Christoph Korn – Kairos

“…For that reason the future did not, however, turn into a homogenous and empty time for the Jews. For in it every second was the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter.” (Walter Benjamin)

The intermedia work “Kairos“ is the remembering or deep remembrance of the utopian core of the three major monotheistic religions Islam, Judaism and Christianity. This utopian core is crystallized in the idea of redemption and corporeal integrity. Israel and Palestine are the places where those hopes and expectations are coming together historically.

Christoph Korn visited 12 places in Israel and Palestine. Some of these places have a political or religious significance (e.g. Sea of Galilee, Jezreel Valley, West Bank, Golan Heights). Other places are “normal places” without political or religious connotation.

At each place a ten-minute field recording was made. Additionally, the sky was filmed from a static camera position. Each recording lasts exactly ten minutes.

The result is 12 field-recordings and 12 “sky-videos” from different places in Israel/Palestine.

Furthermore, from an audio speaker laying on the floor, humans can be heard reciting the individual parts of the body (head, eye, mouth, face etc.). The humans who Christoph Korn asked to recite the individual body parts in their mother tongue (Hebrew, Arabic, German) are friends, acquaintances or people that Christoph Korn met during his stay in Ein Hod. A total of 24 people were asked to read the body parts. Additionally, right near the audio speaker the artist put a stone from the Carmel Mountain.

Observing the human body refers to the concept of the “Face” as it was developed by the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. In the “Face” (and Levinas expands this concept to include principally all parts of the body) the unique other is revealed for whose inviolacy I am responsible.

Filming the sky refers to the concept of “redemption,” as it is understood in Christian and Jewish traditions. The Messiah comes on Judgment Day – also in a child’s imagination – out of the sky. This can happen at any second (in each Kairos) as Walter Benjamin suggests in the “On the Concept of History”: “For in it [the future] every second was the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter.”

The intermedia work “Kairos”, as it is displayed in the Janco-Dada Museum, shows the work in progress. It will be finished in the coming months.

Production: Suedwestrundfunk, 2016

Dramaturgy and Editing: Manfred Hess

Curator: Nitsan Shuval-Abiri

The work was made possible by the Artist Exchange Program of Duesseldorf/Ein Hod

Project manager: Margol Guttman

With support by Goethe-Institut Tel Aviv, and Goethe-Institut Ramallah

Voices: Karima Ann Alloush, Anouk Boerschmann, Gabriela Boerschmann, Lovena Boerschmann, Gill Bushinsky, Shadi Dweik, Avraham Eilat, Ala’ Ereiqat,  Tali Gil, Aseel Abu Hasan, Ronen Hazoum, Editte Galli Heyne, Hiba Iseed, Ayman Jamous, Christoph Korn, Doron Jodan, Zwi Lazar, Ahmad Mawasy, Nabhn Mawasy, Ahmad Salous, Pater Nikodemus Claudius Schnabel, Naseer Shalash, Yuval Weintraub, Azhar Abu Zayyad

Further information about Christoph Korn’s work: