Artist Ulli Kampelmann Speaks About the “Most Valuable Picture Collection”

in Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE (7/30/2013)- Within the society of art lovers and those in art related fields there is an ongoing discussion about the future needs of pictures as a tool to drive society forward.

In his speech about Iconic Turn, the German publisher and art historian Dr. Hubert Burda summarized thus: “Where ever is a change in communication, there are changes of the fundamentals of the society. We are living in a time of radical changes. We must think about how to create new pictures. Visual communication is expanding.”

We are attached to pictures. Pictures have the tendency to pluck a string in one’s past that resonates in our present beingness. Looking at or listening to a work of art reflects something of what you have already seen and felt, arousing you to reach out for similar sensations or spurring you to avoid it.

During the “Felix Burda Memorial Lectures, film producer Wim Wenders said, ”Every picture tells a story. Pictures reflect a location and the story behind it.”

The American architect Norman Foster said, ”Artists have the privilege of being able to create visible representations of images generated in the mind. They develop innovative means and ways to bring images from the inner world into being. I think that this perspective should not be left out on the debate on of the nature of images and the Iconic Turn. One aspect of design is curiosity. It is emerging itself.”

This is what I wish to convey with my art works. Currently I am producing a series of paintings with a fairly narrow format. The reasons for this are twofold. Keeping the size of a painting narrow suggests the glance into the past; into a slice of time. As well, these narrow views from the past might also depict an aspect of life such as I lived growing up behind the “Wall” in East Germany before my escape in 1975: Restrictions on creativity, constant surveillance and utter lack of privacy and even restrictions on one’s freedom of thought . Unfortunately there exist even today societies living under these warped conditions. My desire is to create artworks which provide a hint toward a condition, a mood, a story.

With some of my other art-forms, light becomes an essential element. Light brings another dimension into an artwork as well as the additional wavelength. For example: I filmed an interview with US ambassador Max M. Kampelman wherein he told me how much he loves to read books on the subject of Ethics. Ethics brings more clarity and understanding into problem-solving. I got the idea of a book of light which I then made for Max. For this sculpture I used glass in which are embedded lights as an association to thought.

I love to work with music. Listening to Joseph Haydn’s The Seasons conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg…this flows one picture after the other into me.

And the first time I listened to Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach I had an almost spiritual experience. He writes about the time he was composing the music to the stagecraft of Robert Wilson “I put Wilson’s notebook of sketches on the piano and composed each section like a portrait of the drawing before me. The score was begun in the Spring of ’75 and completed in November. Those drawings where before me all the time.”

This is a further example of how one art-form leads to another. Everything we have experienced, learned and imagined are collected during the years of ones lifetime into the vessel we call our mind and we are capable of recalling them, reshuffling them and re-envisioning them to create something new.

This is the most valuable collection of pictures we own. Our own personal images; our imagination. Always available to re-look, always available to re-experience.

I’m very interested to hear from you.

Ulli Kampelmann

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