Art as a mirror of soul and society

Meaning and protection of being different and thinking differently

Monika Bauer invitation by the shark mixed media digital photo print 1 300x220 - Art as a mirror of soul and society

Monika von Eschenbach-invitation by the shark-mixed media-digital photo print

Our world lives from diversity and balance 

Where monocultures emerge, they initially use only a few, but destroy our common livelihood. Faults in nature and in social life are made possible by an imbalance of concentrated . If you want to counter abuses or eliminate them, you need to maintain a balance in the game of powers.

Our influence on the balance of power in nature may be small, but we can influence our own life positively or negatively. The world of business and politics is defined by rules and breaches of rules, with the result not only of prospering societies, but also of climate change, wars and migration movements. We can change something, but only if there is a fundamental change in awareness and the relationships that result from it.

Logically these findings also apply to the world of art. Art and the art system do not have a life of their own, but are always as well  a mirror of the surrounding nature and society. The boom in the art market, the overemphasis on individual protagonists who threaten to neglect the asset, may shown to art lovers a distorted picture of the art world. If art wants to be able to fulfill its essential social task, artists must finally be perceived and valued as natural, necessary partners within the social fabric. Without art and culture a development of society - and thus also of the economy - is ultimately impossible. Having and wanting to use what is necessary, but still not appreciating it, ultimately reflects a basic problem of all common social systems. As important as it can be sometimes to focus on something, without diversity everything is nothing.

Just as there is a monopolization of the art scene with regard to a few "chosen ones", the perception of art is also shaped by a gender-specific imbalance. The imagination that is required to create something new is primarily attributed to the male gender and secondly to market value. Women, on the other hand, have at most been granted the status of muses or perhaps as sponsors of artists. Women whose work still arrive the eye of the public and who cam live from their work, are still a exception. Also in the case they are gifted by talent, success seems to be often unbelievable.

Art as mirror of soul and society

If you acknowledge that a work of art will be at its best a mirror of the soul, then it should also be noted that art is a mirror of society. Of course, this includes the inner and outer structures. Unfortunately, equality by balance is still terra incognita not only in art administration, but also in the field of artists themselves. If you want equal rights to participate in life, you need increased awareness and, above all, solidarity in the world of lone artists. Shouldn't it be a sign of freedom and reason that each individual can develop and imagine their own view of the world?

Thankfully, there are approaches of social movement and also a few artists who openly represent the conviction of equality as the premise of a social community. For example, Michael Jansen, veteran of the new avant-garde, calls  for "destruction of expectations" (see:  exhibition at KunstStücke by Dettmer | art projects). He would like to encourage expectations to break out of crusted thinking. His artist friend Heinz Zolper, painter and multimedia actor, as well has been committed to work on the ideas of "love and respect" for decades and even start "Dame - cult"  as a project for public spaces. He is pointing to the importance of the female being and is warning of the obligation to protect the other. Both artists recognize the pedagogical need to counter a borderline society and anti-social behavior and to show exemplary ways. The basic essence of a free society is precisely the coexistence of differentiation as well as agreement. In this respect, any preference based on natural or artificial differences is forbidden in an open society.

However, people don't just need art and culture to be human, artists also need unhindered access to the public as a basis of their lifes. The right to artistic development also means the right to connect with the public and to live by working. In this respect, it is an obligation of society as a whole to enable and promote this requirement regardless of gender, age and above all relationships.

Guest contribution: ArtExpert I network - Peter Merten, art and cultural scientist *
The article is also published on KunstStücke by Dettmer I art projects

* Merten recently edited the following books on ArtForum Editions I KulturPlusMedien (new):
- Truths believed. Contribution to the philosophy of photography. Considerations on the work of the conceptual artist and
Photographer Heinz-Günter Mebusch, 2020
- KAIN - Principle of the evil. 2019
- Magic of painting / or / What it's like to be yourself. Heinz Zolper monograph

Online order at: winterstiftung (at) web.de.