October 9, 2016

Two Critics Waiting in Line of the EDEKA


It was in the line of the EDEKA on Sunday that I felt a man pushing at my back. I turned around to see my former professor, legendary art historian Horst Bredekamp, standing there. Not really my professor, but we met a few times when I was studying cultural history, and he was a bit of a mentor to me.  “Are you trying to get ahead of me?” I laughed. I used to know him as the calmness himself, although according to his publishing list, he must be incredibly busy. “Oh, Herr Professor Bredekamp!” I exclaimed, German fashion wise. “Ah yes,” he said although it is improbable he remembered me because I never did anything memorable in art history. “I crossed over in the contemporary art field!” I told him, thinking the news would make him happy. He pulled a face. “Ah, too bad,” he sighted, “the contemporary needs historians. Our society is flattening.” I nodded. It’s true that as an historian you have this feeling of importance most of all because everyone else ignores your importance. We continued our conversation about how impossible shopping on a Sunday is, a sign of our horrible 24/7 society that doesn’t leave any time for a pause. But he himself had just come back from a trip to Paris and needed food. I had promised to bake a cake and had forgotten I needed butter to do so. So there we stood, as real cultural critics complaining but participating all the same. 

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