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东游记活动|Vienna: The Portal to the East维也纳: 通往东方之门

Journey to the East event in Vienna, Austria, Feb 15

2月15日于奥地利维也纳举办第二场“东游记”活动


Journey to the East cycling project is an attempt to map, understand and reflect upon the cultural axis of East and West, as perhaps the most lasting generator of global history and creative drive. Cycling this axis goes further though. From an intellectual discourse, this time the axis can be experienced as an immediate reality, being embodied by real situations in time and space, and real people living their lives before and beyond reflection. This is literally about leaving any proverbial armchair, and act with a profound physical effort and risk, going beyond any theory in favor of evidence, evidence, and nothing but evidence.

"东游记"骑行项目是一次尝试,旨在绘制、理解并深思东西方的文化轴线,这轴线或许是全球历史和创新动力最持久的源泉。在这一轴线上骑行的意义远不止此。它将智识讨论转变为直接体验,让人通过时间与空间的真实情境、真人真事的生活状态去亲身感受,而非单纯的反思。这实际上意味着离开安逸的扶手椅,以深切的体力付出和冒险精神行动起来,追求的是实证,只有实证,除了实证,别无他求。


To break down this ongoing action of many months in a row into smaller acts, there will be held several events, marking about any 1000km or so. Each of them will address a specific dimension of the East West relationship, intended to capture insights more precisely, to establish connections, and to generate a physical legacy to be taken on the journey towards final destination Shanghai, where a group of students will start working on a tangible conclusion of the journey.

为了将这一持续多月的连续行动分解为更小的行为单位,我们将举办一系列事件,每骑行约1000公里便标记一次。每个事件都将聚焦东西方关系的一个特定层面,以求更精确地捕捉洞见,建立联系,并为这一旅程创造物质遗产,随行至终点上海。在那里,一群学生将会对这一旅程作出具体结论。


The series' second event unfolded in Vienna, a city at the heart of what was traditionally seen as the Eastern realm, accentuating its historical perception as an Eastern entity within the Eastern Reich. This perspective seem to stem from the times of Charlemagne. Loosely ruled from Aachen, it must have looked like the place of the dawning day. The ascent of the Habsburg Monarchy, along with its deep-rooted connections to Western European dynasties, solidified its identity firmly within the European House, a self-perception that was apparent for centuries. A pivotal figure in shaping this perception was Klemens von Metternich, whose advocacy at the Vienna Congress for a Pan-European unity underscored his warning that 'Asia begins at his backside garden,' highlighting Vienna's liminal position between continents. As he used to live at the Rennweg 1, now location of the Metternich Palace. It brings Asia rhetorically very close. I’m happy we made it to there, allowing me to touch upon not just the East, but Asia more precisely.

该系列的第二次活动在维也纳展开,这座城市历来被视作东方领域的核心,这次活动强调了其作为东部帝国中的东方实体的历史定位。这种观点似乎源远流长,可追溯至查理曼时代。当时从亚琛松散地统治,维也纳必定被视为黎明初现之地。哈布斯堡君主国的崛起,以及其与西欧王朝的深厚联系,使得它坚定地确立了自身在欧洲体系中的地位,这一自我认知持续了数百年。塑造这种认知的关键人物是克莱门斯·冯·梅特涅,他在维也纳会议上倡导泛欧洲团结,并发出警告:“亚洲从他的后院开始”,凸显了维也纳介于大陆之间的边界地位。梅特涅过去居住在伦维格1号,即现在的梅特涅宫。这使得亚洲在修辞上似乎非常接近。我很高兴我们能来到这里,这不仅让我触及到了东方,更让我更精确地感受到亚洲的魅力。


But there is much more, and much more substantial evidence to understand this projection of Vienna as the last bastion of what recurringly was considered the Christian, European civilization. A visit to the Vienna Museum brought the event participants eye to eye with a few essential sources of the Sieges of Vienna by the Ottomans in the 16th and 17th centuries. Next door the Fischer von Erlach designed giant Karlskirche bears witness to the sense of victory against the Ottomans as the ultimate Others, aka barbarians.

然而,将维也纳视为基督教欧洲文明的最后堡垒,这一概念不仅仅是一种想象。参观维也纳博物馆使得活动的参与者直面16至17世纪奥斯曼帝国对维也纳的围攻的重要史料。紧邻的卡尔教堂,由费舍尔·冯·埃尔拉赫设计,见证了奥斯曼帝国作为终极“他者”,或者说“野蛮人”的胜利感。

But even within this frame, reality always seeps through. Even literally. The story goes that the Ottomans, after having left their positions upon defeat, left traces of coffee in their trenches. Some Viennese boiled it in water and the rest is history. Coffee, as the ultimate drink of conversation, became an essential aspect of Viennese culture. The tradition of serving Kuchen with coffee, potentially a historical echo from the Ottoman's influence, exemplifies the Viennese integration of Eastern customs into its cultural fabric, illustrating how without the Ottoman influence, this hallmark of Viennese culture might not have emerged.

即使在这一框架之内,现实总是以各种方式渗透进来,有时甚至是字面上的意义。有这样一个流传的故事:奥斯曼人在被击败后撤出阵地,留下了咖啡的痕迹。维也纳的居民发现了这些咖啡,并用水煮沸,随后便有了后来的故事。作为对话的终极饮品,咖啡成为了维也纳文化不可或缺的一部分。伴随咖啡一起享用的Kuchen(蛋糕),可能是奥斯曼帝国影响的历史回声,这一传统体现了维也纳如何将东方的习俗融入其文化之中,说明了没有奥斯曼的影响,这一维也纳文化的重要象征也许根本不会出现。


With Metternich Palace, Karlskirche and museum pieces mentioned, it turns out an almost contemporary echo to see the Soviet War Memorial on the Schwarzenbergplatz as another example of Vienna’s deep interdependence with forces, energies and seductions from the East. Vienna is as Asian as a diverse global city these days can be, but it is also Asian in its cultural and historical set of urban references. A perfect place to start learning the East as a living culture.


在提及梅特涅宫、卡尔斯教堂和博物馆藏品的同时,发现施瓦岑贝格广场上的苏联战争纪念碑几乎是对维也纳与东方势力、能量和诱惑深层相互依存关系的当代回声。在如今这个多元化的全球城市中,维也纳就像亚洲一样亚洲化,但在其文化和历史的城市参照体系中,也同样展现出亚洲特色。维也纳是了解东方作为一种活生生文化的理想起点。



 

Journey to be continued...


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