THE BLOG
08/24/2010 04:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Homage to a Truth Creator - German Director Christoph Schlingensief Dies, Age 49

Schlingensief was one of those absolute-need-to-be-around people in Germany. A custodian of artistic decency in its very best sense: we will question anything that is presented to us, no matter who is paying, no matter whose friend we are, or might lose on the way to the discovery of truth, usually buried under eight layers of societal mendacity. Schlingensief's choice of word most probably would have been "bullshit".

People like that often end up in a lonely place. And they themselves decide to do so. The air of solitude makes them sacrosanct - and feared by the cattle. The cattle that mimics trends in desperate need for love and constant approval by the neighboring cattle. The cattle that assembles and arrogates the right to evaluate art, no, more than that, to tell everyone else, what art really is. What it all means at the end of the day. The sense of life and the none sense of death and Goethe and Handke.

And if it so happens that Egbert Tholl had a dispute with his partner the night before he is supposed to see Schlingensief's Parsifal, or Rene Hamann forgot to take his painkillers, the analysis of that respective piece might have been completely reversed. The beauty of Schlingensief was that he indeed admitted his fear, the fear of the ruthless censor, the struggle for approval, just in order to move forward even faster and present an even more radical view on the matters that made him fret and fume.

No one else in the ever so provocative German arts and theater scene would have had the balls to install a container that represents the notorious "Big Brother" show and stack it with asylum seekers at Vienna's stuffy Festival Weeks. He titled the project "Auslaender raus!" ("Leave, you Alien you!") a popular slogan amongst xenophobic Europeans who still haven't realized that, if nothing else, immigration is the key to the maintenance of costly social welfare systems... Germany lost someone who kept a check on those who spend their lives cramming their surroundings in neat little boxes with numbers on them.

Deepest respect and shall he not be forgotten!

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