Menetekels of Hamburg: Futuremusic
A futurological congress by Ron Zimmering and Graffitimuseum / Repertoire
24. May 2019
A futurological congress by Ron Zimmering and Graffitimuseum
Babylon, 543 BCE. The Persians are at the gates of the city, but Babylon is considered to be unconquerable. In the palace of the ruler Belshazzar, people are celebrating – when suddenly some strange writing appears on the wall: MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. None of the scribes called to the scene is able or willing to interpret the enigmatic slogan. Only the Jew Daniel, who has been summoned from prison, predicts the downfall of the Babylonian Empire on the basis of these letters. That same night, Persian soldiers invade the city and the Babylonian Empire collapses.
Hamburg, 2018: Street furniture, shutters, trains, busses, and the walls of the city are covered in writing. Even today nobody seems to want or be able to interpret the signs. On the contrary, millions of euros are spent on removing them. What if the graffiti on our walls are today's "Menetekel"? What if our future could be read from these signs?
Together with students from Hamburg schools, Graffitimuseum will read the signs on Hamburg’s walls, interpret them and performatively present their prognoses for debate at a futurological congress.