We’ll read through the end of volume 2 for our last class.
We’ll pay very close attention to the last few pages. And also welcome your questions and observations as usual.
Here are few things we mentioned in our meeting on the 24th:
Art Spiegelman’s section on Vladek’s “casual racism” from MetaMaus. This refers to pages 98-100, at the end of chapter 3.
Spiegelman’s long chapter “Why Mice?” from MetaMaus where he talks about Mickey Mouse and blackface, as well as the racism through dehumanization. Please read in the browser and don’t download, to respect copyright; if you want to keep this chapter, buy the book!
Thinking about space on the page in the comic and also about moving through and around the space of “Der verlassene Raum” by Karl Biedermann, at the Koppenplatz in Berlin (1996).
Have another look.
All the information in German here. From critic Manfred Wolff: “You can feel the look back over your shoulder, the cool draft from the opened door. You can hear the boots on the parquet, the thud of the overturned chair. You can smell the last meal that was on that table and the sweat of fear. The abandoned room is Berlin sculptor Karl Biedermann’s strongest monument in public space. It is located on Koppenplatz, in the middle of the Spandau suburb, in the middle of the former Scheunenviertel. In 1737, the Prussian king forced Jews without their own homes to settle here. Immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe were drawn here. The first open pogrom took place here in 1923. The abandoned room is a quiet memorial. It’s not noticeable. A simple table with turned legs and a closed drawer. The table top is empty. On one side there is a chair at the table, a second chair is overturned and lies on the floor. Violence happened. The victims are displaced, kidnapped, destroyed. The perpetrators are hidden and have moved on. A drama has taken place here, no, a crime. Anyone standing in this abandoned room witnesses what is happening and has to take sides. Anyone who visits the monumental memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe at the Brandenburg Gate should also come to Koppenplatz, where the incomprehensible crime of the Shoah is reduced to the human level. Nothing is incomprehensible anymore. Verses by Nelly Sachs can be found on the monument: “O the apartments of death / prepared invitingly / for the host of the house, who was otherwise a guest / O her finger, – laying the entrance threshold / like a knife between life and death – // O ye chimneys, / O ye fingers, / and Israel’s body in the smoke through the air.’ Karl Biedermann was born in Berlin in 1947. He studied at the HfBK in Dresden and the Weissensee Art Academy and has been working as a sculptor in Berlin since 1978. Sculptures by him can be found in public spaces: the Bonhoeffer monument at the Zionskirche, the steles for Peter Fechter on Zimmerstrasse and Chris Gueffroy on Baumschulenweg, the sculpture Here I will be haunted in the Ringelnatz settlement.” Text: Manfred Wolff, AI translation. From www.art-in-berlin.de.
“The Shoes on the Danube Promenade” by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer (2005).