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Hundsteinweg – Text of Spoken Word performance by Joke Lanz

Collage by Joke Lanz

Hello my name is Joke Lanz:
I was born in 1965 in Basel Switzerland to a French mother and a Swiss father.
In my younger years I worked as a garbageman, factory worker, sales assistant, caretaker, housekeeper, carpet dealer, chicken farmer, record shop owner, night watch, sauna assistant, roadie, secretary, cleaner, nude model, part-time single father, chocolate producer, bike messenger…
Just to name a few!
After playing bass in a HC Punk band during the late 80s, I decided to start my own music project called „Sudden Infant“ in 1988. It was the time when I worked at Recommend Records distribution in Zurich together with Christoph Fringeli amongst others. We had quite an amazing time trying to sell good music to record shops and retail customers. But this is a different story.

Well, As a young Swiss Punk I travelled many times to West Berlin during the 80s. Coming from Basel by night train it was each time a fantastic adventure to cross the dark east german territory including those young border police officiers of the Volkspolizei with machine guns who were checking everybody’s passports and luggage. Finally arriving at Bahnhof Zoo it was a revelation for me to breathe the air of this crazy island within the communist system.
I mostly stayed in a small and shabby hotel near Ku’damm just to drop off my bag and head to the U1 subway to go to Kreuzberg. It was a complete different world from what I experienced so far in well-structured Switzerland. No closing hours, no narrow minded idiots, no expensive rents, no petite bourgeoisie, no lack of space, no mountains, no boredom. I immediately fell in love with Berlin!
And I said to myself, one day I want to live in this city. My dream came true in 1998 when I packed up my belongings and moved to Berlin. Although the city had changed massively after the fall of the wall it still remained fascinating and adventurous. After a short side trip to London for a few years I returned to Berlin in 2006 where I’m still living to the present day.

Cut-up, slow down, speed up, run backwards! Cut-up, slow down, speed up, run backwards! Cut-up, slow down, speed up, run backwards! Cut-up, slow down, speed up, run backwards!

The automatic female voice of the 179 BVG Berlin bus announces the next stop:
Ding //

Hundsteinweg means = dog stone alley!
There are many dogs here in Berlin, statistically speaking, more than 105’000 dogs.
Sometimes they bite Sometimes they fight Sometimes they bark Sometimes they piss …in the park
There are small dogs, big dogs, white dogs, black dogs, friendly dogs, unfriendly dogs, autistic dogs, three- legged dogs, four-legged dogs, french dogs, german dogs, english dogs, underdogs.
Well, what is it like to be an underdog in Berlin?

Since a long time I’m aware that me and many of my colleagues, artists, musicians, writers, are living on the fringe of society. We’re hanging on a silk thread, just a small step away from homelessness, alcoholism, depression, loneliness and isolation.
Sometimes they bite Sometimes they fight Sometimes they bark Sometimes they piss …in the park

Heiner Müller used to say:
Optimism is just a lack of information
Black teeth big smile
Drinkin’ water from the Nile One coin for salvation
Multi national corporation Getting stranded at a
Berlin subway station
Atonal sound installation
vs homeless human frustration

People, families, children, women, men, they all flee their homes because of war between countries, civil war, persecution of minority ethnic groups or religious groups, or members of political organisations. People may be persecuted because they belong to a distinct social group such as gay men or lesbian women.
The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded 50 million for the first time since the second world war!

In ancient Egypt the word for dog was „iwiw“ which referenced the sound of their bark. Dogs were closely linked to the jackal/dog god Anubis, the protector of the gates to the Underworld, who guided the souls of the deceased to the Hall of Truth where the soul would be judged by the god Osiris.
During ancient times all inhabitants of a house in Egypt where a cat has died a natural death, had to shave their eyebrows. And when a dog died, they even had to shave the whole body including the head. That’s incredible, isn’t it?
I mean nowadays people shave parts of their body without any ritualistic reason, just for the sake of being fashionable or because they follow some kind of a strange trend.

When I was in Cairo 7 years ago for an artist residency, I developed an anti-intrusiveness system which protected me against invasive cheapjacks and racketeers. I simply humbled a deep and bassy tone while walking through the streets of Cairo.
Hummmmm Hommmm Hummmmmmm

Imagine, you walk your way and every 5 minutes someone walks next to you, asking where you’re from and what you do in Egypt and if you’d like to buy something or come for a cup of tea somewhere, where they try to force you to buy touristic papyrus scrolls or expensive perfumes.
Hummmmm Hommmm Hummmmmmm

There were not that many foreigners in Cairo right after the revolution. It was the time when Mubarak was in prison and the Freedom and Justice party of the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining power and pushed their candidate Mohamed Morsi to become president. It was pretty chaotic in the streets. Every foreigner was considered either to be an American journalist or an Israeli spy.

