The first written contributions of following participants:
Anonym #1 scroll down for the text
Kisito Assangni is a Togolese-French curator, art consultant, and farmer who studied museology at Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Currently living between UK, France and Togo, his research focuses primarily on psychogeography and the cultural impact of globalisation. He investigates the modes of cultural production that combine theory and practice. scroll down for the text
Roger Colombik navigates a diverse artistic practice that embraces a passion for both sculptural objects and socially engaged projects. scroll down for the text
christian hüls As clinical chemist, Feldenkrais practitioner, poet, improvisation performer by movements, sounds and words i’m curious about the plasticity of the brain. How affects awareness in movement and art the entity of body and mind, how the self-image can grow and thrive, how much non-verbal brain activity we have left in our everyday life awareness. scroll down for the text
Sofia Karim has practiced architecture for over 20 years at studios including Norman Foster’s in London and Peter Eisenman’s in New York. Her practice combines architecture, visual art, activism and writing. Scroll down for the text
Julia Schulz is a freelance writer, illustrator and communications manager based in Bonn, Germany, where she works on scripts, brand concepts, novels, short stories and illustrations for children’s books and magazines. scroll down for the text
The images are not ascribable to the participants. But personal experience is important and therefore I collect the words as well. Contributors of images are invited to share their insights and experience, anonymous or signed. At the end of the project, the texts will be published as an artistic book. Here are a few insights into disease, healing, the living with Covid-19, and art:
Ich schätze die Menschen. Ich plädiere für’s Zuhören. Ich plädiere für Respekt – sich selbst und anderen gegenüber. Ich erkenne meine Kleinheit an – und unser aller Großartigkeit zugleich. Ich plädiere für Achtsamkeit gegenüber dem Moment, gegenüber anderen, gegenüber jeder scheinbaren Selbstverständlichkeit. Ich plädiere für Dankbarkeit und Demut. Ich mag das Spielerische und den heiligen Ernst. Ich mag Naivität. Ich schätze den Kompromiss und empfinde nett sein als etwas Gutes. Ich plädiere für Hingabe und Skepsis – auch sich selbst gegenüber. Ich plädiere für Aufrichtigkeit. Und für wohlwollenden und würdevollen Umgang miteinander. Wir sind alle Bürger*innen dieser Welt.
„Our highest self-conception needs to be redefined from “I think, therefore I am” to “I care, therefore I am; I hope, therefore I am; I imagine, therefore I am. I am ethical, therefore I am. I have a purpose, therefore I am. I pause and reflect, therefore I am.”
Kisito Assangni is a Togolese-French curator, art consultant, and farmer who studied museology at Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Currently living between UK, France and Togo, his research focuses primarily on psychogeography and the cultural impact of globalisation. He investigates the modes of cultural production that combine theory and practice. He inherently aims at going beyond the usual relations between artist, curator, institution, audience, and artwork in order to engage audiences in encounters with art that are unexpected, transformative, and fun. His discursive public programs and exhibitions have been shown inter-nationally, including the Venice Biennale, ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Malmo Konsthall, Sweden; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; Es Baluard Museum of Art, Palma, Spain; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; Marrakech Biennale among others. Assangni has participated in talks, seminars, and symposia at numerous institutions such as the British Museum, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Ben Uri Museum, London; Pori Art Museum, Finland; Kunst-hall 3.14, Bergen (Norway); Bamako Encounters Photography Biennial, Mali; Sala Rekalde Foundation, Bilbao; COP17 Summit, South Africa; Depart Foundation, Malibu (USA); Sint-Lukas University, Brussels; Motorenhalle Centre of Contemporary Art, Dresden (Germany); Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Brazil; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Ticino, Switzerland. He is a contributing editor at ArtDependence Magazine. Assangni is the founder of TIME is Love Screening – International video art program and art advisor for Latrobe Regional Gallery in Victoria, Australia
The arts help people to cope in dark times – even during a pandemic that prevents us experiencing art and culture alongside others in the same physical spaces.
The Coronavirus outbreak has caused serious disruptions in the art world by cancelling most of the projects. Art institutions and individuals are scrambling to reinvent themselves and organise online initiatives to stay creative. Although we would obviously prefer to experience art in the real life, it is a luxury to have this information at your fingertips.
I honestly think this crisis will change us and the art world permanently in terms of variables involved, both social and economic. Nevertheless, what we have learnt from the crisis is that we can be flexible and adapt to new situations quickly. According to Darwin, adaptability is the very reason we managed to survive as a species.
The lockdown has effectively provided an opportunity for us to slow down, re-evaluate and focus on what is important. One of the silver linings in this particular time will be the positive effect it has had on the environment. It’s undeniable that the art world with all its international events is terrible for the environment.
