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Dear Neighbor,

 You have surely noticed that we have started with our exhibition programme a month ago. We are most certain you missed us, and you couldn’t wait since we are back. It was a long time spent indoors: a pensive time without art, music, lectures, parties, hugs, no neighbors… We were also concerned about your well-being - were you exercising, sleeping tight and drinking enough water, alcohol?! We are confident you did! 

That’s why we invited artists duo Veli & Amos to bring a smile on your face, to wish you a nice day EVERYDAY and to remind you that all is going to be alright! ;) They did a set of nice little Friday rituals for you :) 

We even don’t mind that one of you wrote PENIS on their billboard! :D :D

Hey, we have “been all in it together”, so we “have to stay strong”, because LIFE IS ONE OF THE BEST! 

Veli & Amos prepared a show for you: it smells of bubble gum, at first nice, but then you might get a headache afterwards. Inside is bright pink and neon, with the occasional fake fog effect. It says: THIS IS NOT A COMMERCIAL, and it's true. It’s a language that seems like a commercial, but it’s not. It’s a bit more annoying. Also, Veli & Amos made lovely and cute, shiny cans filled with tap water and optimism. Another neighbor was not pleased that we sell cans, given the amount of pollution in the world. 

You could pass by to listen to their new album. It’s a gangsta pop, trip hop album with very sleek production running on repeat. It’s about art, joints, Berlin, neon, sexy girls, you, and whatever you can imagine... And you can also read their book: It’s about things and stuff. 

 

Dear Neighbor,

 We want to remind you that there is no greater love than loving your neighbor - all around the world. We might be different, but we support you. We see you. You are valued in our eyes. For sure this means something to you when we say it. Trust us, this is not a commercial. It’s genuine. Positive. Love! God says very clearly: Love thy neighbor as thyself. He repeats it a lot (some eight times in the Bible), but then it gets a bit complicated, because he also says, Don’t desire anything your neighbor has. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Love your neighbor, but don’t desire them - it’s tricky! I should not be wishing your house, spouse, looks, wealth or even desire that you see me as I want to be seen. But shouldn’t we be the same?

You know, it was never easy to really love you - just look at the history...maybe this is justification of today’s military interventions sustained by the love for a neighbor? In our own societies, is not the multicultural notion of tolerance, whose fundamental value is the right not to be harassed, precisely a strategy to keep the intrusive neighbor at a proper distance? Instead of love, tolerance. Oh, I love anonymity in cities.


Dear Neighbor,

 We are growing more and more skeptical about love. It’s a promise that’s pretty difficult to fulfill. Have you ever ran into Kierkegaard? He developed the idea that the only good neighbor is a dead neighbor. His line of reasoning is simple and straightforward: in contrast to poets and lovers, whose object of love is distinguished by its particular outstanding qualities, “to love one’s neighbor means equality”: “Forsake all distinctions so that you can love your neighbor.” But then, it seems that only in death all the distinctions disappear, only in death we can love each other. “Death erases all distinctions, but preference is always related to distinctions.” Isn’t this boring, or am i missing something?

So, you see - it’s complicated. We can’t actually love each other, or can we? The best we can do is to wish each other a nice day. Maybe this is a politically correct way to deal with the other. To use a prettier language that does the trick of painting over the filth of reality. But aren’t politically correct expressions patronizing? They are actually highlighting inequalities. In concern to political correctness, Zizek says: “one needs to be very precise not to fight racism in a way which ultimately reproduces, if not racism itself, at least the conditions of racism.” Instead of tolerance, political correctness. 

 

Dear Neighbor,

 Do we dare to see differences for what they are —nothing else than differences. And acknowledge that we can never safely name them, because it will be dismissed as not appropriate. Then, after all, could we still love and talk about it? This sounds like fun! This is Kulturfolger. Hope to see you at our next event on 3rd July 2020. This is not a commercial!



Photo: Anna Maysuk