The West Australian
on experimental media art
In Todtnauberg, Del Favero relives the historical 1967 single encounter between two important German figures of the 20th century, Jewish poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan and Nazi collaborator and philosopher Martin Heidegger. Celan's dream of apology is imagined through an almost inaudible whisper, creating an intimacy so close it's as if the viewer is sharing his thoughts.
What actually transpired at Todtnauberg, Heidegger's hut in the Black Forest of southern Germany is not known, but for one poem by Celan of the same name. Del Favero says in it Celan symbolically talks about nature, concentration camps, extermination and German history.
"The hut was where Heidegger tutored academics, but also members of the SS during the war. What's clear is Celan came out of the invitation to meet disappointed and Heidegger unapologetic," he says.
Heidegger tutored the SS at Todtnauberg during the war? I thought he was an SA man.