PRINT March 1988


Status quo

THE SPIRITUAL AND INTUITIVE force which drives me is rooted in dissatisfaction. I need a landscape to sustain me, an architecture that shapes habitable towns, and the toleration afforded by an open society. Such are the prerequisites that allow the soul to achieve the nonutilitarian, disinterested state necessary for artistic creation. Such are the conditions for spirituality in thinking and creative self-criticism.

I am interested in the metaphysical force that things are imbued with. The intenseness of their presence, the “being” of material and color, the flavor of a thing, the relation of proportion to form, and then again mass and weight, space and time. My involvement is with the dynamic energies of this rhythm. It is a continuous attempt to resolve the contradiction of spirit and matter through the imagination. It is the self-same journey to the origins, back to the truth: the dream of creating the world all over again within oneself. It is the yearning, the struggle for a grammar that would not run counter to the laws of natural order, yet could serve to protect the independence of the artist from nature. A process of discovery where instrument and idea are inseparably fused and of equal weight.

Though trapped in my Western thought patterns, I have always been interested in the "other”—the societies without a state—and in historical and social cohesion, the great anthropological nexus, the unconscious, which maintains a common thought process in mankind of which it is barely aware, and determines their actions by means of the dialogue of myths. I am making an analytical effort to free the historically and socially based reality from the imposed myths cloaking it, and to raise it by rational criticism to a metaphorical level, to art. It is the desire to anchor an esthetic dialectical praxis in the social and political conditions.

To counteract the vagueness of a present-day art that belongs nowhere in particular, we need diligence in the examination of the bases of its meaning. More than ever we have to question whether it is really necessary to execute the artwork, and inasmuch as we do, we have to take steps to ensure that art will not be fetishized any further. Thus I have often elected to realize works for a limited period of time only. It may be preferable, for obvious reasons, to limit artworks to the mind, to allow them to exist in thought only. Dematerialized, planted into consciousness, they would exist solely in the imagination and might survive untarnished.
—LB, 1987

Translated from the German by Frederic C. Hosenkeel