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Deutsches House at NYU to Feature Photography Exhibition; Talks on Political Advocacy and Dance History; and More in April


Deutsches Haus at NYU will host Elias Wessel’s photography exhibition In the End, Though, Nothing is Lost (opening April 6); a panel discussion Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like with Siri Hustvedt and Marion Brasch as part of NYU’s The Literary Mews and the Pen World Voices Festival (April 20); an illustrated lecture with choreographer and dance historian Millicent Hodson featuring stills from the original 1916 Ballets Russes production of Till Eulenspiegel (April 30); and more in April.

Performance of Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer's reconstructed "Till Eulenspiegel" at the Rome Opera in 2001

Deutsches Haus at NYU will host Elias Wessel’s photography exhibition In the End, Though, Nothing is Lost (opening April 6); a panel discussion Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like with Siri Hustvedt and Marion Brasch as part of NYU’s The Literary Mews and the Pen World Voices Festival (April 20); an illustrated lecture with choreographer and dance historian Millicent Hodson featuring stills from the original 1916 Ballets Russes production of Till Eulenspiegel (April 30); and more in April.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. All events are held at Deutsches Haus’ 42 Washington Mews location (at University Place), unless otherwise noted. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive 10 minutes prior to the event. Please call 212.998.8660 or visit www.as.nyu.edu/deutscheshaus for more information. Subways: R, W (8th St.); 6 (Astor Pl.)

Monday, April 2, 6:30 p.m.
Home Made in India: A Conversation between Christopher Kloeble and Eric Jarosinski”

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading by the author and current Max Kade Writer-in-Residence at Georgetown University, Christopher Kloeble, from his latest book Home Made in India, followed by a conversation.

Indians, Germans, and an author seeking to answer the question: What is home? Since his marriage to Saskya from India, Christopher Kloeble is a notarized “Person of Indian Origin.” In this insightful, nuanced, amusing book, he strives to convey what it feels like to be suspended between two continents. Of course, cliches and preconceptions abound here as well as there - Indians enjoy chiding Germans for their impatience and dogmatism, while Germans focus on exotic stereotypes about life in India. For example: Did Saskya ride an elephant to school? Kloeble describes the communication problems and cultural differences that exist between his two worlds. However, his main focus is on the people he encounters, such as Siddhi, the sheltered princess and politician; or Kalu, the dreamy driver with a penchant for rose water. Each person he meets provides him with access points to this new homeland. Will he succeed at creating a Heimat for himself in Delhi as well as Berlin?

Friday, April 6, 6:00 p.m.
"Exhibition Opening: Elias Wessel's In the End, Though, Nothing is Lost

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents the exhibition Elias Wessel's In the End, Though, Nothing is Lost. The exhibition will be on view until May 26.

The pictorial source of In the End, Though, Nothing is Lost are photographs of landscapes taken by Elias Wessel during an artist residency in Kursk, Russia. There, the city administration demands rapid urbanization; old houses are demolished and citizens are forcibly displaced. The concern lies in the image making process. The nature of photography, to depict a virtual image of reality, is being destroyed. Houses and people vanish. By analogy this process and resulting images reflect the city’s intention and consequences of modernization. 

"Within the residency project, the artist was urged to produce documentary material in relation to those areas designated, prior to their subsequent demolition and future commercial development, as shopping malls and offices. The simple documentary idea gave the artist considerable aesthetic anxiety, and he undertook to take one hand movement image each day at an elevated distance of one or two kilometers so that the images possessed a sense of a semi-aerial viewpoint. The artist’s concerns with creating a pictorial (hence painterly) effect in these images expunged the immediacy of human presence and the images took on the character of abstractions" (Mark Gisbourne, Visions of Synthesis – The Photography of Elias Wessel).

Sunday, April 8, 5:00 p.m.
When Paul Came Over the Sea: Borders and (In)Humanity”
As part of KINO!2018, Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation about When Paul Came Over the Sea between Jakob Preuss, the film's director, Gabriella Etmektsoglou, Çiğdem Ipek, and Christian Martin, which will be moderated by Noah Isenberg. 

Paul is a migrant from Cameroon. He has made his way across the Sahara to the Moroccan coast where he now lives in a forest waiting for the right moment to cross the Mediterranean Sea. This is where he meets Jakob, a filmmaker from Berlin, who is researching a film about Europe’s borders. Soon afterwards, Paul manages to cross over to Spain on an inflatable rubber boat. He survives – but half of his companions die on this tragic 50-hour odyssey. Once in Spain, instead of getting psychological help, he is sent to an immigration detention center on a prison island. It is only upon his release that Jakob and Paul meet again, at a Red Cross shelter in Granada. Because of the economic crisis in southern Europe, Paul decides to continue on to Germany, the former colonizing power in Cameroon and the country of his dreams. When Paul comes to Jakob’s homeland, Jakob has to decide: will he become an active part of Paul’s pursuit of a better life, or remain the detached filmmaker? In the end the film takes a twist that neither Paul nor Jakob could have expected when they first met in the forest in Morocco. The film tells the story of their unusual friendship; a friendship that grew in the politically problematic context of the ongoing European debates on migration.

When Paul Came Over the Sea will be screened during KINO!2018 at the Landmark at 57 West on Sunday, April 8, at 1:30pm (with a Q&A with Marion Masone) and on Monday, April 9, at 6pm.

