||‘Konsum’ was the name of the former East German retail chain and in the Ziezow Konsum shop, time appears to have stood still since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It seems impossible to connect to the present. It is a mysterious, melancholy place, out of step with time.
Nothing was altered in the shop – only a cassette recorder with a tape-recorded voice was added. The tape contains a collage of texts originally spoken by people with dysfunctional memories. Accessed 14.04.2008 from http://www.josefineguenschel.de
When were you born?
- What? It was here on the table and has been moved, right?
I was wondering how old you are?
- Maybe… I couldn’t put it together that quickly. It’s not possible.
In what year were you born?
- The thing is… these things take time to get through. You have to put things back together first. 96 yes it was 96... it was 96. Or am I carrying on because I know that… that… That’s too big you can’t get there. There are too many things in between, right? It doesn’t come that quickly into your head.
Yes, my sister was here. She was away on holiday, came, because she was put aside – it just wasn’t like that with us. And there knowing, I was then I couldn’t stay there alone, because I couldn’t get my food and things like that – at first it didn’t work out. After awhile I said I wanted to go back to my flat and it got better and was then, and I can see it better that I stayed outside. Do you understand, than as if I was with strangers – that’s not on… and my sister when she’s here and she helps when its needed what has to be done.
How long have you been with us, Mr S.?
What have you been doing all your life?
- Yes … that’s right, as well as my kiddies.
Did you work in the city of Stade?
- Yes …yes.
Which company was that?
- Yes, I worked until I was 65.
Where were you born?
- Yes, I don’t know. I know my mother was used to it.
Yes, I see here how we, that… that’s not true. But before here, that’s something, the one before is gone, so I can see that, that’s the door, the door closes with a scabby tractor and then sees the… had to do it earlier, the machines.
How old are you then?
How old are you?
- Yes, I’ve been here for a week from – I was born in December –
In what year were you born? Nineteen .
- When, afterwards?
When were you born, your date of birth.
- Yes … a… I’m from the Rhine… Rhineland in Germany.
The news on TV is way too fast. Recently there was something on Guatemala. Guatemala? I thought about that word and the news was already somewhere else. I never found out what was up with Guatemala. I didn’t hear anything after that.
Yes, I‘ll say there are complications. I have to do it differently … I think you have to begin at the bottom and not at the top. It’s like this: against the past I have to say this about the big beginning first as I turned up it’s obviously a big difference … today is better than then, and we don’t have to debate on it.
Mr. S., how many children do you have?
- How much I earn, in the bag… or…
No how many children do you have? You told me earlier you visited your children. Do you have a daughter?
Or do you have a son?
- Yes, I was…
Do you have children, Mr S.?
- After the war I was in Banje… in Bell… in a big hotel in Badenbult… and in Eisenach…is she still living?
I’ll tell you something though… no I will…I’ll tell you something. Maybe it’s a sort of fairy tale.
Once there was a spider… at first the spider could catch his flies… and they crawled up the hill… but he couldn’t always catch them… until they landed on a high tree… and then without wanting to, they were caught on his silvery thread.
If you lose this thread… I can only say this… this spider…as cruel as heaven can be…so cruel was the spider. Is that possible?
[ The texts have been partly revised and were taken from the following books:
Angela de Friderici: „Neuropsychologie der Sprache“ (Neuropsychology of Language)
Luise Lutz: „Das Schweigen verstehen. Über Aphasie“ (Understanding Silence -about Aphasia)
Klaus Poek (Hg.): „Klinische Neuropsychologie“ (Clinical Neuropsychology)
V.M. Roth (Hg.): „Sprachtherapie“ (Speech therapy)
Vincentz-Verlag (Hg.): Video „Alzheimersche Krankheit“(Alzheimer’s Disease)]