a project of the Batuz Foundation Participating institutions Corcoran College of Art and Design Washington DC Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig HEI-TEC Academy Chemnitz Academy of Fine Arts Krakow Tel-Aviv University Batuz Foundation Sachsen S o c i é t é I m a g i n a i r e
Margaret Adams (USA) Prof. Scip Barnhart (USA) Jason Barrows (USA) Christine Carr (USA) Edgardo Flores (Uruguay) César Dario Franco (Uruguay) Andreas Fuhrmann (Germany) Participants
Isabel Kaplan (Israel) Klas Koch-Weser (Germany) Abel Konya (Poland) Datia Landver (Israel) Marcelo Legrand (Uruguay) Prof. Zygmunt Magner (Poland) Garbriel Martínez (USA) Martín Mendizábal (Uruguay) Carlos Montañés (Israel) Michael Morgner (Germany)
Ewa Okolowicz (Poland) Anita Pasikowska (Poland) Juan Pedro Paz (Uruguay) Flor de Lis Rodríguez (Uruguay) Britta Schulze (Germany) Aida Seroussi (Israel) Aída Stolar (Israel) Prof. Helfried Strau (Germany) Prof. Marek Szymanski (Poland) Valentina Torrado (Uruguay)
Young and old, amateurs and professionals, students and professors. Generous maestros unconcerned about losing their well-deserved prestige, working and exhibiting together, overcoming differences of trend, quality and cultures, to share their worlds with those that are young. Each of them provided inspiration, ideas and, most importantly, sincerity and human warmth. In this catalogue we try to convey how they lived together, what the experience meant to them, and how they desire to continue the valuable relationships with each other in the future. On the surface this might seem like a game, a play resulting in some good and some lesser works: the outcome of any other of the many already extant Summer Academies. It is so but, at the same time, it is also something else, and this is the most relevant point. This experience is an initiative which complements virtual communication with a real and personal one. It forms part of an unrelenting effort that I have pursued for the past fifteen years: to foresee, and to evaluate the chances, to search for an answer to the insistent questions that new technologies have put to all of us. Questions which arise from the presence of everything simultaneously in space and time. P r o l o g
But there is a seemingly insurmountable difference to have immediate access to everything in the world and the personal reality for each of us in our limited world. This is the new context, and everyone of us must look for solutions. The new technology allows us to jump with the mouse-click in thousands of virtual worlds – which are all exchangeable, the other is our reality in which we live by strict habits, traditions and languages, which most of us believe are unique and inexchangeable. The amazing speed of transmission of information and the power of the immense capacity for information as well as the revelation of millions of possible worlds is incompatible with the vision and definition of culture as we have lived it for thousands of years, and in which we are still virtual prisoners. This new context seems like a dream from science fiction. But it is not a dream anymore. It is here; it is everywhere; it is reality. And inevitably we must face it, and face it now. The initiatives of the Société Imaginaire for many years have been directed toward seeking solutions in the gap between the virtual and the real worlds, which seem incompatible. However, we must yield to our imagination in order to look for solutions. The initiatives of my foundation carry forward many different projects (See the final pages of this catalogue.) that encourage personal encounters of individuals from different cultures around the globe. These personal encounters of five to six participants of different cultures at the same time are designed so that participants can work together with each other on a meaningful project. Thus, in an ambience of exchanging and finding their own terminology, a deeper understanding of each other culture emerges.
Sharing life and work enables them to reach a common ground. The Foundation encourages and supports the participants to travel to each others home- land and to continue their work on the project while at the same time being able to see for themselves a different cultural environment and to be able to comment about it with each other, achieving through this collaboration a long-standing relationship. This stop at the Corcoran is one of the experiments where the participants accompany the show personally, live in each others home and work in this new milieu, sharing the experience with one another. It is my hope that the nexo stop will be Tel Aviv, and from there to Montevideo, then back again to Altzella, where the participants can analyze and evaluate their experiences. This is an act of transforming an abstract and virtual global village into a real one: to populate it with living creative people and through their longstanding relationship achieve a new form of shared human experience (una nueva forma de convivencia humana). In this the participants wi11 create a personal network, not a virtua1 one, which can give us clues about the future and about how we all will contend with the new realities of a changing world. In this sense access should not be solely virtual but physical access to each others world as well. We seek clues for new ways of communication among mankind, and we certainly need them to be able to face all the challenges of the new millennium!
