A Change of Underwear


News from Trier, Germany, home of a major Catholic Cathedral & birthplace of Karl Marx:

From 13 April to 13 May a highly publicized mise-en-scene by the catholic church will propose a pilgrimage to the “Holy Dress,” a historically dubious piece of vestment (see below) the church claims to be Jesus’ own, that will be on show in the cathedral. To counter this piece of middle age metaphysical propaganda, a more modernist action will be mounted: the exhibition of Karl Marx’ long johns (see above), which contrary to the Jesus frock is claimed to be an original piece having indeed belonged to Karl, which had already been exhibited in 1994 in the “Glasmost” bar in South Trier.  This installation  by local artist Helmut Schwickerath, when shown in 1996  had profoundly angered the religious authorities which had protested most forcefully.

Legends & witty anecdotes have meanwhile accrued to the long johns. Thus they disappeared without a trace after the first exhibition, supposedly spirited away by the “Secret Society of Holy Underwear” to be hidden in a chapel. But now the long johns have returned, somewhat moth-eaten & with the left back leg seriously torn.

This time the exhibition/installation (a portraits of Helena Demuth, Marx’s house-mistress, will flank the object) will be set up in the window of the skater-paraphernalia shop “Zupport,” right next to the Karl-Marx-House. It has not been possible to verify if this is why Pope Benedict has annulled his visit to Trier & is sending Canadian Cardinal Marc Quellet in his place.

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