| Sie - Chimäre aus Tausend Jahre und eine Nacht
"'Sie' is not a person, but it did become a game for me to leave out the names and to create an empty middle. You have to leave the middle unnamed in order to create this form."
- Blixa about "Sie".
So then WHAT IS SIE? The allegorical female? Blixa has once said that the entire Tabula Rasa album is in honour of the female, with that statement in mind I find these females from the text interesting:
Chimäre - Chimera - In the Greek mythology Chimera is a fire-spewing 3-headed female monster. She has the forpart of a lion, the middlepart of a goat and a snake for tail. The tree heads of Chimera correspond with the different bodyparts.
Sheherezade - This is the princess who tells the stories in "Arabian Nights", a collection of Eastern folk-tales, also called "The 1001 Nights". Sheherezade does not appear in person in the "Sie"-text, but there is a definite reference to her stories in the sentence: "Tausend Jahre und eine Nacht" - "A thousand years and one night".
Chimera does not appear in "1001 Nights", as Sheherezade does not appear in the Greek mythology. The mixing of these myths and the stretching of time to "Tausend JAHRE und eine Nacht" - "A thousand YEARS and one night" gives an impression of ONE myth. ONE female entity.
Die Mauer - The wall is female gender!
Some of the symbols in the "Sie" text leads to thoughts about World War II:
"Sonnenrad" - sunwheel - an ancient symbol of the sun, the Swastika. With the addition of "der Macht" - "of power" to the sunwheel, the first scene with the glowing ruins in the horizon still in sight, has some very strong associations to WWII.
"Durch das Loch in einer Flagge" - "Through the hole of a flag" - After the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, the people cut out the hammer and sickle of the flags, thereby creating a hole. A symbol of the new democracies in Eastern Europe.
"Die Mauer" - The wall, obviously relating to the wall parting West Berlin from East Berlin.
Theatre in your head:
"Originally it was a text for one voice and with several verses, except there was no suitable last verse. But when I set it in a time period, it got motion and started to unfold as a map. To a large extent the text is thanks to my acquaintance with Heiner Müller and the discussions about "The Hamlet Machine". That showed me how compactly you can write a text so that the stage directions acquire their own meaning, stage direction that you cannot transpose onto a stage. It's all theatre in your head."
- Blixa about "Sie".
In the field of dramaturgy we find the idea of the "Unity of Time, Place and Action": According to Aristotle the ideal tragic drama must have ONE action, ONE location and a duration of ONE day and night. Blixa's play fits beautifully within these frames:
"She" has one direction - towards the light, in search of something.
One location - along the wall.
The duration is from late night, through one day, and until early morning the day after. Though you also get an impresssion of a much longer timeline, from the birth of the myths until today.
The Heiner Müller play "Die Hamletmaschine", which Blixa mentions as an inspirational source, begins: "I was Hamlet. I stood at the shore and talked with the surf, BLABLA, the ruins of Europe in back of me...". Blixa begins his play with "der noch glühenden trümmer im höhergelegenen hintergrund" - "the ruins still glowing on the raised ground at the back" - this I believe, is a reference to Europe after WWII. So from the very start both scenes are set in the same surroundings.
The second scene of "Die Hamletmaschine" is entitled "The Europe of women". Again the female aspect. Futher down "Die Hamletmaschine" continues: "Three naked women: Marx, Lenin, Mao." Here involving a second theme which is also present in "Sie": the illusion.
"Die Hamletmaschine" is very much about the "play" itself. As is Shakespeares "Hamlet" and when it comes to the pretending also "Richard III", who also plays a part in "Die Hamletmachine". To some extend the case is the same in "Sie". She is not who she seems to be.
"Trugbild nicht meine züge" - "Reflection not my appearance".
This female figure bears all the hallmarks of the tragic character. She has choices to make, she makes her decisions, whether they are deliberate or incidental, and these leads to her "realizing": "Sie erkennt dies als täuschung" - "She realizes this is an illusion". She turns around and walks away. She realizes that what she is looking for is not here.
Through the play she has a distinct awareness of what is reality and illusion and her own appearance, how she appears to be and how this appearance affects others.
The illusion, the swindle is also supported by another artistic mean, the light-settings:
"There are two texts where one disappears into light, "Fiat Lux" and "She". But in these cases it's not daylight, but rather lux... The meaning of the word lux cannot be translated simply by using the word light. It's a description of a perspective, a possibillity. Just like a swindle, or changes in a cell, open perspectives."
- Blixa about "Sie".
"She" disappears into light/lux, after the meeting with the burning bush, she seems to give up, disappearing into light, thus the play is beginning and ending in the same element: fire.
Obviously the burning bush is a Biblic reference:
"Letztendlich, letztmalig eine hecke brennender büsche salbadernd den alten salm: ichbinderichbinderichbin... " - "And at last, for the last time, a hedge of burning bushes chanting the old litany: IamthatIamthatIamthatIam..."
And here we have the name of God! (compare with the Blume-text.) Or at least, the name the burning bush told Moses to use. "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3,14)
A stroll along the wall:
The list of what I consider to be associations, starting with "eine couch, orgonakkumulatoren, Joan Baez etc..." got a new dimension to me when I read about an art-project going to take place along the Berlin wall, more precisely at the former cross-points, the passages between West and East Berlin. At seven of these cross-points there are going to be placed an artwork of a kind to indicate where the wall once was. The list of artworks reminds me remarkably of the list in "Sie", take a look:
Bronzerabbits - lying, jumping and sitting, placed in the asphalt. A symbol of the wild rabbits which lived in the mine covered piece of nowhereland between East and West.
