The Return of Pan: User’s Guide

The Burning God

The Return of Pan: User’s Guide

If during the reign of Emperor Tiberius superstitious sailors spread throughout the empire the rumor that the Great God Pan was dead, and if this rumor was furthermore found to be an unconditional truth for two millennia, today the Great God Pan shuts the mouths of liars by his own hand. Today Pan returns.

The Burning of God Pan

On this day, May ***, 1945, at the very end of World War II, a few days after the fall of Berlin and on the eve of Nazi Germany’s surrender, during an unexplained fire in Flakturm Friedrichshain, a concrete air-defense tower built in 1941 by the national-socialists in the Berlin park Friedrichshain, part of the Berlin Art Gallery collection (then the Kaiser Friedrich Museum) was destroyed. Amongst them, alongside Caravaggio’s works, was to be found one of the most enigmatic artworks of modern times – the painting that was provisionally described as ‘The School of Pan’ by Luca Signorelli.

Fire

Yes, the philiosopher must roam along boundaries: the one who swerves off the beaten track and away from the tamed sea-waves, the one who in the end diverts the course of the world, this diversion is the only possible trajectory of the world that cannot persist without taking the risk of diverting itself, of going beyond itself, of setting itself aflame, of transforming itself, of being the volcano of its own surging, and therefore its own hell, a forge, therefore its own future.