Hubert Fichte, Reading from “Palette” at Star-Club | Hamburg St. Pauli, October 2, 1966 | © Estate Leonore Mau/S.Fischer Stiftung
untitled, Hubert Fichte, Star-Club, Hamburg St. Pauli, 1962 | © Nachlass Leonore Mau, S. Fischer Stiftung
The pop star author: On October 2, 1966, young Hubert Fichte read from his unfinished novel Die Palette (The Palette) at the Star-Club. In his book, the queer ethnographer was the first to portray a West German underground scene. A reenactment will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the evening at ACUD in Berlin and Golem in Hamburg.
The basement bar in Hamburg called “Die Palette” was a place for those who did not conform in the West German economic miracle: sailors, small-time crooks and the young deadbeats who deviated from the bourgeoisie norm, including young Harun Farocki. In the Star-Club’s beat and prose scene, Fichte’s daring portrayal of this germ cell of the West German counterculture met the Liverpool beat music of Ian & the Zodiacs, the sociogram met the grand gesturing of stage performance. From today’s perspective: literature met pop.
HKW is celebrating beat and prose on two days in two cities. A performance with readings and music will re-enact the stage event with modern-day commentaries. In Berlin, lectures and discussions will explore Fichte’s poetry of places. In Hamburg, patrons of the Palette and other contemporary witnesses will speak. Theo Janssen’s documentary film Palette revisited (2005) offers an atmospheric framework.