Do you also have the feeling that your life has become so busy, that you have no time for all the stuff you want to do? Or to read all the blogs you are subscribed to?
The first quarter of the year is almost passed and somehow I have neglected my blog. Well, many things are happening and keeping me busy – which is mostly good news. Another reason is that with so many things, which are happening on all fronts (personal, family, political, career etc), I am left with so many impressions, thoughts, ideas, questions… It feels as if I have so much to say and to share, and yet I do not know where to start. It feels as if I would need another lifetime to sort all ideas and find the right way to share them. Or a personal assistant… Or a way to magically write down all that is in my mind within a few hours.
So I am trying to navigate these times, which feel chaotic and alive, terrifying and promising at the same time, as best and honestly as I can. To live each moment more consciously and deliberately waiting to find clarity, allowing life to unfold its plan at its own pace. I am considering writing shorter, but more frequent blogs… let’s see if that is a better way to deal with my and your busy life and still stay in touch.
A quick update:
My exhibition in Munich has just finished. It was very well visited and the highlight was, that a friend has organised for me to fly to Munich and talk about my art to interested guests in a guided tour of my exhibition. I really enjoy that direct contact with the people who are interested my art. Most of my art is filled with layers of meaning and thoughts, and people have commented how enriching they find to look at the art, and then additionally hear me talk about it.
Here are a few impressions from the exhibition and the guided tour (Click on the images for a larger view and description):
In front of the work ‘The Horse is a Problem. The Horse Must Go.’
Being introduced by Carola von Maltzahn
Talking about the artworks ‘Götterdämmerung’ (above left), Promises of Death (below left) and Digging up Old Bones (right).
3 works from the Farm Life series.
Land Art works from ‘An Infinite Scream’
Power Play (Brothers & Sistahs)
The event has been organized by Carola von Maltzahn from http://www.vonmaltzahn.net/ and Christian Bräuer from Art Dine & Table – Die Kunstpatrouille (www.christian-braeuer.de) Photos: Carola von Maltzahn.
I had another exhibition opening in March, at the Museum auf der Hardt, Wuppertal.
The exhibition and screening of the documentary film about my land art project ‘An Infinite Scream’ was part of a Symposium organized by the Vereinte Evangelische Mission.
Here are some images from the exhibition, opening and film screening. Photos by Ramona Hedtmann, VEM and myself.
What Will be Left (Tourist Map with all currently awarded Exclusive Prospecting licenses cut out)
Concession Areas (Top and middle) and ‘Repeating the Same Mistakes (Modern Maharero)’
Archival photograph from colonial times
Repeating the Same Mistakes (Modern Maharero) – an artwork commenting on selling off land and rights for immideatey gain and power.
Introduction by Ms Julia Besten and Mr Uli Baege from VEM
Speaking about my art
Guests getting ready for the screening of the documentary film ‘An Infinite Scream’
Talking to guests
Art works from my Land Art project ‘An Infinite Scream’
the official photo with my artwork
The symposium included presentations and discussions, and I was very happy and honoured to meet the main speaker, Mr Henning Melber (right)
Only shortly before the event, I realised that I have a much deeper connection to this museum and place than I could have imagined. My Great-Great-Grandfather Eduard Dannert and Great-Grandfather August Kuhlmann were both missionaries in Namibia and were sent by this very same institution to Africa. Needless to say, the museum and archives have lots of information, documentation and objects from these ancestors of mine, like for instance the sewing machine of my Great-Grandmother… and this sewing machine, together with a letter which August Kuhlmann wrote to General von Trotha trying to convince him to treat the Herero people more humanly were exhibited in the same space, next to my political works. What an honour and humbling experience.
Life… This is the sewing machine of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Kuhlmann. It has been donated to the Museum auf der Hardt in Wuppertal some years ago by a distant relative/aunt. NOW I am going to exhibit in exactly this museum, with my artwork in the same room as my great-grandmother’s sewing machine. Such an unexpected surprise! And weird coincidence to find this connection in Wuppertal.
I have spent 2 days in the archives of the ‘Vereinte Evangelishe Mission’ who have a vast amount of old documents from the missionary activities in Namibia (amongst others). I could page through hundreds of letters and reports written by my great-great-grandfather, my grand-father and some from their wifes. So interesting and informative. I have been so grateful for the people who have already researched and typed some of the information, as the old German lettering and handwriting is damn difficult to decipher. Seeing history through the eyes of my own ancestors is so helpful and interesting, giving a very personal account of how they saw the world and how and why they acted the way they did. I feel blessed to have so much information about my ancestors, not only within the family, but also, additionally in well-organized and accessible archives. And I could see that my ancestors already questioned what was happening and tried to get involved as best they can, given their circumstances. Missionary August Kuhlmann (my great-grandfather) wrote several letters to von Trotha and von Lindequist, pleading and arguing for a more humane and fair treatment of the Herero people. This photo is from one such letter displayed in the museum currently.
My ancestors who first came to southwest Africa in 1874. Missionary Dannert and his wife Auguste (Dahl) and a daughter. The curator Museum auf der Hardt has decided to add some links from the archives related to my ancestors to the exhibition. Like this photo. I notice the love of cats goes back a few generations.
If you happen to be in Wuppertal, you are welcome to view the exhibition. It is still on till the 4th of April. More information, directions and opening times: http://www.vemission.org/museumarchive.html
I am so excited that spring seems to have finally arrived! After so much political art and talk, I felt like painting something light and colourful, to welcome spring.
Leaf Work – Cross
Leaf Work – Woven Pairs
Spring is coming… abstract artwork on my easel