Studio for contemporary art
Helge & Saxana
Lützner Str. 34 / 04177 Leipzig
We dedicate the history painting Einskommafünfgrad / THE RED LINE
to all those who have fought for the preservation of the Hambach Forest,
the Danneröder Forest, the village of Lützerath, the HOTSPOT
of the international climate movement in Germany
and all the other places of contemporary resistance.
It would be desirable that the painting is shown on a traveling exhibition in museums and other places of art, before it finally finds a place of permanent presentation in a museum in NRW.
This documentation invites exhibition houses and museums
to show the painting to their audience.
Helge & Saxana
Text / Quotes: Helge Hommes / Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Becker
Photos: Bernd Radtke
Layout: Todde Kemmerich
THE RED LINE
onepointfivedegree … a history painting
After in January 2023, against the recommendation of the Federal Government from the previous year,
the village of Lützerath, which was a hotspot of the international climate movement in Germany, was destroyed by the energy company RWE in collusion with police and state politics, and the extraction of the brown coal lying beneath the village was approved contrary to all findings and recommendations of science, we decided, after our last art intervention there on site on January 10, 2023, to create a comprehensive painterly contemporary testimony of art. It includes both diverse encounters and experiences during our solidarity art interventions in the climate movement 1.5° of the last 5 years, which began in 2018 in the resistance in the Hambach Forest, and offers a contemporary composition of art that tries to grasp this explosive complex of the present.
Thus, in the first 6 months of 2023, this perhaps unique contemporary testimony of painting was created, a history painting,
as Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Becker (founding director of the Ludwig Forum Aachen) calls it when he talks about the painting.
(Also physically considerable dimensions are necessary: 260 cm high and 810 cm wide / 2 -part)
Our multilayered, diverse direct experiences on site are without doubt a unique foundation for this painting.
In addition Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Becker / quote:
When Christo and Jeanne Claude made a joint work known, he had designed it and she had organized its realization. Anne and Patrick Poirier, on the other hand, created all their sculptures, drawings and installations together. Among the couples I know, there are also painters like Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock. But a couple in front of a canvas, spreading colors, meeting, moving brushes, dancing with each other, a couple embracing when their joint experiment has succeeded, is something I am only now encountering.
The large painting is divided in two for practical reasons, and greedy viewers will try to assign a half to each of the two authors. They will suspect the roaring unrest, the waning strength of the old tree in the plaintive anger of the man, and the long-suffering glimpses of plants and animals in the tender sorrow of the woman, and yet will try to avoid any dichotomy in order to assume that four hands have joined in common choreographies of brushes.
I am old and I have always lived with artists.
Their fantasies, wishes and desires orbit a company of people who admire them, fear them and wish they could get close to them, understand them, take them seriously. But how are they supposed to understand that Helge and Saxana, living in modest circumstances, paint a gigantic picture out of their own impulses, which only some public spaces could accommodate? Whose applause will they expect when they push the great masterpiece through the courtyard gate onto the street?
„Schri kvnst schri vnd klag dich ser“ Lucas Moser wrote on the frame of the Tiefenbronn altar in 1432. Visitors prayed in front of it. Churches, palaces, castles, mansions and town halls, museums and galleries determined the viewing distance to and the size of works of art ever since the inhabitants of the Ice Age caves began to build houses. It was not until the 20th century that cheerful lawbreakers, anarchists, and activists were able to put pictures of their choice straight back on houses, border walls, and railroad cars. Among the artists are the airbrushworkers, the matadors of the street who have opened up public space for art. Satellites see their images on rooftops or plazas, Google Earth cameras relay them.
But their appreciation is dwindling.
The treasure chest of „true art“ rocks on that flood of images. Its decline in value is more obvious: in the Dutch Golden Age, it was tulip bulbs that were auctioned off at immense prices. Now it is select, rare masterpieces that are passed around in the circle of a few billionaires.
Public space is drowning in its flood of images, which at best allows museums and archives to maintain memories, and yet demands that history be rewritten every day.
The democrats of the French Revolution created the first museum in Europe in the royal palace of the Louvre, and artists like Géricault painted BIG paintings like „The Raft of the Medusa“ for the BIG galleries, in front of which a BIG audience crowded.
Only „Guernica“ by Picasso has retained the glory of its greatness.
Helge Hommes and Saxana Nicole Schötschel have now, 2023, completed a large canvas painting in Leipzig: 810 cm x 260 cm, „The Red Line / einskommafünfgrad … a history painting“. It takes the battles over Hambach Forest and the villages in the Garzweiler II open-pit mining area between the forces of law and order from the state and industry and the climate rebels on the edge of the lignite mines as the occasion for a vision of a collapsing forest landscape – a political forest landscape around a tree with a huge, brittle crown that insects and birds circle.
Where is a space for this image? His claim is addressed to all who are outraged by the destruction of nature, who watch the warming of the globe with horror, who lament the unreasonableness of man and look forward to doom, and to those who, against the odds, admire the beauty of the unusually large oil painting, who are empowered to admire the magnificent human creative power, which is worth fighting to preserve.