Presentation of the Exhibition “die fünfte Jahres Zeit” by Siham Issami / Congress Green Cities for sustainable Europe / Stadt.Plant.Grün / BdB Berlin / 15 & 16 October 2019. Video by Jörg Thimel
Goethes Traum / Goethe Dream 2019, 200cm x 150cm, mixed technique on canvas
“As a writer for my researches I had a fellowship from Friedrich Nietzsche Kolleg in Weimar on 2018, and I had to live for a while in the Villa Silberblick (Nietzsche’s last home). The villa is on the top of a hill at the edge of the city, and my working table was in the old veranda where Nietzsche paralysed used to stay, -now converted into a working room. Every day, siting at my working table I could see at my right the beautiful city of Weimar with its Goethe’s House, Schiller’s House, the marvellous Anna Amalia Bibliothek, the theatres, the gardens the music… and at my left I could see the tower of Buchenwald. Every day I put off to the next day the visit I intended to that most tragic place. Until one day comes, where I had a huge loss as I never have, extremely devastating, as I never could imagine. The day after I went to Buchenwald, as I felt myself as dead as all the dead. The experience was beyond words, and we all know the dark an extremely cruel history of that place, my purpose is not to narrate it, only one part; there I was confronted with Goethes Eiche, or what remains of what was put as ersatz to it. I knew its story like everyone who knows Goethe does, but been there, its emptiness, the most empty emptiness that fills its absence, I had to do something about it. That tree hunted me for months, without shape and without sense, as did the entire place around it.
I started to make sketches and take photos of hundreds of oaks. I had to paint it. I didn’t want to paint it from its original photos but from all oak trees. I was confronted with two choices: either, I paint a tree that is utterly destroyed calcinated, scattered to the four winds and with it all what is human, or try to build it again, to manifest it again. Well it was not exactly a choice actually, I started it from a much darker image but something in Goethe’s vision, in Goethe’s words persists beyond the tragedy beyond our tragic history. And we have the duty to carry it and dream it farther, with every bit of Humanity that we have, for we are human because we are capable of vision. We are capable of unspeakable cruelties as human beings as well, but we are capable of vision, of hope, of greatness.” Berlin Dec. 2019