At 2pm on May 2nd, knowing i had to perform something to celebrate Franz Baermann Steiner that evening, for the Illuminations VI event at the Austrian Cultural Forum, i realised the poem I had written for him wouldn’t do it. Such was his unbelievable range of interests and abilities, and such was his intelligence, and influence on friends like Elias Canetti and Iris Murdoch, and generations of students, and British anthropology in general, that I realised the poem would be lame and curt and not enough. Seriously, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Baermann_Steiner
So I thought why not throw the babay out with the bath water and do an oblique performance instead. The music playing was recorded in 1909, the year of Steiner’s birth. The Yiddish songs are from over 100 years ago. This is maybe my first pseudo dance? Han Smith was a star to help me. To let me sleep on her feet, and when is a hug not a good idea? When does it not pay tribute to a loss, a lost, an intelligence so immense it cannot be worded back into history? I have only one regret, that there wasn’t someone on the street I could’ve coaxed up to the event when I went outside, entirely improvised, mid saunter. I could’ve told them about Steiner, and kept it, as I wanted it, between me and them.
All the vids from the night are http://www.theenemiesproject.com/illuminations