„Do you love Hitler?“ asked me a young shop assistant at a Radio Shack store in Down Town Cairo where I wanted to buy some batteries. I stared at him in disbelief what I’ve just heard out of his mouth. „Do you love Hitler?“ once again, with a smile on his face. He was wearing a white shirt with a black tie and a Radio Shack name badge. I tried to explain him that this is very impolite and absolutely politically incorrect. It’s actually something you simply cannot ask. But obviously the young shop assistant and his mates didn’t understand me at all. They were very amused about my confusion and obviously they really liked Hitler. Then I remembered that I’m in Cairo where you can buy an arabic translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf in almost every book shop. Totally confused and with that question „Do you love Hitler“ in my head I left the shop, in my hand a small plastic bag with four batteries in it.

Israeli spy or human fly?
Some weeks later during „Self-Determination Friday“ in Cairo, I walked down Talaat Harb towards Tahrir Square to join those hundreds of thousands protesters in their various demands for a free Egypt and the retreat of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. There was a large variety of different groups and political parties on Tahrir such as Revolutionary Socialists, liberal April 6 Movement, Salafist supporters of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the National Association for Change, the Muslim Brotherhood Justice & Freedom party etc etc.

On my way there I met a young Egyptian activist who kindly accompanied me and explained many interesting things to me about the current political landscape and their relations with Egyptian society. It was a beautiful day and I absolutely enjoyed the colorful and peaceful crowd on Tahrir and I had some nice talks with many Egyptian people despite my few words in arabic or their little knowledge in english language.

Unfortunately some very obscure and confusing news got to me later in the evening when I was sitting on a rooftop bar having a cold Stella beer. Egyptian friends called me on my phone saying that they received the news that I got beaten up on Tahrir Square and there would be a video on the Internet which accuses me of being a potential Israeli spy! And believe it or not: All because of a narrow-minded and paranoid journalist who spotted my tattooed pentagram star on my neck and immediately detected an Israeli conspiracy. Obviously this person didn’t know the difference between a five-pointed star, which is even found on many national flags like Morroco, Algeria, China etc, and the six-pointed star of David. Anyway, I didn’t feel like explaining myself, the story is just too ridiculous and the fact that I was followed and filmed without any clear evidence is almost bordering on evil and massive stupidity. Alhamdulillah!

Well I’m a human fly it’s spelt F-L-Y
I say buzz buzz buzz and it’s just because
I’m a human fly and I don’t know why
I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes
I got a garbage brain it’s driving me insane
And I don’t like your ride so push that pesticide And baby I won’t care cause baby I don’t scare Cause I’m a reborn maggot using germ warfare

To understand the world I have to be a hooligan I have to be a child
I have to be a soldier
I have to be a muslim
I have to be a consumer
I have to be a prostitute
I have to be a priest
I have to be a revolutionary I have to be a pensioner
I have to be a buddhist
I have to be a banker
I have to be a pop star
I have to be an asshole
I have to be an artist
I have to be a refugee
I have to be a jew
I have to be a politician
I have to be a pilot
I have to be policeman
I have to be a homeless I have to be a millionaire I have to be a dentist
I have to be a cyclist
I have to be a body builder I have to be a deejay
I have to be a garbage man I have to be a physician
I have to be a mother
I have to be a gangster
I have to ba a parliamentarian I have to be a football player
I have to be an astronaut
I have to ba a factory worker
I have to be a babysitter
I have to be a surgeon
I have to be a teenager

Mother! Where is my Sid Vicious t-shirt? Mother! Did you go inside my room? Mother! Why did you do that?
Mother! Where are my cigarettes?
Mother! Let me explain you my privacy! Mother! Why did you wash my trousers? Mother! Where are my Punk records? Mother! Why can’t you just leave me alone? Mother! I’m old enough to decide!
Mother! Don’t clean up my room!
Mother! Did you remove my drawings?
Mother! I told you not to touch my personal stuff! Mother! Why do you do this?
Mother! It’s not my fault that I have no brother! Mother! This is my room!
Mother! Get out!
Mother! I do what I want!
Mother! Leave me alone! Mother! Leave me alone!
Well, you can see, my releation to my mum was not the easiest one.