Zygmunt Magner The case of the great Polish painter, Zygmunt Magner, is a curious one. During the times of the Iron Curtain he worked in a space that was so small that he was unable to actually view the entire surface of the painting on which he was working, which in fact was a roll of fabric more than three meters high by nearly two meters in width, nearly the size of his entire small studio. With a ball point pen he would make diminutive half moons about the size of computer signs, painting them across the entire horizontal surface of the cloth, from left to right, being able to see solely the 10 inches on which he was working. He never saw the work in its entirety until the exposition in Altzella when I brought about a retrospective of his work. Alfredo Testoni, the 81 year old Uruguayan photographer and graphic artist worked with surprisingly similar signs without the two artists ever having met or had a word of each other. In a catalogue that I did of this correspondence I made reference to this. Here we publish some details of the works of both artists, and show works of both in the exhibition. Alfredo Testoni
Dear Batuz, Artist and thinker, pragmatic philosopher and dreamer, demanding and paternal. Assaulted by difficulties, he demonstrates with his strength and constancy that his dream can be made real. Its a dream of many that in tact dont even know each other. Our heredity, distance, religion. politics, they are all set aside by the human force that motivates his idea: the Société Imaginaire. Herculean work that we ought not and cannot allow to go without collaboratinn and support. One who knows Rudyard Kiplings Yes and has committed to being a man is not inditfferent. Rather, he thinks and feels. Batuz is not alone; those, and here I include myself, who have known the experience of living and working in Altzella are filled up with its particular physical and human ambience. Our internal changes, for the good of all I think, transform us into real members of a better society. As for me, my already free, humanistic and universal nature was filled with new strength that is so necessary, I believe, to confront the serious problems that wait in ambush on contemporary society. In Altzella I met Michael Morgner; I saw his catalogues; I saw him work, and I discovered in his work that important symbol of our history (converted into a painful sign), that living memory of how erroneous ideas can lead those that believe in them to fatal tragedies. I am referring to the Star of David. What resonating string in this artists soul vibrated in such a way that the Star of David with all its light would enter into his work? I feel the need to understand. The studios at Altzella are the best frame of reference for that. I hope to return, to understand more and better. Many thanks to Batuz for the opportunity he has given to me and to all the others to bring to light the best that is in us. My best wishes for good health and success in your work to consolidate the Société Imaginaire and to make its existence even firmer. Thanks again. I hope to meet with you once again and to continue the dialogue. Isabel Pedro Malewiak de Kaplan Israel-Uruguay-Altzella Michael Morgner was a closely watched and persecuted artist under the old German Democratic Republic because he dealt with sensitive themes that were not well viewed in those times. In a work of rather large dimensions, German Requiem, (200 cm x 200 cm), which he produced in homage to D. Bonhoeffer, a victim of Nazism, who died in the K.Z. concentration camp in Brandenburg, various religious signs appear. A large Star of David dominates over the painting (a detail herein reproduced). This summer in the graphic studios of my Foundation in Altzella, Morgner worked on a new version of the above mentioned work. Isabel Kaplan, in a letter reproduced here, describes her encounter and dialogue with this German artist, exactly as it occurred. Morgner calls this new work, which we reproduce on the facing page, Jewish Requiem German Requiem 1988 (detail). Michael Morgner
Morgners work is strong and deep. It extracts from black and white an intensity of emotion which is paradoxical given the austerity of the expressive media. There is a Star of David that emerges from a whirlwind of movement behind which two gears suggest machinery. The sense that derives from the organization of these molded forces may vary in significance. So it is with great works of art. This is true in and of itself in any of the works dimensions, beginning with the initial powerful suggestion of forms in interaction. Julio Maria Sanguinetti, August 2000
Scip Barnhart, Professor at the Corcoran, not only captured the idea of the Société Imaginaire (We publish here his text.), but he also put it into practice visually, and this represents a notable contribution, inspired by the great Uruguayan sculptor, Ricardo Pascale, and his Homage a la Correspondence, a sculpture of considerable dimension located in front of my Foundation in Altzella (reproduction on this page) and the other in front of the Presidential palace of the Republic of Uruguay. Both works have been realized using woods from Europe as well as from Rio de la Plata, bound together in a permanent embrace. Professor Barnhart made a series of drawings (one shown here) on this theme. In order to make prints of the work, he utilized a poster of the excellent German artist, Mark Lammert, and with this he extended the idea of correspondence to a new dimension. Scip Barnhart Homage a la Correspondence Altzella Ricardo Pascale Drawing Scip Barnhart
