Ragnarök -or- How wE JoyfuLLy kiLLed the Gods
In our dreams (writes Coleridge) images represent the sensations we think they cause; we do not feel horror because we are threatened by a sphinx; we dream of a sphinx in order to explain the horror we feel. If this is so, how could a mere chronicle of its forms transmit the stupor, the exaltation, the alarm, the menace and jubilance which made up the fabric of that dream that night? I shall attempt such a chronicle, however; perhaps the fact that the dream was composed of one single scene may remove or mitigate this essential difficulty.
The place was the School of Philosophy and Letters; the time, towards sundown. Everything (as usually happens in dreams) was somewhat different; a slight magnification altered things. We were electing officials: I was talking with Pedro Henriquez Urena, who in the world of waking reality died many years ago. Suddenly we were stunned by the clamour of a demonstration or disturbance. Human and animal cries came from the Bajo. A voice shouted 'Here they come!' and then 'The Gods! The Gods!' Four or five individuals emerged from the mob and occupied the platform of the main lecture hall. We all applauded, tearfully; these were the Gods returning after a centuries-long exile. Made larger by the platform, their heads thrown back and their chests thrust forward, they arrogantly received our homage. One held a branch which no doubt conformed to the simple botany of dreams; another, in a broad gesture, extended his hand which was a claw; one of the faces of Janus looked with distrust at the curved beak of Thoth. Perhaps aroused by our applause, one of them - I no longer know which - erupted in a victorious clatter, unbelieveably harsh, with something of a gargle and of a whistle. From that moment, things changed.
It all began with a suspicion (perhaps exaggerated) that the Gods did not know how to talk. Centuries of fell and fugitive life had atrophied the human element in them; the moon of Islam and the cross of Rome had been implacable with these outlaws. Very low foreheads, yellow teeth, stringy mulatto or Chinese moustaches and thick bestial lips showed the degeneracy of the Olympian lineage. Their clothing corresponded not to a decorous poverty but rather to the sinister luxury of the gambling houses and brothels of the Bajo. A carnation bled crimson in a lapel and the bulge of a knife was outlined beneath a close-fitting jacket. Suddenly we sensed that they were playing their last card, that they were cunning, ignorant and cruel like old beasts of prey and that, if we let ourselves be overcome by fear or piety, they would finally destroy us.
We took out our heavy revolvers (all of a sudden there were revolvers in the dream) and joyfully killed the Gods.
text : Ragnarök by Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths 1962, translated by James E. Irby.
image & video : Syncopath, Take Off, shot in Tempelhof Berlin 2013
* Ragnarök (wiki) = is an important event in the Norse canon. it is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr,) and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile.
* Tempelhof airport Berlin (wiki) = Tempelhof was designated as an airport on 8 October 1923; The old terminal was originally constructed in 1927; The Nazi government began a massive reconstruction in the mid-1930s in anticipation of increasing air traffic; Tempelhof was one of Europe's three iconic pre-World War II airports; One of the airport's most distinctive features is its large, canopy-style roof, which was able to accommodate most contemporary airliners during its heyday in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, thereby protecting passengers from the elements; Tempelhof Airport's main building was once among the top 20 largest buildings on earth; Tempelhof Airport closed all operations on 30 October 2008; In August 2009, Berlin city officials announced that Tempelhof would be opened in May 2010 as a city park and will be used as a park indefinitely; On the weekend of 8/9 May 2010, the outfield was festively opened as Berlin's largest public park named "Tempelhofer Feld"; More than 200,000 Berliners visited the park to enjoy its wide open spaces for recreation ranging from biking and skating to baseball and kiting.