Monday, April 28, 2008

the city's black heart

    vienna - this city filled with baroque, palaces, tourists, posh and savoir vivre - has a heart of black velvet.

just before i moved here in 2006, people told me i'm moving to europe's capitol of suicides. after an absolutely impressive first autumn, rather reminding me of summers in my hometown, i wasn't much in contact with the viennese morbid mentality until very recently getting an interesting update on this topic.

a visit to the vienna funeral museum led by the professor of an ethnology lecture i'm listening in to this semestre [promisingly titled 'funeral art']. while said lecture aims at the subject of funeral rite and art in other cultures, said professor seems perfectly taken by vienna's black heart, being the leader of that peculiar museum.

in the course of our tour, ranging from the beginnings of pomp funebre in vienna until the grand funerals of empress zita and, who could or would [or would want to] forget, falco, our charming guide mentioned an interesting rule of thumb for living in vienna:
for artistic people, it takes about 6 months of living in vienna to have the vast subject of death filling their creations.
he himself, as he said, being born at the border to switzerland and having come to vienna to study art, knew every graveyard and funeral after about two semesters of studying. go figure.

with funeral trams, corpse alarms [rescue me from apparent death!], endless funeral processions and europe's second largest graveyard one thing is clear: the viennese loves not only self-dramatisation when alive, but so much more when dead.

as for me, i think i'm still rather on the side of the living. but who knows for how long. certainly, this provides me a charming new insight into this remarkable city's ways and oddities - these are the things that make living here a daily nasch.

as for business, guess which urn-model is the most popular in vienna? obviously and unfailingly the charming porcelain made model sisi. this year's european football championship inspired the clever minds of the design department to finally throw piety out of the window and outdo themselves by creating the fitting, perfectly lifelike football-urn. on a sidenote, the model still awaits its first purchaser...

enjoy your days while they last.


pílong said...

i remember you telling me about the suicide-prone viennese societywhen i was there, and how it made sense to me seeing how gray and regular it could get in some places...
if you ever start falling on the dark side come catch some sun rays down here ! :)

Yu said...

ai, those were the days my friend. i definitely shall come catch some sun and some cats down there! and you should come for a second helping of this city - i have so much to show you.

saturninus said...

sisi apparently makes the world go round. at least in vienna (and korfu).

I wonder how my photography would change if I spent more then 6 months in vienna in one go... :)