Sunday 10th January 2016, 2:30pm
Getaway #12: Rosalie Schweiker
Rosalie Schweiker chose this Sunday’s getaway destination. *)
– Rosalie is an artist. She is based in London, grew up in Swabia, frequently visits Switzerland and she likes hotel breakfast buffets arranged in geometrical shapes. She also likes Helge Schneider. She hates theater and sometimes art. In another life, back in the day when things were done by hand, she might have become a graphic designer. Currently there are about a dozen CVs of her floating around. The CVs are differing in the most imaginable way. When I first met Rosalie in Zurich 3 years ago and asked what she was doing she said: „Well I did art school and I do have a studio but I spend my time babysitting and working in a bakery.“
Her way of stating simple facts like this has prevented quite a few people from deleting their facebook account in order not to miss any of them. –
The city of Zurich has a long list of famous people. They’re buried in the ground. You can find the list here:
Rosalie found it. And flipped through it. And asked: Who gets to choose? Who curates the city’s list of famous dead people?
Her own criteria why she choose Therese Giehse’s grave to visit are: Born in 1898 Therese Giehse embodied all possible societal obstacles and disadvantages at once: She was a woman, jewish, lesbian, chubby, and not particularly pretty.
In 1938 she was part of the group of exiled actors forming the ensemble of the Schauspielhaus Zurich. They appeared on stage every evening, their backpacks deposited behind the scene. Ready to run off at any moment if the political situation had changed just a bit and the reasons for general discrimination would have turned into a life threat.
Therese Giehse is buried on the Friedhof Fluntern, together with her sister. Somewhere between Elias Canetti and James Joyce. They have their own signposts. A signpost seems to indicate the short list of the famous.
Sitting in the café with soaked shoes after a classical cold and grey graveyard visit we stumbled into the death and remains thematic: Vermächtnis, letzter Wille, Tod, Testament, Patientenverfügung, regional differences of Leichenschmaus, burying rituals. Instead of flowers you put pebbles on a jewish grave stone in order to renew the remembrance. The remembrance of what? Therese Giehse used her calendar as a diary. She tore out all the dates something emotionally important happened.
Another curated group of famous dead people Therese Giehse is part of is: Frauen der deutschen Geschichte. You might remember a very soft old lady’s face, printed as a light brownish line drawing, decorated with a red number: 100. It’s a stamp series, 100 Pfennig the former standard value for German letters. Therese Giehse did not live long enough to know about her nomination for the short list of Standard Values.
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Rosalie Schweiker for the twelfth Outside Sunday.