Tasting apples. ©Bodycrisis / MG (IMAGE 1) – Click Image to Continue
A reassessment of historical writing about 1989 reveals a general disregard for everyday and somatic practice. This is by no means a particular disposition of the discourse about the German Wende. Indeed, Henri Lefebvre reminds us that the body and more embodied practices tend to be forgotten in Western philosophical thinking and history (161). In cultural studies, critics have explored everyday practices as a resource for resisting modernity’s tedious routines and repressive demands (de Certeau xiv; Highmore 3). Here, the everyday encapsulates a limited set of practices by excluding a wide range of the sensate, i.e., issues of the body such as nutritional habits and hygiene. (For nutritional habits and German-German cultural history, see Weinreb in this issue.) One of many aspects nurturing this disregard of the somatic quotidian in Wende history is the relatively limited amount of available visual documentation depicting daily life before the advent of the digital age. In our studio work, we explored the ephemerality of everyday practice and created potential historical documents of the everyday of 1989. The image on the right is based on eyewitness accounts relating the changing taste of apples (“appearing shiny and delicious, but not tasting like an apple at all”) and other daily products.