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!


- o O o -


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.


- o O o -


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)


- o O o -


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:


Bornholmerstrasse north.
A couch

Chausseestrasse.
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.

Sandkrug-brücke
Mosaic - like a carpet where the patterns are deep-rooted, as the feelings between East and West.

Checkpoint Charlie
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.

Sonnenallee
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 f&uumlr 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.


- o O o -



SIE
Lyrics by Blixa Bargeld

Später nacht, früher morgen
KEIN LICHT
Nur das der noch glühenden trümmer im höhergelegenen hintergrund.
Sie:                            Trugbild nicht meine züge
Chimäre aus tausend jahren und einer nacht
verzehrten sich nicht viele
für ihr blendend Sonnenrad der macht
Schreitet den Trümmerberg
herab Doch habe ich ihre trümmerberge
heil hinter mich gebracht
Sichtlich angeschlagen,
aber unbeschadet Auch wenn sie nie verging
nur die für sie vergingen
Kommt unten an ich verliess sie -
verliert fast die Balance ungetäuscht

Keinen schimmer wo zu suchen
nur augen hoffenstarrend
MORGENROT AM ÖSTLICHEN HORIZONT
Geht überzeugt in diese Richtung.
Eine höhere mauer
Daran entlang    		Ähnelnd mir dies bild
in schattenrissen
sie war ideal und viele waren
in sie verschossen
Bresche
HARTES GEGENLICHT
			        Im gleissen ihre einst 
unvergleichliche figur
sie hat es vielen angetan
aber sie hat formen angenommen
Geht weiter ich verlass sie -
enttäuscht
Die mauer wird niedriger, verschwindet schliesslich ganz, läuft aber unterirdisch weiter.
KEIN LICHT UNTERTAGE
Mittag
Schwarzer block, darauf ein ihr nachgebildetes idol, eine waffe als teil des genicks mit eingeformt; daneben ein schalter nebst rotgerahmten plakat.
Sie bleibt, 
es betrachtend,
davor stehen Unter wilden stiftes kratzern
meine ich mein gesicht zu sehen
PRESSELICHT
Sie erkennt dies als täuschung.
Das idol schmiltzt, der block zerfällt in zahlreiche kleine brocken.
Sie dreht sich um und geht
ABEND
				Ich verlass sie - 
getäuscht
Montagsballet
	                        Mein profil im ideal
als scherenschnitt im fahnentuch
Sie,
in der masse,
unerkannt durch das Loch in einer flagge
die masse hoffenstarrend
vermeintlich sonnenaufgang
am westlichen horizont

ich verlass sie -
ungetäuscht
SONNENUNTERGANG
				hier ist nicht wonach ich fahndend such
und ist es nicht nirgends -
dann sonstwo
NACHT, ABSOLUTE DUNKELHEIT
GRÄBERFELD
Sie tastet sich durch.
Diverse Corpus Delicti, verstreut als stolpersteine und fussangeln im weg, gr&oumlsstenteils v&oumlllig unkenntlich, verst&uumlmmelt 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.

Eine couch.
Orgonakkumulatoren.
Joan Baez.
Reisseriche versprecherinnen in opferlammdessous en gros und im rudel.
Geister verwaister phantome europabereister gespenster.
Weltverbesserwisserische ideen.
Eine answeringmachine f&uumlr letzte fragen als selbstschuss anlage.
Stuhl.
Letztendlich, letztmalig eine hecke brennender büsche

LICHT DER BRENNENDEN HECKE
salbadernd den alten salm:
		                ichbinderichbinderichbin...
daran vorbei.
HANG
	                        ich verlass sie - 
ungetäuscht
Nachdem die hecke vollständig niedergebrannt ist nur noch
GRAUES ZWIELICHT
unbestimmbarer herkunft; von irgendwo dahinter.
	                        hier ist nicht wonach ich fahndend such
Den hang hinauf es ist nicht sonstwo -
also nirgends -
wo sonst?
DAS LICHT WIRD STÄRKER
ihre silhouette immer kleiner, ihre konturen sind kaum noch auszumachen
				
Zunehmend die verblendung
und also endlich durch
ich bin dahin zurückgekehrt
wo nie zuvor ich war
Abgang sie.



- o O o -


SHE

Late at night, early morning
NO LIGHT
only that from the ruins still glowing on the raised ground at the back.

She:
false image not my features
Chimera from a thousand years and one night
were not many consumed
strides down the heap of by her blinding sunwheel of power?
rubble but I did get her ruins
safely over and done with

visibly exhausted, but not
injured
even if she never fell
only those who fell for her

arrives at the bottom I left her -
nearly loses her balance not deluded

Not a clue where to look
only hope-staring eyes
RED DAWN SKY ON THE EASTERN HORIZON

Goes with conviction in this direction.

A tallish wall
Along it			resembling me this picture
in a traced outline
she was ideal and many had been
struck by her

Breach
HARD BACK LIGHT
		                in the glow of her once incomparable figure
it did something to many
but then got right out of shape
she proceeds I leave her -
deluded



The wall decreases in size, eventually disappears but continues underground.
NO SUBTERRANEAN LIGHT

Midday
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 stops 
and looks at it
beneath the wild scratches of a pen
I seem to see my own face
IN 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

EVENING

                                I am leaving her - 
deluded
The Monday Ballet
                                my idealized profile
she, in the crowd, a scissor-cut silhouette in flag cloth
unrecognized through the hole in a banner
the crowd seemingly
hope-staring at the sunrise
on the western horizon

I am leaving her -
not deluded
SUNSET
                                It is not here what I unflaggingly seek
and it is not nowhere - then anywhere
NIGHT, 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.

A couch.
Orgon accumulators.
Joan Baez.
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.
Stool
And at last, for the last time, a hedge of burning bushes

LIGHT FROM THE BURNING HEDGE
chanting the old litany:
				IamthatIamthatIamthatIam...
walks past.

INCLINATION

                                I am leaving her - 
not deluded
After the hedge has completely burnt down there only remains

GREY TWILIGHT
of uncertain origin, from somewhere from
back and beyond.
                                It is not here what I unflaggingly seek
ascends the hill it is not elsewhere -
so nowhere -
where else?


THE LIGHT BECOMES STRONGER

her silhouette gets smaller
and smaller, her contours can
now hardly be perceived
				the blinding is increasing 
and so at last over
I have returned to the place
where I've never
been before
exit she.