" A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. The storm is called progress."
This is how Walter Benjamin interprets Paul Klee's monoprint, 80 years before his words were reified into that chemical architecture of noise that still hangs over our dead city. Much like the seraphim, we also perceive our history as one single catastrophe and would like to wake the dead and the broken and ask them, why do our awareness of need only arises when we experience fate? Are we to imitate that awkward, eternal hovering, aerodynamically challenged body? Or do we go against the grain of history and build a better world within the wind of progress? Like the Angelus Novus, the chance to improve ourselves is ruined by our inability to remain still.