Finally, the digital monopoly of art at the moment is a great tool for discovery even if nothing will ever replace standing in front of a piece of art. During Covid-19, activating the digital realm is obviously the only way artists, galleries and museums can connect with their audiences, but walking into a real viewing room to experience artwork in the flesh is unquenchably invaluable.
Roger Colombik lives in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and artistic collaborator Jerolyn. Born and raised in Chicago, the city’s monumental sculptural presence helped to define his understanding of the relationship between the artist, the community and public spaces. His Socially Engaged-based projects are often undertaken in milieus where traditions and cultural heritage have collided head-on with westernization and government malfeasance. Fulbright Scholar Program, CEC Artslink and the Texas State University Research Program have supported Roger’s projects including work in Burma, Armenia, Republic of Georgia and Ecuador. Roger teaches sculpture at Texas State University. www.rogercolombik.com
One breath. Then another. A little deeper inhalation follows, building confidence.
His mind is on a Fantastic Voyage, trailing a journey of oxygen that is cautiously drawn through the lips, quietly navigates the trachea and arrives painlessly at its destination – the remaining left lobe. The fear of reprisal, of the spasmodic coughing fits that rupture his universe and rend the air are put to ease, for now, allowing the body to acquiesce into the comforts of family. The dining table is set with fine china, rolled cloth napkins and genuine silverware as potatoes pirouette in the microwave and steaks sizzle in the broiler. Tonight our father is in a celebratory mood, for real food – enough of that BOOST shit! New resolutions to reclaim the future and defy the odds are espoused with today’s vigor. One More Year! Possibly…a few months. At best, we know that he’ll settle for even one more day to sit at life’s table with children at hand.
Together, we gorge on these moments.
Imperial Towers, Chicago
As clinical chemist, Feldenkrais practitioner, poet, improvisation performer by movements, sounds and words i’m curious about the plasticity of the brain. How affects awareness in movement and art the entity of body and mind, how the self-image can grow and thrive, how much non-verbal brain activity we have left in our everyday life awareness. As a small child, we learned loads without any words. The more language we get the less aware are we about it. If you listen to music you like, if you look at an abstract painting or read a poem that touches you, you may be able to explain most of it with your words. There might be something left, something you cannot catch with words but without a doubt, it exists. This non-verbal part i prefer to call, where art begins. The rest may in the best case be good craft.
This art, the joy to create it or just to experience it, together with a thriving self-image, a relaxed body, and the always underestimated breathing are vital parts of our wellbeing. They are all connected and they lift our life beyond eat, sleep, die into something much more enjoyable.
As a poet, i’ve been quite active in my mother tongue German during the nineteen seventies and eighties. Since the nineties, i changed to Swedish after i moved to Sweden. Since twenty-ten i even write in English. Creating poems is to me quite therapeutic, a deeper way to communicate and a lot of fun by playing with words and in between the lines.
Welcome to enjoy art by taking part and even being part of it!
we just put
our standing into movement
from home to work
wherever we move
we start to walk in nature
paths stones roots sand
we without thinking
lower our pelvis
lift our feet
a little bit more
we no longer stand while moving
we get instead more movable
it’s not only nature
it’s your body you
step by step
more and more
where it’s flat
you lower your pelvis
lift your feet
a tiny bit more
than your habit allows
it’s hardly visible
can clearly be felt
do you start walking
as if you were in nature
do you gain more flexibility
can you move more like dancing
maybe actually hovering
can you find
more freedom in motion
in whatever direction you wish
is your head more connected
throughout your body
is your self more grounded
step by step
body and mind
are both affected
full of curiosity
less in need of being fixed
feet as feet can be
on our trip
a pure pleasure
a peaceful war
against non holistic
a shamanistic echo
a grounded joyful body
just a walking human
as we are shaped
Sofia Karim has practiced architecture for over 20 years at studios including Norman Foster’s in London and Peter Eisenman’s in New York. Her practice combines architecture, visual art, activism and writing. Her activism focuses on South Asian human rights, artists’ freedom of expression and prison reform. She campaigned for the release of imprisoned artists, including the Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam and Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera. She has staged protest exhibitions at Tate Modern (Turbine Hall) and has appeared on BBC World News, Channel 4 News and Sky News. She is a visiting critic at Westminster school of Architecture.
If I could see the world through your eyes. Eyes like lichu (লিচু).
Covid-19 is going to hit us hard but it will hit the poor hardest. Our Instagram stories of self-isolation, how we can hear bird song better, sing from our windows, or spend more time meditating, are totally irrelevant for the majority of this earth. #getreal #bangladesh #migrantworkers #refugees #richnations #capitalism #neoliberalism #imperialism
Julia Schulz, born in 1983 in Bonn, Germany, used writing from early childhood to process the given and create the withheld.
