Benjamin and Brecht. Thinking in Extremes
Erdmut Wizisla on behalf of the Akademie der Künste (ed.),
Akademie der Künste / Suhrkamp, Berlin 2017
284 pages, 122 images
Communication between the well-known Svendborg chess partners recalls the royal game: It employed tiring tactics, surprise attacks, retreat, strategic partnership, checkmate – and a new game. The essays and artistic commentary in the book turn the spotlight on an extraordinary constellation, in which Benjamin and Brecht appear as contemporaries in a century of extremes. They developed models for art, for politics, thought processes and for life itself; sometimes “extreme on a trial basis” and sometimes playful.
With texts by: Minou Arjomand, Zoe Beloff, Durs Grünbein, Barbara Hahn, Alexander Kluge, Bernd-Peter Lange, Burkhardt Lindner, Thomas Martin, Ursula Marx, Frank-M. Raddatz, Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Kristin Schulz, Marcus Steinweg, B.K.Tragelehn, Erdmut Wizisla as well as artistic contributions by Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, Carlfriedrich Claus, Edmund de Waal, Felix Martin Furtwängler, Mark Lammert, Jonas Maron and Steffen Thiemann.
Murder in the Elevator Shaft. Plot of events by Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin
Graphic Novel by Steffen Thiemann (woodcuts)
Akademie der Künste, Berlin 2017
40 pages, 30 images
Benjamin and Brecht decided to write a crime novel in autumn 1933. Steffen Thiemann has turned Brecht’s plot into woodcuts and set down Benjamin’s ideas as footnotes. It’s a story about blackmail that ends fatally. With texts by Steffen Thiemann and Erdmut Wizisla.