Category Archives: Interventions & Guerilla Art

When days become long and lonely – Free Film

Wenn die Tage lang und einsam werden – Land Art Film gucken (Deutsch weiter unten)

SubRosa by Imke Rust – Film Still

The times are crazy and many people around the world are asked to stay at home and avoid social contact. So we thought the time is perfect to finally make our documentary film An Infinite Scream freely accessible to everyone via the Internet.

Also, because the documentary and the artworks have a strong and inspiring message of encouragement to find ways of becoming actively involved in creating the changes we want to see.

And, the good part is that it is available in English and in German! 

You are welcome to share the link and we would love to hear your thoughts once you have watched it.

Please take care and stay healthy!

English:

Concerned about the ever-increasing uranium mining in Namibia a local artist sets out to give the Namib Desert a voice: An Infinite Scream

Thousands of thorns arranged into traps in the blistering desert heat? Black rubbish bag roses planted between dunes or half a ton of salt poured into six huge circles?

Imke Rust’s land art installations not only show her concern about the extent of exploitation and pollution happening in the Namib Desert. They are also an attempt to symbolically protect the land and raising awareness about the effects of the ever-growing uranium mining industry.

Can art be an invocation for change?

Shot in 2012 in Namibia and Berlin, Holzkamp’s approach is determined by the nature and pace of Rust’s artworks. Meditative sequences documenting the making of the “Salt Circles” are followed by reportage style filming of the “The Scream”, an art action at the Atlantic coast.

When the local arts association unexpectedly rejects Rust’s exhibition, the film takes a dramaturgical turn and shifts the focus to the ensuing controversy about freedom of arts in Namibia. The well-known artist, with the help of a network of supporters, now finds alternative ways to ensure her works will be seen.

Strong imagery, breath-taking locations and atmospheric music weave the film into an impressive portrait of courage and initiative in a rather conservative society.

Filming on location in Namibia was supported in part by the National Arts Council of Namibia.

Title: An Infinite Scream
Documentary
English/German
45min
2012-13Produced on location in Namibia and Berlin.

Director & Producer: Steffen Holzkamp Filmmaker and musician based in Berlin.

Stills from the film.

Wenn die Tage lang und einsam werden…

Die Zeiten sind verrückt und viele Leute überall in der Welt sollen Zuhause bleiben und soziale Kontakte vermeiden. Also dachten wir uns, es ist die perfekte Zeit unseren Dokumentarfilm ‚An Infinite Scream’ für alle frei zugänglich im Internet zu veröffentlichen.

Auch weil der Film und die Kunst eine starke, inspirierende Botschaft haben, die uns ermutigt die Veränderungen die wir gerne in der Welt sehen wollen, aktiv und kreativ selbst mit zu gestalten.

Den Film gibt es in English (Original) und Deutsch (Overvoice).

Der Link kann gerne geteilt werden und wir freuen uns natürlich wenn ihr eure Gedanken zu dem Film mit uns teilt.

Bitte pass dich auf und bleib gesund!

Deutsch:

Ein Dokumentar Film von Steffen Holzkamp

Synopsis:

In der prallen Wüstensonne über 1000 Weißdornen zu Kreisen legen? Schwarze Müllsackrosen in die Sanddünen pflanzen? Oder eine halbe Tonne Salz zu einer begehbaren Skulptur formen?

Die Landart Installationen der Namibischen Künstlerin Imke Rust folgen einem immanenten Anliegen: Der Sorge über den zunehmenden Uranabbau in Namibia und der Verschandelung der Wüste. Ihre Kunstwerke sorgen für Aufmerksamkeit, verstehen sich aber auch als ein symbolischer Schutz für das geschundene Land.

Kann Kunst etwas bewirken? Was kann ich tun? Mit diesen Fragen beschäftigt sich Imke Rust auf eindringliche Weise.

In 2012 in Namibia und Berlin gedreht, spiegelt der Film die teils meditative Stimmung der Entstehung von Rust’s Landart. Ruhige Einstellungen bei der Installation der „Salt Circles“ oder reportagige Handkamera bei der Videoperformance „The Scream“ auf der Seebrücke am Atlankik: Schnitt und Montage folgen dem Tempo der Kunst.

Die Absage der gebuchten Rust-Ausstellung seitens der Kunstvereinigung bringt dem Film eine dramaturgische Wendung und verlagert den Schwerpunkt hin zu einer gesellschaftlichen und medialen Kontroverse über die „Freiheit der Kunst“ in Namibia.