Mosaic - like a carpet where the patterns are deep-rooted, as the feelings between East and West.
Portraits - where the American and Russian zone met are going to be placed on one side a huge portrait of an American soldier, and on the other side a portrait of a Russian soldier.
Heinrich Heine Strasse
? - I don't know the kind of this artwork yet, but all projects were supposed to be finised before November the 9th 1999, the ten year anniversary of the fall of the Wall, so it must be out there?
Oberbaum-brücke and Muehlenstrasse
Paper-scissors-stone - three hands bended in neon, a symbol of destiny and coincidence.
4 Binoculars - when you look in them you can see for a long distance, but the view is parted by a line in the middle and the text: "crossing".
Maybe Blixa read about the idea behind these artworks and just dreamed on? The couch is there and the poster (though earlier in the text). I find that the irony of "Weltverbesserwisserische ideen" - "Universal know-all do-gooder ideas" - and "Eine answeringmachine für letzte fragen als selbstschuss anlage" - "An answering machine for final requests as a self-firing device" - fits the concept of the Berlin-wall artworks beautifully.
Lyrics by Blixa Bargeld
Später nacht, früher morgen
Nur das der noch glühenden trümmer im höhergelegenen hintergrund.
Sie: Trugbild nicht meine zügeMORGENROT AM ÖSTLICHEN HORIZONT
Geht überzeugt in diese Richtung.Eine höhere mauer
Daran entlang Ähnelnd mir dies bildBresche
Im gleissen ihre einstDie mauer wird niedriger, verschwindet schliesslich ganz, läuft aber unterirdisch weiter.
KEIN LICHT UNTERTAGE
Schwarzer block, darauf ein ihr nachgebildetes idol, eine waffe als teil des genicks mit eingeformt; daneben ein schalter nebst rotgerahmten plakat.
Sie erkennt dies als täuschung.Das idol schmiltzt, der block zerfällt in zahlreiche kleine brocken.
Sie dreht sich um und gehtABEND
Ich verlass sie -Montagsballet
Mein profil im idealSONNENUNTERGANG
hier ist nicht wonach ich fahndend suchNACHT, ABSOLUTE DUNKELHEIT
Sie tastet sich durch.Diverse Corpus Delicti, verstreut als stolpersteine und fussangeln im weg, grösstenteils völlig unkenntlich, verstümmelt oder in rascher verwesung begriffen.
PHANTASMAGORIEN, DIE KURZ UND UNVERMITTELT AUFBLITZEN
(jede ähnlichkeit mit ihr wäre rein zufällig)
Als frauen schlecht getarnte männer, die dick bemalten lippen mitten im bart. Blaue oder grüne kriegslidschatten. Manche, mit geweh- ren, einer alten gewohnheit folgend, in den schwarzen himmel zielend, bunte blöde vögel schiessend. Andere idiotensicher die blume im lauf anlächelnd.
Reisseriche versprecherinnen in opferlammdessous en gros und im rudel.
Geister verwaister phantome europabereister gespenster.
Eine answeringmachine für letzte fragen als selbstschuss anlage.
Letztendlich, letztmalig eine hecke brennender büsche
LICHT DER BRENNENDEN HECKE
salbadernd den alten salm:
ich verlass sie -Nachdem die hecke vollständig niedergebrannt ist nur noch
unbestimmbarer herkunft; von irgendwo dahinter.
hier ist nicht wonach ich fahndend suchDAS LICHT WIRD STÄRKER
ihre silhouette immer kleiner, ihre konturen sind kaum noch auszumachen
Late at night, early morning
only that from the ruins still glowing on the raised ground at the back.
She:RED DAWN SKY ON THE EASTERN HORIZON
Goes with conviction in this direction.
A tallish wall
Along it resembling me this picture
HARD BACK LIGHT
in the glow of her once incomparable figureThe wall decreases in size, eventually disappears but continues underground.
NO SUBTERRANEAN LIGHT
A black block bearing an idol modelled after her, a weapon worked in as part of the neck; beside it a control post next to a red-bordered poster.
she stopsIN THE LIGHT OF THE PRESS
she realizes this is an illusion.
The idol melts, the block crumbles into countless little fragments.
she turns around and goes
I am leaving her -The Monday Ballet
my idealized profileSUNSET
It is not here what I unflaggingly seekNIGHT, ABSOLUTE DARKNESS
FIELD OF TOMBS
she fumbles her way through
Various corpus delicti, strewn over the path as stumbling blocks and snares, on the whole completely unrecognizable, mutilated or rapidly decaying.
PHANTASMAGORIAS WHICH RANDOMLY FLARE UP
(any similarity with her is accidental and unintentional). Men badly disguised as women with heavily painted lips beneath their beards. Blue or green guerrilla combat eye shadow. Some carrying rifles, following an old habit, aiming up into the black sky, shooting colou- red, stupid birds. Others smiling idiot-proof at the flower in the barrel.
Wild and howling come-on-tators in sacrificial lamb dessous en gros and in a pack.
Spirits of the orphaned ghosts of europe-haunting spectres.
Universal know-all do-gooder ideas.
An answering machine for final requests as a self-firing device.
And at last, for the last time, a hedge of burning bushes
LIGHT FROM THE BURNING HEDGE
chanting the old litany:
I am leaving her -After the hedge has completely burnt down there only remains
of uncertain origin, from somewhere from