My father committed suicide when I was 13. He killed himself with the Swiss Army rilfle STGW 57 manufactured by the Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft SIG. A weapon that is considered to be personal equipment of the soldier and required to keep at home until the end of the military service.
I was sitting at a doctors waiting room just opposite of our apartment block when I heard the gunshot.
Streichholz anzünden!!
A man is walking up the stairs First floor
Second floor
Third floor
He is holding a rifle in his hand Fourth floor
Fifth floor
That’s where his apartment is
Sixth floor
He’s walking up to the rooftop of his house Seventh floor
He’s still holding that rifle in his hand Eighth floor
Ninth floor
Tenth floor
Eleventh floor
Twelfth floor
Thirteenth floor
He opens the door to the rooftop Now he can see the sky
He can see the birds
And he can see the cranes
He can see the clouds And he can see the angels

The baby screams!
It screams almost the way I screamed yesterday: A caw, a distorted pressed out whining, a litany of gargling and rasping sounds.
It wants to scream louder, it wants to scream longer, it wants to scream like it never screamed before and it does not want to stop screaming.
The baby sits next to me on the plane from Dublin to Berlin. But the baby also sits inside of me, where it always was.
I believe it is absolutely essential to constantly re-shape, grind and erode thoughts like stones in the river. Again and again!
Every opportunity should be taken to bring people, opinions, monsters and moments together.
Even if the pain of our own existence is omnipresent and cannot be forgotten in the community.
Consolidation is essential!

Yes, nudism was very popular in East Germany!?
In 1982 there were 40 official nudist beaches in East Germany, around lakes and on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
Would you consider Experimental music as something serious? Music in general should be extreme with a good dose of humor, everything else is like a chewing gum without taste or singing garden gnomes (nomes). Personally I’m mostly amazed by the individuals, not necessarily by their music or art. I’ve met amazing artists and human beings in the past 30 years. Some of them became very close friends of mine and when we meet we talk about cooking recipes, health food, black & white films, bicycle trips, relationship problems, future plans, wellness holidays, football, afflictions of old age, political directions, postmodern trends etc etc. We talk about almost anything!
But we do not talk about music!!! That’s interesting!
You know, things in life have to change.
Especially in Berlin, things always had to be destroyed in order to create new ideas, new spaces, new energies, new beginnings!

Der Junge hat einen Kopf Das Mädchen hat einen Kopf Der Mann hat einen Kopf
Die Frau hat einen Kopf
Das Baby hat einen Kopf
Die Taube hat einen Kopf Der Hund hat einen Kopf
Die Katze hat einen Kopf Der Polizist hat einen Kopf
Die Metzgerin hat einen Kopf
Der Busfahrer hat einen Kopf Die Verkäuferin hat einen Kopf Der Nachbar hat einen Kopf Die Nachbarin hat einen Kopf Die Ameise hat einen Kopf Der Fisch hat einen Kopf
Die Giraffe hat einen Kopf
Das Nashorn hat einen Kopf Alle haben einen Kopf Die Dicken
Die Dünnen
Die Schwarzen
Die Weissen
Die Gelben
Die Braunen
Die Grossen
Die Kleinen
Die Armen
Die Reichen
Die Fröhlichen
Die Traurigen
Die Gesunden
Die Kranken
Die Blinden
Die Stummen
Die Haarigen
Die Kahlen
Die Lustigen
Die Wütenden
Die Beweglichen
Die Gebrechlichen
Alle haben einen Kopf Manchmal reden die Köpfe Manchmal rauchen die Köpfe Manchmal trinken die Köpfe Manchmal weinen die Köpfe Manchmal schlafen die Köpfe Manchmal schreien die Köpfe Manchmal essen die Köpfe Manchmal nicken die Köpfe Manchmal schauen die Köpfe Manchmal singen die Köpfe Manchmal denken die Köpfe Manchmal husten die Köpfe Manchmal rülpsen die Köpfe Manchmal staunen die Köpfe Manchmal raunen die Köpfe Manchmal fluchen die Köpfe
Manchmal lachen die Köpfe Manchmal rollen die Köpfe

/////////////////////////// Mini Pizza Jumbo Sausage XL Kebap Instant Noodle Supreme Burger Two for One
24 hours Seven Eleven Drive Inn Take out Drive through Coffee to go
But where to go?

Thank you!!

Joke Lanz

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