So organisiert sich die bekannte Künstlerin mit Hilfe durch ein Netzwerk von Unterstützern ihre Ausstellung einfach selbst.

Starke Bilder an atemberaubenden Orten, sowie Illustrationen und Musik verdichten den Film zu einem eindrucksvollen Statement für Courage und Eigeninitiative im eher konservativen Namibia.

Die Filmarbeit in Namibia wurde teilweise vom National Arts Council of Namibia unterstützt.
Originaltitel: An Infinite Scream
Trailer: aninfinitescream.wordpress.com
Produktionsland: Namibia / Deutschland
Produktionsjahr: 2012 – 2013
Erscheinungsjahr: 2013
Spieldauer: 45 Minuten
Genre: Kunst/Kultur/Musik & Portrait
Regie & Kamera: Steffen Holzkamp / ONEXA-AV

Tea in the Forest – an interactive artwork

Tea in the Forest (Ongoing), Images from October 2017- February 2019

Tea in the Forest – an interactive artwork

In October 2017 I collected some porcelain shards in the forest and placed them in a small circle next to a small pathway. As I found more shards, I added them and changed the circle.

In my mind I called this work: “Tea in the Forest”, because there was a snout of a teapot among the shards. This small work was destroyed by the wild pigs every now and then, but everytime I walked past, I would fix the circle again.

I kept this circle going for more than a year, when I noticed that somebody else also added some extra shards to the circle. I was delighted.

Soon after that I got bored of the circle and added a rectangle. Then sombody placed a smiley face into the circle.

I loved, that there was somebody out there, creatively interacting with my little collection of shards.

At some stage I found some blue and and pink shards and added them. Now the fun started for real…

I am not sure anymore which changes I made and which were made by others from then on. Eventually I met an elderly couple from down the street at the artwork and they told me they made some of the changes. They were worried that I would be upset, when in fact I could assure them how much fun it was to know that others added and changed it too. Later I found out that another neighbour also made changes every now and then.

So now, everytime I walk into the forest I am curious to see if there might be a new arrangement. And whenever I can and feel like it, I also create something new out of it.

Today I met my neighbour in the forest, and she showed me two shards, one with a beautiful pattern. She told me that she got it from the lady down the road with the task to add it to the latest image…

This interactive artwork brings me so much joy! Every time I go there and find something new, I am happy like a child. Knowing that this small, little creative interaction has inspired others to also become creative and keep it going and exciting. Just look at all the ideas that they and I have already come up with, during our walks into the forest.

Click on the images in the gallery below, to be taken on a tour through the individual changes. The last image is from the 29th of February 2020. I will keep on updating this page, as and when there are more changes. At the end you can see an overview and the dates of each change.

Lost City (Site-responsive artwork at the Rössing Mountain)

Lost City (Site-Responsive artwork)

Start where you are and with what you have…

I love to go out and create art with only the things the site offeres to me. No special tools, no extra material – just responding to the site and conditions I find.

When we went to explore the barren Rössing mountain I found some building rubble. To my surprise it even had some colour on it… And so this work was created with the generous and unexpected colourful offerings of the Rössing mountain.

It was really hot, as usual, in the desert. The pieces of rubble were rough, heavy and hot. And many were full of sand, which needed to be removed to show the colour. At several times I thought “Ok, that’s it, that’s enough… I am done, let’s go rather home.”.

I should have brought some gloves… – somehow I never do, and if I do, I hate wearing them. And we should have come here closer to the sun-setting, when it has cooled down – I am not sure why I forgot about this essential point?

In the end there were more and more colourful pieces which I just had to add. My hands were blistered ands scratched, but I was happy and grateful for these fragments of colour in an otherwise pretty desolate surrounding.

Here is a short video, where you can see it all happening:

And once again, I cannot tell you how cool it is that my husband enjoys joining me in my art outings and filming the process. Now that he also owns a small drone, there is another cool perspective in his short videos. This one is a bit longer (2:50min) but the landscape is so breathtaking and unique, that I think you will not mind watching it till the end. His video work and audio is a beautiful artwork in its own right.

Between all the rubble I found one piece of broken, delicate china. Although it did not really fit with the rest, I just had to give it a space in this abstract city.

I hope you enjoy these images and the video as much as I do!

Floating Energy – 9. Int. Forest Art Path, Darmstadt

Floating Energy by Imke Rust

The Site-specific Installation

106 Red branches seemingly floating about half a meter above the ground. Flowing down the hill, winding its path through the forest. The total length is approximately 70m and the width varies between 1m and 4m.

