Tag Archives: Dresden

Ostrale 2017, Opening

3 Aug

Impressions from the opening of Dresden’s Ostrale 2017, third largest exhibition for contemporary art in Germany. This year’s motto “re_form” reflects on cultural and political changes, with 1118 works by 164 artists from 25 nations. Noteworthy, the NSK (Neue Slovenische Kunst) state in time has its own “protectorate” in the exhibition halls.

Soundlab inside artistgroup SARDH and Said Dokins and Leonardo Luna (MEX) opened the exhibition with a sound/light installation. Alexander Nym (Kultur-Aktiv e.V. Dresden) gave a thought provoking opening speech (video uploaded with permission).

By the Willow, with Anne Ida Helmer Photography

19 Jun

I had the honor and pleasure of being photographed by professional photographer and photography teacher Anne Ida Helmer from Berlin.

We spent the whole day preparing and set to work in the evening, as the blue hour descended. Our meeting happened to coincide with the dark of the moon. The location is an old hollow willow tree close to the river. I refrained from a complex ritual set-up and instead focused on the act itself, burning Incense of Lilith and pouring libation of self-made pomegranate vodka for the spirits of the place. Whether we nurtured invisible specters or mainly ourselves – the religious aspect of occult ritual work is part of the complex topic explored by Anne in her ongoing series “Gravis” and “Krura“.

Anne’s website: http://www.anneidahelmer.de/

Images © Anne Ida Helmer 2017. All rights reserved. You may not copy, save or reproduce these images without the expressed written consent of the artist.

Sakura Whispers

8 Apr

Path of petals

Japanese Pavilion

Sakura Whispers

Dresden blue hour

Favorite time of day, dim light, overcast sky. New camera and lens. Minimal editing.

King Dude

4 Mar

Of capnomancy, silver crucifixes and pesky crane drivers….

King Dude and his Demon Brothers, Feb. 26, 2016, Scheune, Dresden

Bringing the devil’s music to town and entertaining the audience with an explosive mix of melancholia, laughter and anger. We have to thank mister TJ “King Dude” Cowgill and his musical companions for a fine show.

Winter Walk: Sacred Thorn Grove, January’s Mysteries and the Bloody Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

14 Jan

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Steady-paced I walk up the hill. The air is pleasantly cold. It clears the mind and disperses my headache. I am not freezing. The road I’m walking up is called Am Kirschberg, literally meaning “by the cherry mountain”. The field to the left is covered with a thin layer of snow. The dark frozen soil is sticking out of the white. Ploughing traces create zen like, eye-dazzling patterns. At the end of the long stretched field the view is clearing up towards town. Over the horizon line a narrow golden band illuminates the sky. Above me are grey clouds. I am planning on a short walk, but my legs carry me in a different direction…

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Atop a stone wall by the castle, I find the wormwood has not entirely fallen victim to the frost. Next to fading foliage, fresh silvery green leaves are sprouting forth. I gather a few of them, enough for a small winter herb bundle to hang up at home. When dried, it will empower necromantic incense blends. Looking across the river valley, remnants of snow are showing between leafless trees and dark rocks. The sky is an eyeful and I would enjoy the silence, if it wasn’t for cars flashing past on a mint-green autobahn bridge.

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The Thorn Grove in Winter

The way down is frozen over and I hold onto the rusty handrail in order to not slip and fall. People coming my way do not greet me and I do not greet them either. Halfway down the hill, I arrive at the thorn grove. The path up there leads through leafless hawthorn trees growing in all directions. A jay sitting in the branches looks at me but does not fly off. Cautiously I venture on. The ground is muddy and slippery. Most of the snow at this side of the hill has melted. By the rocks I find another wormwood plant and spot a bird’s nest near where the jay had been. I am looking around, breathing the fresh winter air, trying to focus my myopic eyes on the distance. I think of none. It is a good place for the soul.

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Above, the hawthorn thicket is overgrown by raspberry and wild rose. To the right there are young blackthorn shrubs. Their thorns are long and sharp. The young twigs are flexible and make the best thorn-crowns. Further uphill, there is another areal of high-grown hawthorn trees, partly covered in ivy. It’s bordering at a property and the allotment gardens are close. One is likely to meet passersby here. But a magician knows to use the gaps and at night the place is dead silent. Today, however, I am only a passerby myself.

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A Thin White Veil upon the Field

I’m on my way home, stopping now and then, intrigued by the formations of clouds and the golden light of the sun further afar. A skein of geese is on its way southwards. Passing by wild cherry trees lining the field, I search their stems for resin and at last find a group of three tall and slender trees, the base dripping with soft, blood-red gum. I memorize the spot and proceed, faster now. I have to watch my steps. The trail is akin to an ice rink.