This is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Monday, April 9, 6:30 p.m.
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Silke Scheuermann in conversation with Lucy Jones & Susan Bernofsky”
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading of Silke Scheuermann's The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, and a conversation between the author and her English translator, Lucy Jones, moderated by the award-winning translator Susan Bernofsky.

A young woman who has been living abroad returns to her hometown of Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Her sister Ines—a beautiful, impetuous painter—who still lives there soon appears and promptly asks for financial help. But the returning sister knew this was coming—it is how their relationship has always worked. However, this time, she’s determined that will change. But plans don’t always hold up to the surprises presented by life—and when the sister finds herself about to drift into an affair with Ines’ lover, the two women grow unexpectedly closer. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf is a tale of disorientation in a modern, fundamentally rootless society that has become increasingly erratic and self-absorbed. It is also a powerful exploration of the difficulties of intimacy and addiction.

This is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Friday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.
Mitchell B. Merback : Dürer's Melencolia I and Therapeutic Images Before Modernity”
Deutsches Haus at NYU and the NYU Department of German present "Dürer's Melencolia I and Therapeutic Images Before Modernity." Prof. Merback will discuss in a dialogue with Christopher S. Wood (Department of German, NYU) the concepts and inspiration behind his new book, Perfection's Therapy: An Essay on Albrecht Dürer's Melancholia I (Zone Books, 2017).

Albrecht Dürer's famous portrayal of creative effort in paralysis, the unsurpassed masterpiece of copperplate engraving titled Melencolia I, has stood for centuries as a pictorial summa of knowledge about the melancholic temperament, a dense allegory of the limits of earthbound arts and sciences and the impossibility of attaining perfection. Dubbed the "image of images" for being the most zealously interpreted picture in the Western canon, Melencolia I also presides over the origins of modern iconology, art history's own science of meaning. Yet we are left with a clutter of mutually contradictory theories, a historiographic ruin that confirms the mood of its object. In Perfection's Therapy, Mitchell Merback reopens the case file and argues for a hidden intentionality in Melencolia I's opacity, its structural "chaos," and its resistance to allegorical closure. That intentionality, he argues, points toward a fascinating possibility never before considered: that Dürer's masterpiece is not only an arresting diagnosis of melancholic distress, but an innovative instrument for its undoing.

This is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Friday, April 20, 6:00 p.m.
Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like (Pen World Voices Festival/Literary Mews)”
As part of the Literary Mews and the PEN World Voices Festival, Deutsches Haus at NYU presents Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like, a conversation among Marion Brasch, Zetta Elliott, and Siri Hustvedt, which will be moderated by Prof. Marcia Pally.

Many of you will recognize this panel title as the onset of a call and response – a unifying chant – and one of the most prominent at the Women’s March on Washington D.C. on January 21, 2017 (and again on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration). This march, and many similar ones across the U.S. and the globe, were organized in order to advocate legislation pertaining to human rights, women’s rights, immigration reform, racial equality, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, and healthcare reform to name a few.

Our panel invites writers, thinkers, and journalists to reflect on the current crises that democratic institutions and governments around the world are facing as part of the rise of strong populist movements. It will not only examine the power of everyday citizens to affect change through protest and resistance, but also their individual approaches to activism and how to fortify the democratic principles we rely on.

This is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Monday, April 30, 6:30 p.m.
Till Eulenspiegel: A Talk by Millicent Hodson”
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents an illustrated lecture about Till Eulenspiegel by choreographer/dance historian Millicent Hodson. Her talk will feature stills from the original 1916 Ballets Russes production as well as stills and video from the reconstruction of Till Eulenspiegel Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer created at the Paris Opera in the mid-1990s and again at the Rome Opera in 2001.

Among the Ballets Russes reconstructions Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer have staged Till Eulenspiegel is the only one that was originally created in the U.S. The ballet was based on Till Eulenspiegel, the tone poem from 1895 which Richard Strauss agreed for Vaslav Nijinsky to choreograph. Nijinsky had been under house arrest in Budapest since the beginning of World War I, but Otto Kahn of the Metropolitan Opera and others worked to free Nijinsky to lead a U.S. tour of the Ballets Russes. Before leaving Europe Nijinsky met with Strauss who offered to write more music for Till Eulenspiegel as a ballet, but Nijinsky said he had imagined the work exactly as it stood. Till Eulenspiegel opened in October 1916 at the Manhattan Opera House on West 34th Street, the Metropolitan Opera’s ballet stage in those years. The ballet had 15 curtain calls in Manhattan and toured in triumph to some twenty cities in the U.S. However, Sergei Diaghilev and his coterie in Paris declared it a failure as Nijinsky was out of favor in the Ballets Russes. Only recent writing on the subject contradicts the fabricated verdict against Nijinsky’s Till Eulenspiegel, despite massive evidence to the contrary, some of which Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer have published. 

About Deutsches Haus at NYU
Since 1977, Deutsches Haus at NYU has provided New Yorkers with a unique forum for cultural, intellectual, and artistic exchange with Germany, Austria, and Switzerland through its three pillars: the language program, the cultural program, and the children's program. It is one of NYU’s prestigious international houses and is a key American institution fostering the understanding and transatlantic dialogue between the U.S. and the German-speaking world. With a diverse and cutting-edge cultural program, Deutsches Haus particularly seeks to expand its outreach to the next generation of global citizens.