Created in August 2018 as part of the 9th International Forest Art Path, in Darmstadt, Germany. Located in the forest behind the Darmstädter Böllenfalltor.

The Idea Behind it

The environment is comprised of energy and energy is always in motion. We can see many of these energy streams or sense them in one way or another. Many other such streams we are not as aware about, as we have unlearned to sense them. When we understand these energies better, we know how to flow with them or understand why crossing or opposing them might be more difficult.

When thinking or talking about nature, we often forget, that we are part of nature and we are nature too. We bring our own energy to the world, just by being who we are and doing what we do.

Usually I work in a very ephemeral way or I take my works away after I have documented them. This is the first time that I will leave a work in nature for an unknown period of time.

How will my energy and installation impact on its surroundings? And how will other energies of the forest react to it or interact with it? Will the wild pigs manoeuvre around it or destroy it or not even bother? What kind of energy will the visitors to the park bring to it?

Floating Energy (Detail) ©ImkeRust

The Process and Details

Before I installed the work, I walked around the forest to find a suitable place. While I kept some necessary artistic criteria in my mind, I mostly looked for a place that felt right.

Once I had the right place I spent quiet time walking around, sitting, listening, noticing and feeling into the place, to know where the energy comes from and where it wants to flow.

There is a special fountain of energy at the beginning of the energy flow of my installation. It starts from a large beech tree, but the real fountain is only noticeable from close by and for visitors who are willing to look and listen a bit closer. There is a root hole in which there is a lot of life and activity. Mosquitoes are buzzing around in it, seemingly in a constant energetic flow. Because of this very strong natural concentration of energy I decided to start my installation from here. From the starting point or well, I used my senses to feel how the installations energy would best flow, and followed this intuitive path.

After completion of the installation, I have been able to spent lots of time in and around it, to feel and understand the energy that was created. Once I was satisfied, I placed an offering of water at the origin of the flow and carried a second bowl down the ‘river’ to place it at its end. This way I hope to create even more of a flow and a connection throughout the installation.

I also believe that giving an offering to the forest and its spirits/energy/beings is a way of showing them (and myself) that I am aware and respectful of their existence as equal to mine. I chose water, as it emphasis the flow and also, as it is desperately needed during this very hot and dry time. While I was installing my work, I also realised that the red branches emphasise a warm, fiery energy. I felt a bit apprehensive about this, in a time where the danger of fire is a very real and everybody is on high alert. Water would symbolically cool down the fire energy – I hope.

The energy stream crosses two paths. Here the energy seemingly disappears into the ground and reappears on the other side, so that anybody can cross the stream easily and safely. I have connected the separate parts with a small water ceremony.

The Colour and Materials

I have used Signal Red spray paint for the beech branches, which make up my installation. I consciously choose a colour that symbolizes energy and which is very noticeable in the forest. Especially noticeable as something that was introduced by humans.

It was important to show that we are not separate from nature and everything we do is part of nature. There is only one nature, one energy. This installation is an attempt to better grasp this idea in its complexity and meaning.

Thin metal rods hold the branches up.

…but, is it Environmentally Friendly?

I have used graffiti spray paint from Montana, and doubt that it would be considered as really environmentally friendly. Once the work is starting to decompose, the organisers from the Waldkunstpfad will de-install it and dispose of it through the right channels.

I do hope that this artwork raises the question with everyone who sees it. While contemplating about the environmental friendliness of the paint, I hope we ask ourselves how environmentally friendly our own lives are? The plastic that our food is wrapped in, the cars we drive, the flights we take, the washing powder we use… Even the energy of negative thoughts we bring into this world.

Hopefully each of us is doing whatever we can to live more consciously and I do believe that making people happy through a beautiful artwork adds a lot of positive energy to the bigger equation.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this artwork! Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments below.

A short story about an abandoned cat

My artwork on a lamp pole in Neu-Friedrichsthal

Once upon a time, in August 2015 to be exact, I created a cat, placed a golden crown on her head and abandoned it at the entrance of our village…

Okay, actually I glued it to a concrete pole and hoped it will happily greet any visitors to our little village. Unfortunately it was a very wet August and the so the glue did not stick too well to the pole and the cat, as cats are known to not particularly like wet weather, disappeared very soon.

For a long time, that was the end of the short story about the abandoned cat.

Until recently.

Recently, at the open studio days, we met some kind people who live just down the road from us. Strangely we have not met them before. Possibly because they only live here on the weekends. Anyway, these kind people invited us over to their place soon after for an evening around the fire. It turns out they moved here shortly after we did. That evening they showed us around their house and the renovations they have undertaken.

