Jeremy Fernando at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin

September 22, 2016

On September 11, 2016, at the invitation of Professor Dr Hubertus von Amelunxen — President of the European Graduate School, and member of the Visual Arts section of the Akademie der Künste since 2003 — Jeremy Fernando performed a reading alongside the Irish fiction writer and satirist, Julian Gough, at the Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg.

(Professor Dr Hubertus von Amelunxen opening the inaugural event of the Berlin Hub of the European Graduate School.  ©Nancy Jones, 2016)

The triptych of readings were part of the inaugural launch of the Berlin Hub of the European Graduate School, and the event was graced by Dr Christian Schneegass, director of the Junge Akademie of the Akademie der Künste; Ms Susan H. Gillespie, founding director of Institute for International Liberal Education, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; Professor Dr Kerry Bystrom, associate dean, Bard College Berlin; Ms Ana Z Schenk, architect and sustainable ecologies researcher from the Technische Universität Braunschweig; Dr Daniel S. Margulies, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive & Brain Sciences; media, performance, and sound, artist, Dr Baruch Gottlieb, from the Universität der Künste Berlin; writers, performers, and musicians, from the artist communities in Berlin; alongside students, graduates, and friends, of the EGS.

In lieu of an formal address, Professor von Amelunxen addressed the question of learning, thinking, bildung, by addressing the possibilities of the EGS Hub in Berlin as a thinking community — a space which is generated by the coming together of people to bring forth questions, ideas, possibilities.

(Julian Gough reading ‘I’m the guy who wrote The Wild Bunch’. ©Katharina Bosch, 2016)

This was followed by Julian Gough’s whimsical tale of Sam Peckinpah’s accidental, inadvertent, involvement in The Sound of Music — an exploration of ‘forgotten’ Hollywood history, as it were — through a short story called ‘I’m the guy who wrote The Wild Bunch’. And even as there was constant laughter in the audience, there was no doubt that Gough was — through satire — conducting a incisive exploration into the myth-making power of Hollywood, of popular culture, alongside the underlying structures that shape its construction.

(Professor von Amelunxen introducing Jeremy Fernando and D. Katherine Griggs. ©Katharina Bosch, 2016)

Jeremy’s piece, entitled ‘je m’appelle Delilah’ — a retelling which attempts to respond to her voice, a voice around which the biblical tale revolves and yet is missing, is silenced — was performed with the fiction writer, poet, and media philosopher, D. Katherine Griggs. The performance was an attempt to meditate on — explore — the space, place, of Delilah: not through analysis, or even through a reading of the book of Judges, but with an attempt to listen to a voice that is not there, or perhaps has been erased. Thus, perhaps then a reading: as an opening — and here, more specifically — by opening the possibility that the relationship between Delilah and Samson is a space of love.

(Jeremy Fernando and D. Katherine Griggs performing ‘je m’appelle Delilah’. ©Soyoung Kwon, 2016)

[an excerpt of ‘je m’appelle Delilah’ by Jeremy Fernando, feat D. Katherine Griggs, can be found here: ©Yan Gi Cheang, 2016]

(©Yanyun Chen, 2016)

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.