The animated us is a project that has been developed and realized in Künstlerhaus Neumünster (Germany) in 2019.
The animated us negotiates animism in contemporary art. Animsm comes from the Latin word anima and means the soul. In a conventional sense, animism means the attribution of a living soul or spirit to inanimate objects. The starting point for the project were my studies of medieval pictorial culture during my study of art history. Since Modern Times, the artwork and the viewer have been regarded as separated from one another. Whereas in terms of the pictorial culture of the Middle Ages, there are theses suggesting that the boundaries between the artwork and the viewer have been assumed to be fluid. For example, if a believer meditated on a picture of a saint, the saint was not only depicted but also present to the believer.* Fascinated by this kind of perception, I developed my project in Neumünster as an analogy to a mystical story in art history. According to this, the Cistercian monk Bernard of Clairvaux was embraced by a crucifix during a meditation. In my installation, object 1 (object on the wall) represents an abstraction of the Crucified. Object 2 ("floating" object) on the one hand, on a contextual level, signifies the detached Christ from the cross. On the other hand, by opening its “arms”, the object represents an invitation for the recipient to engage in a connection with art. This triggers deeper forms of perception in order to question or dissolve categories such as "real" and "imaginary". In a metaphorical sense, the detachment of the object / Christ from the wall / the cross into the space means the step from dead to alive. Art is no longer just the passive object that is received and separated from the viewer. Both artwork and viewer can animate each other in relationship with one another and form each another on a mental and emotional level. Against this background, the animated us stands as a symbol at the beginning of an artistic research project, in which, on the basis of my own art production, I pursue the question of whether contemporary art can have the ability to open up a kind of fifth dimension in its relationship with the recipient. The aim is to offer alternatives to a normative and homogeneous perspective on the world.
* Hans Belting, Bild und Kult. Eine Geschichte des Bildes vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst, München 1990.
Michael Viktor Schwarz, Visuelle Medien im christlichen Kult. Fallstudien aus dem 13. bis 16. Jahrhundert, Wien 2002.
The animated us has been realized in the material stoneware.
Size object 1 (object on the wall): hight ~ 120 cm, width ~ 86 cm
Size object 2 („floating“ object): hight ~ 185 cm, width ~ 120 cm