Youkali – The Power of Ilusión

A project by Laura Maria Görner
University of Europe for Applied Sciences Berlin
Prof. Katharina Mayer

In a spatial-atmospheric multi-media-installation the Berlin-Düsseldorf artist Laura Maria Görner confronts the question of faith, which for her does not have to be in the context of God.

»Perhaps in itself the search for fulfilment
 of longing is all one needs to find.«

Everyone believes in something! Everyone is powered by something! Doesn’t matter from which nation, religion or age they come. Connecting Vladimir Korneev’s song version Youkali and excerpts of letters Kurt Weill in a mirror installation, Görner asks the viewers about their own deepest longings.

What is your Youkali? What is your place of longing? What moves you and gives you strength?

Youkali describes this human longing. It is the title of a song that Kurt Weill composed in year 1934. He was born and raised in Dessau (Germany) and grew up Jewish – his family roots are documented as being among the oldest Jewish families in Germany.

But Weill is a human like everyone else. Even though in the German historical-religious context you could see this song as his personal longing for peace and for a place where he is allowed to be, it is a song that speaks for all of us.

Whereas the song is mostly talking about dreams, peace, and love, the line in the lyrics »there is no Youkali« is noticeably breaks this dreamful picture of believe in fulfilment… But exactly this is the most interesting part of the song, as it questions what it then means to have hope or beliefs? Why even take a path when it’s not going to lead you anywhere, when you can’t be sure of getting what you want?

Faith must be about leading and sustaining; not about destination but the way there!

Composed as a tango habanera, which is known as a dance of deep bond and trust, it visualizes an inner desire, like an ever existing, inner trust! Like a light in the darkness, like the star in Youkali, that could be a place, a person, an activity or something complete immaterial like God. The most important thing about longing is the power that comes with it. The power that is individual and given to you by the specific search for fulfilment of that longing.

Music and art are mirrors of society. So whatever Weill felt when he wrote this song, and why, it reaches out to your own inner desire. Everyone believes and is led by something.

So, question yourself: What keeps you going in difficult times? What makes you strong? Who stands by your side when you feel lost? When do you feel lost, but how do you go on? What has been your longing for a long time? What have you dreamed of for a long time? Why are you where you are in your life, where you are at right now? Who brought you bring there? Or what? What difficulties did you pass on the way and how? What have you always wanted to say to our society? What do you wish? What have you always wanted to change or mention, but never felt like you could?

Weill’s music and thoughts fly apart in the space of time. What seems to be fragmented, connects itself again and again in the passing of time. What was individually or generally significant in the past will reappear. The same, changed, stronger…