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The Mechanisms and Function of the European Union Going Forward into the 21st Century or Quid Pro Euro? - This is a European Videos Production.
We're nearly at the end of 1995. A year for the history books! But what's next for the EU when we leave this decade, this century, and this thousandry? In this series, we’re going to find out. Today: Art.
Recognise this? If you were ever an amateur photographer, you probably owned one. The fotograph, spelt with an italicised f, a regular o, a regular t, another regular o, a g that has been boldened then unboldened, a regular r, a regular a, a regular p, and a regular h, is by far the most popular European camera. The third model in the series, the fotograph Eternal, with its distinctive click-clack shutter, succeeded the model 1 fotograph Infinity and the model 2 fotograph Perpetuo. It made the list in The 1995 Euronews Top Ten Travel Accessories to Smuggle Powdered Chemicals, in at number four behind Snorkles, Bottles of Sun Cream, and Cars.
A majority of Europeans bought their fotographs Eternal in the early eighties. Years like 1982, or 1984, The Year of Toxic Mascarpone. It was a chaotic camera but jumping with enthusiasm. Instantly your best friend. Ready to take pictures of anyone and anything. A curious camera! A playful camera! A kind camera! The two of you charted the neighbourhood, popping down whichever lane took your fancy, stopping to talk to other photographers, or sitting quietly on a haystack with the sun on your brow.
The Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts has an extensive collection. This work is called Schlüssel in der Schüssel. What do you think? Really soak it in. How does it make you feel?
Gallery attendant Wolfgang is an institution. He knows all the exhibits! He’s worked here for fifty years. Wolfgang is such a fixture that there is even a painting of him, sat in an attendant’s chair looking after one of the galleries. What do you think Wolfgang? Sorry, make that paintings, here’s another! And another. And a sculpture. And a plate. This exhibit plays recordings of the songs he likes to whistle. This one is his uniforms over the years. Here’s the laminated list of questions that hang around his neck which visitors might like to ask him including Question 2: How are you? and Question 5: Can I buy you a pastry?. The gallery of depictions of Wolfgang sitting in galleries is so full, there is now a new gallery: the gallery of depictions of Wolfgang sitting in the gallery of depictions of Wolfgang sitting in galleries.
The Leipzig collection reaches from the Middle Ages, like this triptych of Medieval Jobs: a butcher, a baker, a candle, all the way to Modernity, like this triptych showing Present Day Jobs: a butcher, a baker, two candles.
And here is the new gallery of the 21st century: Galerie 1999. Creatives from around the Union have submitted their predictions for how the next millennium will affect fine art. In this elaborate sculpture, Dutch artist Milan Klijn shows himself mugging a zookeeper. This set of crayons has been thrown at the wall by two year old prodigy Margrethe Gundelach, and in this painting, Ioanna Mavrou alters her own shadow. She’s added the shadow of a dog.
Here’s an abandoned church just like the one you may have explored with your fotograph Eternal. Look, there’s the graffiti on the door which reads “God’s not home” in Latin and braille. And here’s the bench you’d sit on, stroking your camera’s plastic casing, the responsive shutter action, the bright, intelligent lens.
It never felt right to leave your fotograph Eternal at home. The thought of it sitting on the mantelpiece, staring out of the window until you came back, cut deep in your chest. How much better to take the camera with you to the restaurant where it could sit next to the bread rolls or sleep in your rucksack.
But all of that was in a different life, very little time ago yet now a time intangible. A life before the rains.
We’re only five years in and the nineteen nineties are shaping up to be one of the all time great musical decades. Truly, the “upside down sixties” has produced track after track of dance floor filler. Is there a limit? No. No. No, no, no no. No, no, no no. No, no. There’s not. But what will music look like in the twenty first century?
Here at the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Dr Manuel Rodriguez, who is Finnish, is trying to predict just that. He’s analysed chart toppers from all over the Union.
Is today the peak of Eurodance? Far from it. Dr Rodriguez shows that over time, the simple joyful hardcore that today fills our souls with shining acid tears, that devours our brains with big box little box laughter, that pierces our hearts with ultraviolet strobing prayer, will branch and branch again into fine gradations of nuanced genre. Music is going fractal. Expect slam rhythms telling epic sagas in rave hats and untuned synths. Expect politics and science drunkenly collapsing into a sea of exquisite melody. Expect songs that go back on themselves. Songs that are forward. Songs that sidle. Music will stop being audio only. Here is a simple tune performed entirely with petrichords and the rhythm of the night. Here is an arpeggio of architecture. Here is nursery rhyme in nuclear power.
Can music be used as a weapon? Yes! You’ll be pleased to learn that in recently occupied Geneva, an insurgency by spoilsport rebels has been quashed by firing at them with choristers. Look out for that baritone! Baritones were named for one of the founding fathers of the European Union: Jean Monnet.
A life before the rains.
The European Union has seen record rainfall in 1994 and 1995. The population of Namur is now officially coral. Although you looked after your fotograph Eternal, oiling the door at the back, polishing the lens, keeping it entertained with interesting shapes and colours, how were you to know it was susceptible to damp?
The first rusty shutter action took you by surprise. Within a few days, the camera had gone dark. Every picture you developed: a field of black night and ghosts. Too sudden.
Suffocatingly quick. What were you meant to think? Or say? Of course cameras have a shelf life but … why? You will never again play with your fotograph Eternal. Really? Never take pictures of it. Are you sure? Never hear that click-clack. Can’t be right! Now, around the union, the dark fotographs Eternal have slipped away, and round the stars their spirits play. Click-clack.
In the twenty first century, the European Union will develop a camera that is entirely rust-proof. The fourth model fotograph will be the fotograph Forever, spelt F-o-u-r- and then with the U deleted. Twenty-first century cameras will be very different to modern day ones with rolls of film that can take up to thirty eight pictures, lens caps in five neon colours, and a denim case on which to attach your collection of enamel pins of, for instance, a can of Coca-Cola, the logo of a French farm, or an astronaut.
The twentieth century is widely recognised as the most beautiful to date. Can we top it? That’s up to you. Yes, you. You specifically. We’re all counting on you. Make us proud. Make us happy. Make us: Art.
This has been a European Videos Production.