonder al te veel bagage op stap. Zoeken naar minstens de essentie van de dingen.
Het verhaal is van alle tijden ; de Middeleeuwse queeste, “Het zevende zegel”, “Paris-Texas”, …
Soms stippelen we zelf onze routes uit, soms laten we ons meedrijven en kiest het lot. Niet wetende of we door eb en vloed steeds belanden op diezelfde plek, dan wel op een vreemde kust.
Op zoek naar wat waar-schijnlijk niet te vinden is.

En zo wordt het epos van Homerus na al die jaren plots een toegankelijk boek. Een alfabet dat de ene nog moet schrijven en door de ander beetje met beetje ontcijferd wordt. Zo wordt de antiheld, weliswaar geen heroïsche, noch tragische held, maar een man met opgeheven hoofd. Een dansende Zorba na de mislukking. Of zoals Camus het in zijn “Sisiphus” stelt, wanneer deze na de zoveelste keer zijn bergafwaarts rollende steen achterna wandelt : “We moeten ons Sisiphus als een gelukkig mens voorstellen”.

Jan Dekeyser | 31 okt. 2013

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