You remember? We wanted to report here on the 5-day German-American art camp following the excursions to Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Munich. Already the journey to our meeting place by train and bus was a big "hello". Our American guests were thrilled when high above the Main valley, visible from afar, the idyllically situated "castle" on the Banzberg appeared. Formerly a Benedictine monastery, Banz Monastery, where we were thankfully allowed to hold our art camp, now serves as a conference and educational facility for young and old.
A large multimedia hall served as the community studio. For interviews and shootings we were also allowed to use the sound studio or the outdoor facilities. Since the reception was staffed day and night, the artists* could always go into the studio outside of seminar hours if they wanted to continue or implement a spontaneous inspiration. After dinner, most of us went for a swim in the in-house swimming pool. Afterwards, we mostly sat on the terrace and exchanged our experiences before we said good night. Even before breakfast, Winfried invited everyone who was interested to do yoga outdoors. Then quickly shower, at 7.30 for breakfast. After that, back to the studio.
During these days we worked extremely hard, but also laughed, talked and debated a lot. We got to know and appreciate each other better and better. Friendships developed.
And 14 impressive works of art! They are multilayered pictures and videos. They directly show the concerns, questions, but also the perspectives of the young Germans and Americans. It is about topics like
- Is it possible to prevent hate and exclusion?
- Where are the limits of tolerance?
- How do I reduce prejudices?
- How do we confront people who endanger our democracy?
- How do we learn better from history?
- Do we remember correctly so that injustice does not happen again?
- Is there something that unites all people in the world?
- What role should women play in shaping the future?
- What about sexism in everyday life?
- What are the ways out of loneliness and depression?
Maybe you think not all questions have something to do with democracy? Oh yes, they do. Because, for example, people who suffer from phenomena such as loneliness, depression, racism or sexism will not be able to stand up for their rights and basic values, or will find it difficult to do so. This allows others to rise above them more easily. This and more is what we want to talk about with as many people as possible. Also with you!
That's why the artwork will be packaged into a digital art tour and shown as a Video Exhibiton in several cities in Germany in 2022 and in the U.S. in 2023. Afterwards, everyone is invited to exchange ideas not only about the artwork, but also about values and goals that promote togetherness and defend democracy. A different kind of mutual understanding...
Before the official end of the exchange program, another day was spent in Würzburg. Würzburg has an American to thank for the fact that it is now a world heritage city. The American officer and art historian John D. Skilton, who came to the then German enemy as a victor after World War II, immediately secured the roof of the Residenz, which was in danger of collapsing. He recognized the value of the unique cultural treasure. Had he - like many other victorious powers - acted differently, the largest ceiling vault in Europe, whose ceiling fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo is of inestimable value, would have collapsed and been destroyed. Thus, the monumental architecture of Balthasar Neumann, who built the Residenz, the 18th-century palace in the city, survived. And Würzburg was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1981 for this extraordinary baroque synthesis of the arts. Thanks to John D. Skilton!