While inspecting the beautiful house I suddenly had a weird feeling, so I turned around and looked straight into the eyes of a cat. A crowned cat. Lovingly placed among family photographs on the wall.

What a delight to see that my cat is well and ‘alive’ and has found herself a warm and cosy home where she is loved and admired.

When I asked them about the cat, they said, they found it lying on the ground and they were so happy to see some cool art in this area. They thought, if such art can be found here, there surely must be living some nice people too.

And that was the short story about an abandoned and found cat. With a golden crown.

View with street and cyclist

And, if you want to know how cool our down-street neighbours are, have a look at this music video, which was filmed in their garden (and they are among the crowd). Perfectly chilled summer vibes from Meggy & Tigerskin – Bygone Eras:

Creating Elephants (from Mosquitos)

Remember my Hotel-Deco-Busting series?

And the work: ‘Wie man aus Mücken Elefanten macht? / How to Make Elephants out of Mosquitos’?   (Click on the link to read more about it.)

How to make elephants out or mosquitos. (Before and After)

A friend has recently been residing in exactly that holiday flat, where it was made in 2015. He has kindly sent me an update.

Well, my Mosquito Elephants Intervention has been replaced by a more realistic painterly impression of an elephant and baby….

Elephant with baby (Unknown Artist)

So, now you know. This is how to turn mosquitos into elephants… (even if not real live elephants). My intervention has been noted by the owners. And there has been an improvement from the cut-out calendar page photograph to a ‘commercial painting’. Great!

I am very curious if the choice for the elephant picture was accidential or intentional? And I wonder what they did with my altered artwork? Thrown it away? Kept it?

And…..

there was a kind hand-written note asking to please do not paint on the ‘pictures’. The German word ‘Bilder’ can be understood either as artwork or as pictures in general. I guess by putting it into hyphens, they have become aware that there is a difference between art and deco.

Kind note: Please do not paint on the ‘pictures’. Thank you!

This all reminds me, that it has been too long since I have been on holiday or spending time in a hotel or holiday apartment for other reasons… 😦

 

When it Rains Down in Africa…

Travelling by ferry with some of the participating artists on a cold and rainy day.

Travelling by ferry with some of the participating artists on a cold and rainy day.

Finally… I am making the time to share with you the fruits of my time in South Africa as an invited participant of the Global Nomadic Art Project 2016 South Africa. I had such a rich and productive time there, that I slightly shied away from writing about it – I just did not know where to start.

The GNAP ‘Stories of Rain’ Art Project was an incredible journey through South Africa’s landscapes, myths and lively land art scene. Very well organized and carefully planed, we were treated to so many different places, warm hospitality, creative time in nature and an exciting selection of fellow artists. I appreciated the constantly changing small groups in which we travelled. They enabled us to meet so many local and international artists, exchange ideas and create together in a very unique way. Thank you to the GNAP team for this very special platform and project and thank you to all the many South African organizers, especially Strijdom van der Merwe and Anni Snyman,  who made the South African leg of the journey such a memorable one!

I have decided to split all my artworks into smaller groups and introduce them to you in separate blog posts. Trying to keep each one short and sweet, but still let you in on my ideas and thoughts as much as possible.

During the ‚Stories of Rain’ Art Project I continued with my rainmaker project and research. Can we create rain through a conscious and intentional creative process? I have used the surrounding landscapes and materials to explore different ideas from creating clouds out of stones or mud, performing a cloud dance and working with the idea of female tears being conducive to calling the rain.

First I will share with you one of my more familiar looking rainmaker works:

The final Rainmaker Cloud, Porcupine Hills made with earth pigment

The final Rainmaker Cloud, Porcupine Hills made with earth pigment

In the following gallery I will share with you the story of how I created this artwork and rainmaker and show prove of the rain that followed. (Click to see larger versions of the images)

I loved the stay here! Thank you to our hosts Cha and Tony Davenport are such wonderful people and made us feel perfectly at home. The place is great – recommending it fully if you would like to break away from the city for a weekend or longer!

Porcupine Hills offers self-catering guest accommodation and boutique olive oil.  Close to Cape Town (100km) but a world away from city and suburban life.  This is the perfect place to escape into nature and spend time in a quiet, tranquil and beautiful space.

The underlying farm “Diepklowe” is a Private Nature Reserve within the van der Stel Cluster (four neighbouring conservation farms) and is designated as a Cape Nature Stewardship Programme area. It is a core member of the Groenlandberg Conservancy.

The farm was acquired in 2012 by Tony and Cha Davenport and their two sons, Justin and Tobin.