A LOVE Supreme | Beyond Chrysalis
2022 Even lovers need a little distance from each other now and then. And so painting - my long-time love supreme - currently recedes in order to give room to different, fascinating art projects.
[Isn't art so much more than just painting?
Maybe it is art: my love supreme?]
I believe that the motivation behind most of my activities is quite generally the pursuit of both, world and self knowledge. Painting is a path to this goal. On the long walk from an empty canvas to a finished painting there is a lot of room for thought and gaining clarity (2). And in the end I do not see any other option. I am a spiritual being - but if I hand over control to the autopilot I will move on circular paths and receive the same again and again: a distorted perception of reality, my own projection, overlaying reality (3).
2022 seems to be a year of completition: A year in which I can conclude projects that have been with me for a long time. I have just finished translating the long abstracts of my final thesis in philosophy (Everyone is an artist! Or: Art as Prototyping.) into English. Shortly before that, I finished another long-term project I have been working on since 2008: no2DO, a contemporary approach to the I Ching (1).
In addition, Zwischenraum Sterben (project website: www.der-zwischenraum.de), an exhibition project I have been working on since 2019 with a team of artists, theologians and medical professionals, finally took place from October 08 to 15, 2022. Zwischenraum Sterben, with an art exhibition and evening events, was intended to offer Munich citizens the opportunity to obtain low-threshold information about assistance for the last phase of life. After pandemic delays, we were finally able to realize the project very successfully.
As part of Zwischenraum Sterben I realized the video project "An der Schwelle" in collaboration with Christophe Schneider. The result are 21 interviews with a total running time of almost 6 hours, in which professionals and volunteers from hospice and palliative care have their say. They talk about their work, share their experiences and wishes, and give viewers very personal insights into what they do. Details about the project and links to individual interviews can be found here: An der Schwelle
One of my other contributions to the exhibition was communicative interaction with visitors. I have put down my thoughts on that topic, on communicative-artistic interactivity, in a short article: Polylog: A Collaborative Art Form.
I still paint very little. But take more photograps (Instagram), make collages (Catalyst) and music, and I dance. And sometimes, I even do just nothing. I let my soul flow, draw strength...
Horizontverschmelzung (2015 - 2021)
Love. Yes, art is indeed my love supreme. But I have yet another love: philosophy. In 2015 I want to put my philosophical thinking on solid footing and start studying. And immediately I get feelings of home: because of the contents. And sometimes alienation: because of occasional hands-off life distance.
The abundance of text that has surrounded my art so far definitely benefits from my philosophical studies. And also my project on the I Ching (1), which I have been working on since 2008. For example, by examining the concept of Wu Wei - non-action - more closely and making it accessible to the Western way of thinking: Wu Wei. An Approximation.. The same is true for Wabi-Sabi, a concept of aesthetics closely associated with Japan and Zen Buddhism, which can perhaps most aptly be described as a way of perceiving or expressing things: Wabi-Sabi – Zen of Things. On Buddhism and Beauty.
Step by step I philosophically work my way through all the topics that have been on my mind since a long tome. For example, the relationship between art and healing: Art and Healing: Criteria for Salutary Art in a Therapeutic Context.. Another of my questions is: How is it possible that a work of art can touch us? In my search for clues, I come across empathy, our human ability to "feel what others feel." But is empathy limited to just that? Or is it eventually possible that empathy is a kind of open communication channel that works in both directions? My reflections, cast in textual form: I and You. A Reflection on the Relationship between Empathy and Art.
Finally, I address the most challenging question of all in my final thesis: Why do people deal with art at all? My answer: Everyone is an artist! Or: Art as Prototyping. I follow the traces of Beuys, argue with models of psychosomatic medicine and finally plead for abandoning the distinction between artist and non-artist.
For art, artistic activity, holds the potential to reassemble things that are broken within our human souls - and thus to heal holistically as individuals and also as humanity as a whole.