Sublime Generous Odyssey: the show

Skateboarding through the city at rush hour with Mozart’s Requiem blaring in your ears.
Quietly whistling Beethoven’s Fifth in a supermarket, choosing between two hundred yogurts.

Sublimity is a manipulative feeling.

Since ancient times, as Aristotle describes it in his theory of tragedy, sublimity has been a feeling that should evoke purification or catharsis in the observer. One feels small in the face of the gods and their wisdom or arbitrariness. In the 18th century it was used above all with regard to the experience of fear and terror in the face of the roaring sea, or the endless expanse of the mountains, because the Enlightenment no longer wanted to be small. They lost this special pleasure. For Kant and Schiller, the sublime is later a way out of the sensual world, into a realm that lies beyond the capabilities of our senses. It leaves us at a loss for words through the encounter with immensity.

images: Fanni Papp for PK

In the course of the 20th century, the word has come under criticism because the 19th century was the century of sublime ideas, such as the “Übermensch” or the purity of descent. The sublime must be kept out of politics, according to Theodor Adorno, because there it always leads to terror and fascism. Where does this danger come from? And can we circumnavigate it? Perhaps by adding generous.

Fascism or terror cannot be generous, it must meticulously separate between wrong and right, ideal and inadequate. And yet, the sublime has a huge appeal again today. So we protect ourselves from the lure of the sublime with generosity.

Sublime journey

Doing the Odysseus thing is the classic hero’s journey of an individual: messing with almost all the gods, getting past the giants standing in the way, being seduced and then nevertheless resisting after quite some time, and also choosing the dangerous passage close to the six-headed monster because it is the only way to the destination. His story is therefore so successful even 2000 years later, because it concerns us all.

Let us generously get lost again and again, but in the end we will arrive back at the beginning in a completely different way. This is what the artists of the 48 rounds had in mind when they came to Leipzig, and we want to cheer them along the way on their sublimely generous odyssey.

Julianne Csapo, curator

sublime generous odyssey

Franz-Flemming-Str 9

19-22 Sept
14.00 -18.00

local participants:
Michiel Frielink (NL)
Ricarda Hoop (DE)

Julianne Csapo (DE/RO)