Her studies in philosophy, theology, journalism and graphic design are emblematic of her curiosity and boredom, which are both a burden and a driving force for her. Today she lives with her two children and cats as a freelance author, communications manager and illustrator in Bonn and works on screenplays, brand concepts, novels, short stories and illustrations for children’s books and magazines. www.julia-schulz.com
The experience and Covid-19 in-sight: Scroll down for the English translation
Ich hatte mich vor kurzem selbstständig gemacht und nun saß ich zum ersten Mal als hauptberufliche Künstlerin an einem Tisch mit Musikern, Autoren, Galeristen und es gab Drinks und Häppchen. Mein Sitznachbar, ein Gitarrist aus Berlin, fragte, ob ich ihm eine Empfehlung geben könne in Köln, für eine Unternehmung mit seiner Tochter. Den Zoo kannte er bereits und ins Museum, nein, nicht bei dem schönen Wetter. Ich schlug den Kletterpark vor. Er lachte laut auf, trank einen Schluck und sagte: „Süße, ich bin Gitarrist! Ich werde meine Finger ganz sicher nicht einem solchen Risiko aussetzen!“. Ich spottete innerlich.
Eine Woche später besuchte ich eine Hochzeit. Nachts brachen die Braut und ich in eine Eisbahn ein. Mit bodenlangem Abendkleid und Schlittschuhen, die vier Nummern zu groß waren, sah ich etwa 2 Sekunden lang anmutig aus. Dann zog es mir die Füße weg und ich rettete den Gin Tonic in meiner linken Hand, indem ich mich mit meiner Rechten nach hinten abstützte.
Ich hatte den Auftrag für die Illustration eines Trickfilms bekommen.
Im Minutentakt rief die Animationsfirma an und fragte, wann sie mit meinem Material rechnen könne. Ich sah auf meine Hand, die dick war und völlig steif.
Vier Wochen lang arbeitete ich Tag für Tag zwölf Stunden, mit regelmäßiger Unterbrechung zur Einnahme von Schmerzmitteln.
Als die Tabletten leer waren, ging ich zum Arzt.
Die Hand wolle er mir lieber nicht geben, sagte er, und zeigte auf die MRT- Bilder, die den Bruch des Handgelenks dokumentierten. Doch welche Einstellung er mir auch zeigte, ich sah bloß eine hämisch lachende Fratze.
Die nächsten zwei Monate verbrachte ich mit einem Gips um den rechten Arm und ich fragte mich, wofür mir diese Erfahrung eine Lehre sein sollte.
Sollte ich vorsichtiger sein? Vorausschauender? Ängstlicher?
Die Antwort auf meine Frage erhielt ich im Frühjahr 2020, als Covid-19 sich starr um meine Kreativität legte und mich an die Zeit mit einem Gips erinnerte.
Wie hatte ich die Krise damals bezwungen?
Ich hatte meinen Film fertig gestellt.
Und dazu trotzig gelernt, mit links zu malen.
Ich denke, ein großer Teil meiner Arbeit als freischaffende Künstlerin ist es, auf Gegebenheiten zu reagieren. Es macht keinen Sinn, gegen sich selbst zu arbeiten.
Vielmehr ist es wichtig, sich stets bewusst zu machen, dass es eine Alternative gibt.
Und die Fratze nickt.
I had recently started my own business and now, for the first time as a full-time artist, I was sitting at a table with musicians, authors, gallery owners and there were drinks and appetizers. My seat neighbor, a guitarist from Berlin, asked if I could give him a recommendation in Cologne, for a trip with his daughter. He already knew the zoo. A museum? No, not in this beautiful weather. I suggested the climbing park. He laughed out loud, took a sip and said: “Honey, I’m a guitarist! I’m certainly not going to put my fingers at such risk!” I scoffed inwardly.
A week later, I attended a wedding. At night, the bride and I broke into an ice rink. Wearing a floor-length evening gown and skates that were four sizes too big, I looked graceful for about 2 seconds. Then my feet pulled away and I saved the gin tonic in my left hand by bracing myself backwards with my right.
I had been commissioned to illustrate an animated film. Every minute, the animation company called to ask when they could expect my material.
I looked at my hand, which was thick and completely stiff.
For four weeks I worked twelve hours day after day, with regular breaks to take painkillers.
When the pills were empty, I went to the doctor.
He said he would rather not give me his hand, and pointed to the MRT images that documented the fracture of the wrist. But no matter what he showed me, all I saw was a sneering grimace.
I spent the next two months with a cast around my right arm and I wondered what this experience was teaching me.
Should I be more careful? More foresighted? More anxious?
I got the answer to my question in the spring of 2020, when Covid-19 wrapped rigidly around my creativity and reminded me of the time with a cast.
How had I conquered the crisis then?
I had finished my film.
And defiantly learned to paint with my left hand to do it.
I think a big part of my work as a freelance artist is to respond to circumstances. It doesn’t make sense to work against yourself.
Rather, it’s important to always be aware that there is an alternative.
And the grimace nods.