Wednesday, January 30, 2008


‘Hammerstein oder der Eigensinn’ is a brilliant and fascinating new book by Hans Magnus Enzensberger… It is kind of a documentary about General Kurt von Hammerstein who opposed Hitler and stepped down as a general when Hitler assumed power… The book provides an erudite insight into a fascinating character… The book is also interesting from a stylistic point of view, meandering between factual research and fictitious posthumous interviews (“Totengespräche”)… Well worth a second read…

Tuesday, January 29, 2008



Befreit wollt ich’s sein
zu dieser Zeit,
Bin gefangen mehr denn je.

Zu neuer Zukunft bin ich aufgebrochen
jedoch ist’s mit altem Kleid,
so dass ich friere wie zuvor.

Obschon ist’s nun nah am Herz
nicht fremd wie einst,
Vertrauen fehlt doch in mich ganz.

[R.B. 2008]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Blueberry Nights...

I went to see the new Wong Kar Wai movie last night… a fabulous movie! Despite what the critics said, there is a very lyrical narrative with awesome dialogues and witty lines… essentially a woman’s (and man’s) quest for love… nothing less… It is also littered with metaphors and very allusive.

However, most of all, this movie is a photographic feast. Wong Kar Wai builds on the visual language of his previous films like “In the Mood for Love”, “Happy Together”, and above all “2046”. His main stylistic elements are shots through window panes, wide open lenses with selective focus and trademark blurred ‘stuff’ in the foreground with the main ‘action’ happening in the background… well, you cannot describe this... oh, and don't forget the striking colours... you have to see it… After all, these are visual elements…

The movie also has a great soundtrack with songs from Cat Power and, of course, Norah Jones who is also the main actress… next to a really sexy Rachel Weisz… and a more down to earth Natalie Portman.

A fabulous movie!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Age and Living your Life...

Susan Sontag; Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Diary entry by Susan Sontag on 9 December 1961:

The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense of abusing the present...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gift der Nacht..

Ich kehre wieder. Die nahe glocke
Mit ihren am längsten hallenden schlägen
Entlässt den alten tag.
Müde sink ich zurück doch ohne schlaf –
Träumend allein.

Und ich sehe mich wieder als knaben
Der die strafe nicht kennt
Für wilde gelüste
Der hässliche falten nicht kennt
Und augen von finsterem glanz ..
Mit dem unberührten samt
Kindlicher wangen noch!

Knabe über das alter hinaus
Seltsam bewahrt
In frische und jugend
Durch der kerzen dampf
Und des weihrauchs duft!
Und so wollt ich finden
Die weise Lasterreiche
Mit zerstörenden künsten:

Wollte mit offenen armen
In mein unheil rennen
Wie ein rasender lieben
Mich ganz verderben
Und bald des todes sein.
(Stefan George)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wisdom in trash...

Wise words from a trash novel from 1955: “…I am confused but not about that. Anyone who sees clearly sees chaos everywhere. Art is a way of temporarily setting order to confusion. Temporary and incomplete; that’s why we never run out of new art. Anyone who comes to the tools of art without that sense of confusion is an invader…” (Joe Haldeman (1955): Worlds, p107.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008



tage des vergessens
tage der betäubnis
tage des wartens..

und dann doch: unvermutet,
ein zeichen, eine erinnerung von irgendwo,
überspielt; der versuch zu ignorieren..

und dann doch: schleichende gewissheit,
von dir nicht los zu kommen.

R. B. (2007)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Passion in Life...

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Nelson Mandela

The easy life...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pro Memoria

(A camphor tree which is more than 300 years old, on the estate of the Vergelegen vineyard near Helderberg, Western Cape; many illustrious people have had their picture taken in front of this tree, even Nelson Mandela stood here once in front of this tree, …this tree must have an extensive memory…)

I came across this story recently of what must be a story about the ultimate documentalist (it is in Max Frisch’s book ‘Montauk’): …a French noble on the way to the guillotine ask for pen and paper to note down a few thoughts in order not to forget his thoughts… it is a note not directed to anyone else but solely for himself: ‘pro memoria’.

You can imagine that for someone who is interested in photography as memory, this short anecdote resonated quite a bit…

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Open Air Concert at Kirstenbosch

Seether frontman Shaun Morgan gave an acoustic concert at Kirstenbosch today...

Friday, January 4, 2008

An almost imaginary or true tale…

Once there was a small boy, although in fact he was not that small at all. He grew bigger and taller more quickly than his peers. While gentle and of good nature in his temper, he was at the same time sluggish, lacking in ambition to fulfil his true potential. Often during the afternoons, the kids would go down to the river and play in the water, learning over time – with the help of the local basket maker – how to swim. Not so our boy. He was tall enough to get down on his knees in the water, his head still emerging from the surface and while moving his arms in even strokes, pretending he was in fact swimming like all the other kids.

Years would go by and the kids would grow into adults, assuming various professions in the local village. Then one day, after it had been raining incessantly for days, the big flood came, overwhelming most of the village and housings. Most villagers escaped swimming to higher ground. Sadly, not so our erstwhile boy. No longer able to pretend to be capable to swim, he drowned in the floods.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Parade at night in Cape Town

Impressions from the various New Year parades in Cape Town...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve in Cape Town

Some impressions from the early hours of this year in the city centre of Cape Town...