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PARADE, PARADE 1994 — 2001
Paperback | 164 pages | 17x20 cm | Color images | N.E.W., Berlin 2002

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Parade - Buchcover
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Preface by Dirk Borutta: THE ETHICS OF THE MOMENT

The Berlin Love Parade, Christopher Street Day, Carnival of Cultures and carnival erotica have long conquered their place in the history of the youth movement.

In 1989 just 200 people moved through the Berlin city center to loud Housemusic. One year later it was already 2000, only to grow linearly to 2 million participants by 1997. The biggest street party in the world. It may seem paradoxical to interpret mass outbursts of senseless exhaustion as a regenerating force and as an innovative impulse for the everyday life of a community. Some consider it to be the return of infantile confusions that have been pushed back in the course of the advancing civilization process. Other thinking dinosaurs value the happiness of participating in an extraordinary collective event such as the Love Parade as a meaningless formation of hordes, whereby in the dreaming collective the individual degenerates into an indifferent element of the whole.

The ethics refer to a strong archaic root. The Love Parade and the CSD are superficially powerful monuments of senseless sensuality. They represent a complex and idiosyncratic metaphor for the way things were going in the nineties and point to a tendency of how future discourses might be shaped. Actually, it's all about nothing, and that's the real political. People coming together and celebrating makes the great utopias of a fulfilled and peaceful coexistence tangible and realistic, at least for a weekend. Party culture is a counterculture to the dull, normal and for gays also repressive everyday life. Hundreds of thousands leave the dark basement bunkers and clubs to which they flee on weekends and demonstrate in the capital how many they are. This magnitude and spread of unproductive spending naturally hit hard on the rock of criticism and rejection. Berlin's guardians of law and order, preservationists, merchants and other middle-aged transuseniks clamored, as always unsuccessfully. What for them is a cesspool of noise, garbage and urine is for one or the other feature writer the direct route to the garbage dump of civilization, since these events are difficult to categorize in classical political views. House culture opposes this eternally black-eyed view of elite culture with the strength and intensity of its grooves. Freedom, Unity, Equality, Respect, Fun and Love are the fundamental basis of all world-improving movements. In contrast to political ideologies, this has worked since the seventies, from the beginnings of gay disco culture to today's ravers.

The Love Parade, the CDS, the Carnival of Cultures and the Carnival Erotica all have in common that they make it clear to ravers, ethnic groups and gays from all over the world that they belong together and how easy and natural it can be when everyone comes out and likes the same music. Identity is not only created by being gay or by the music that resounds from huge pit towers in Berlin, but also by the feeling of power and strength that comes from crossing the boundaries of everyday life and self and occupying the streets of the capital together in a quasi-military way. Demonstrations are largely considered the articulation of opposition to political measures or an opponent. While the CSD still remembers the protests against repression of gays by state organs, the Love Parade is completely apolitical, neither demanding nor critical. If one asks the demonstrators about the motive of their action, most of them answer with a laugh and move on. Both events are largely speechless demonstrations, you demonstrate yourself in love with yourself. How to laugh, dance, drink, loll around in the sun and make love.

If you walk through the gallery of Vincenzo Mastrangelo's paintings from 1994/2001, it is hard to deny that there is something very noble about a multitude of self-portrayals that are usually considered immoral. Neither Love Parade, CSD, Carnival of Cultures nor Carnival Erotica refer to something in the future. These events only show, they show a directionless indeterminacy. One sees people who seem to experience something beautiful in the midst of others. People, outside the accepted, normal forms of enjoyment, who for one day seemingly spend themselves senselessly in everything (behavior, clothing, body expression). People detach themselves from their individualism, their difference and deviation in order to blissfully participate for a moment in a pulsating whole. In a time when aesthetes turn moralizing into a profession because political guiding ideas have built their power tyrannies. Not the seductive power of a template of identity and utopia, but the intense experience of the here and now at the CSO and the Love Parade illuminate the world and inspire everyday life.

You gotta have it, now. The works of Vincenzo Mastrangelo show pictures of people who live only in this moment. They are close to this anti-literal feeling, which through constant movement, hectic, a beat that moves the many synchronously in a staggered manner, mixes everything into an organic whole. In front of the camera eye, everyone is equal, everyone is a star, whom the lens approaches in an unbiased, voyeuristic and completely unfeeling way. The images are fleeting memories and impressions of extraordinary summer events that show what the current generation is like.