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THE SISYPHUS-SYNDROM
Hommage for Joseph Beuys
Curator Juergen Schweinebraden
CHATEAU PLUESCHOW | Am Park 6 | 23936 Plueschow/Germany
June 4 to July 2, 1995


Catalog: 190 pages, 46 color and 55 b/w images, 20x14 cm
Textband: 115 pages, 35 images, 20x14 cm

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Darya von Berner + Bernhard Johannes Blume + Georg Dietzler + Felix Droese + Olafur Eliasson + Hanna Frenzel + Gloria Friedmann + Ottmar Hörl + Ulrike Holthöfer + Rebecca Horn + Dietmar Kirves + Werner Klotz + Les Levin + Katharina Meldner + Olaf Nicolai + Brigitte Raabe + Valentin Rothmaler + Igor Sacharow-Ross + Jürgen Schieferdecker + ManfreDu Schu + Klaus Staeck

CURATOR'S PREFACE: Artists have long pointed to phenomena of nature, the environment, creation with their works. This does not mean the catastrophe painters or the conjurers of a supposedly healthy nature. But - like no other: Joseph Beuys. He advanced and interwove the artistic examination of the phenomenon of the necessary change of behavior with a clear ecological goal. He coined the slogan "urban forestation instead of urban administration". He has referred to the artist as "the authority" to "remold developed industrial landscape into a biotope" because "only the artistic impulse that initiates processes makes sense, relying on the inherent lawfulness of the renewing spiritual and social processes." 25 years of environmental movement has at least named the problems our (surrounding) world suffers from, in the reduction of which we all must have an interest. It seems all the more necessary to point out this aspect, because it has become worse and clearer how bad it is.

25 artists, internationally composed, refer in a wide range both in age and artistic point of view and statement to phenomena that move us. They are able to point out well-known and to some perhaps still unknown problems of our society with current artistic means and thereby rather playfully, but always connected with the genus of sensual cognition, stimulate reflection.

The text volume on the exhibition series makes clear the background against which it was conceived. In polemic form, it points to deficits in ecological thinking in our society and to the causes of these deficits. Not only artistic points of view are presented, but a broad spectrum should help to convey and strengthen awareness in dealing with resources, climate-killing pollutants and our environment, as well as to promote self-responsible and democratic action. The partly unusual view of some authors on phenomena surrounding and moving us, should sharpen the perception and association ability of the reader. It should help to see phenomena not in their isolation, but in the complex interconnections of an overall system with different numbers of subsystems. A system in which the individual is only one piece of the mosaic - but plays the decisive role with regard to the causes, which in the meantime endanger the entire system. What is needed is the creativity of the individual, away from ingrained habits and rules, as well as a viewpoint that includes previously unnoticed peripheral areas in our consideration to a greater extent than has perhaps been the case up to now. A creativity for which art stands in toto and can thus provide assistance with upcoming problems, if one is willing to engage with its unorthodox view and understand it. — Jürgen Schweinebraden

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ABOUT THE CURATOR: Born with the name Jürgen Walther Herrmann Schweinebraden, he learned early to deal with the difficulties that such a name brings. - Whether at school or during his apprenticeship, whether studying psychology or industrial sociology, Jürgen Schweinebraden knows how to tell the many stories surrounding the trials and tribulations of his name with wit and charm. But more than these anecdotes, he is remembered for his commitment to art in the GDR. - The founding of his residential and alternative gallery "EP Galerie Jürgen Schweinebraden," with its exhibitions and musical events, made new art forms from Western Europe and West Germany in particular known in the GDR. Inspired by his example, over 30 similar galleries were opened throughout the GDR, most of them operating without any permission from the state. He thus contributed significantly to the creation of an artistic counter-public in the GDR. - After several administrative penal proceedings and a conviction for "producing illegal printed matter," he moved to West Germany in November 1980. Once there, he took on numerous posts in galleries and art associations, including director of the Kunstverein Hamburg. Today he works as a freelance gallery owner and publicist. © mdr, Leipzig 2002

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