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At the birch tree, I stop once more. From here the field looks softer…

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The birch is a pioneer, a tree of new beginnings and the first to come back after complete devastation. The birch profits from death and desolation, but it also paves the way for others to follow and thrive. Beith is for birch, the tree of January, the door opener.

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Remnants of snow on the barren field, remind of the birch’s torn bark. It starts raining and continues to do so. The next day the snow will be gone.

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The Blood-Red Resin Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

Returning to the cherry trees, the resin is moist from the rain water and easy to scrap off. I collect a jar full, which I later place on the heat. The resin dries and hardens quickly. In its soft state it is sticky and a yellow golden color. It smells remotely of ripe cherries and of caramel, when burnt. In German it is also known as Katzengold, literally “cat’s gold”, and used for sweetening cough tea. In my worship, I employ the dark red resin tears for Naamah and other female entities. In their harvest, take care to not take everything and leave some behind for the spirits, along with offerings for the guardians of the trees. Physical gifts are symbolical and in order, but they count none without respect and patience. The latter are the true sacrifice. The trees will remember your signature and recognize you next time you approach them.

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I am thankful. The thought had crossed my mind to scar the trees in order to gather their resin. But I have not done so. Therefor I am blessed.

Concerning the Wood Wide Webhttp://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet

4th Sunday of Advent

22 Dec

This has been a magical evening spent with a friend, who has known me for over 25 years. It was her idea to go for a photo tour. Whatever she does, she gives 200%. She brought a tripod and heavy camera. I was the opposite: light camera, no tripod. I’m excited to see her photos. One thing is already for certain: we had a blast. Now we were not the only ones in town with a photo plan. At some places we had to wait for others, who had already set up their equipment to move. Seldom have I seen Dresden that busy on a Sunday night.

Sensifer at Elbhangfest 2015

1 Jul

Saturday, June 27 2015

I arrive at Grottenwirtschaft, the sky is gray and clouded, but it has stopped raining… I am still tired from last night, now enjoying a beer, chatting and finally the music starts… at first glance one wouldn’t think so, but Dresden post-rock band Sensifer produce one massive guitar sound on stage, which draws you in and takes you away… it’s a weird surreal scenery: the band is playing inside this garage, the audience is standing at the other side of the road, in the distance the boats on the river and summer-green meadows… people are passing by as the band keeps playing, cyclists and passengers turn heads, slowing down, stopping, some stay and become immersed in the atmospheric guitar sound, others keep walking on by, from one stage to the next, following the river upstream and downstream… then the clouds tear open and the sun breaks through… rays of light are blinding me as I continue listening and photographing…

Sensifer play nearly 2 hours at this year’s Elbhangfest. I had come here because I expected this to be the perfect music for my melancholic mood. Turns out it is a hell lot of fun, which ultimately results in me walking around with the begging hat and collecting donations from the audience, who approves… Sensifer in concert means commitment. They are currently working on a new Ep. For news visit: http://www.sensifer-music.de/news.


Deutsche Version:

Als ich an der Grottenwirtschaft ankomme, ist der Himmel grau und voll Wolken, aber es hat es aufgehört zu regnen. Ich bin noch müde von der letzten Nacht, genehmige mir nun ein Bier und unterhalte mich hier und da, bis die Musik endlich anfängt… Auf den ersten Blick würde man es nicht vermuten, aber die Dresdner Post-Rock Band Sensifer erzeugen einen gewaltigen Gitarren-Sound auf der Bühne, welcher dich hineinzieht und mitnimmt…

Es ist eine sonderbar surrealer Anblick: die Band spielt dort in dieser Garage, das Publikum steht auf der anderen Seite der Straße, in der Ferne sieht man die Bote auf dem Fluß und die sommergrünen Wiesen… dazwischen die Straße, Menschen laufen an uns vorbei, während die Band weiter spielt… im Vorbeilaufen drehen Fahrradfahrer und Passanten ihre Köpfe in Richtung Bühne, werden langsamer, bleiben stehen… manche verharren und tauchen in den atmosphärischen Gitarren-Sound ein, andere gehen weiter, von einer Bühne zur nächsten, sie folgen dem Fluß stromaufwärts und -abwärts… dann lichten sich die Wolken, die Sonne bricht hindurch, ich bin geblendet von ihren Strahlen, als ich weiter der Musik lausche und fotografiere…

Sensifer spielen beinahe 2 Stunden auf dem diesjährigen Elbhangfest. Ich kam mit der Erwartung her, dass die Musik sehr gut zu meiner melancholischen Stimmung passen würde. Doch am Ende war es ein Höllenspaß, was letztlich dazu führte, das ich mit dem Sammelhut herumging und vom Publikum Spenden einsammelte, welches die Aktion auch belohnte… Sensifer im Konzert, das bedeutet vor allem Hingabe.

Die Band arbeitet gerade an ihrer neuen EP. Für mehr Neuigkeiten besucht bitte die Website unter http://www.sensifer-music.de/news.