The Société Imaginaire is a test. An exacting test of a persons communication, artistic and social skills. Travelling great distances to a foreign country, three or more different languages, a semi-secluded environment, problems each person must try to work out so that there might be some sort of coinciding of behavior and art beneficial to all and initiating an agreeable interaction... The Kloster at Altzella is pastoral to say the least. The park, the town and surrounding countryside are made for artistic expression..., but the Société is still a test, and some of the problems: construction, inadequate studios, working at night, are obstacles to be overcome. But these are money and mind-over-matter issues.... The superb exhibit halls and the fine dormitory have come from hog pens and whatever to serve as splendid examples of what hopefully will come with the future.... To solve these problems all that is needed is organization, refinement, adjustment and commitment from the leaders and those interacting in the space now and in the future. This solution will come true through future communication and correspondence among us all. The answer is in us, and sharing it with our new friends around the world, is the best thing you can get right on the test.... Société Imaginaire. Its not there; its in you. Scip Barnhart, Altzella, June 2000 The answer is in you. (sign posted around George Washington University). Poster Mark LammertPrint Scip Barnhart
To be immersed in the Société Imaginaire is a practice in acceptance. The full experience is born of an exchange of assumptions abandoned for a new vision. The walls of the Klosterpark have been an ever present reminder of the organic nature of a community. We have all come to Altzella knowing that leaving was a bitter- sweet prospect. Our home is not just the place we lay our head to sleep but exists in any place where companions come together. Herein lies the multiplicity of "correspondence" defined. As we know, this landscape will forget us when we are gone; the people we have met will not. The project of sharing home with a Uruguayan friend came from the opportunity to share ideas during my stay here. We have created a new community. I arrived without expectations and leave transformed. Thank you for the opportunity. Jason Barrows, Altzella 2000 Jason Barrows Correspondance-work done in common by Jason Barrows /Juan Pedro Paz
Correspondance-work done in common by Valentina Torrado and Ewa Okolowicz
Andreas Fuhrmann; roofmaker, undertaking renovations of the typical and curious rooftops of his region, Saxony. He is a master of his guild, but his heart belongs to photography. The photograph we publish has been realized by him. Andreas Fuhrmann
The work shown above has been inspired by a small building, hundreds of years old, which has now disappeared through the renovations works undertaken by the conservators of historical monuments. They have rebuilt it in such a way that nothing remaines of this remarkable beautiful small monument of the past. Anita Pasikowskas work is now the only testimony of a work of art foever lost. Anita Pasikowska
The singsong or sparrows floats above us as we work in our own language. A tongue as universal and ancient as that of the birds, our art, supercedes bureaucracy and slips beyond borders. We work without distraction of politics or trivial events and instead direct our focus on multicultural correspondence in the tranquil Sachsen countryside. We work side by side with artists from all hemispheres. We develop an understanding and forge new forms of communication in the process, a process of relearning the world around us. We see beyond the limitations of the age that we live in. We are the creators of culture. We are citizens of the Société Imaginaire. Gabriel The Ruins of AltzellaGabriel Martínez
Klas Koch-Weser Sculpture made from 352 year old wood
The simple act of sitting at table with someone from the other side of the globe, having breakfast together and looking at each other later in the studio, understanding each other, despite the lack of a common language: it is an experience that is like ink being absorbed by blotting paper. The simple fact of seeing and feeling that all of this is possible, that a place really does exist where artificial boundaries are meaningless: it gives us strength and the belief that an alternative, true road exists, not just preconceived ones. Under the influence of their environment, people can easily forget that they must see, not just look; say something, not just talk. We have a tendency to accept cheap and time saving solutions in order to create a viable existence despite the lack of space. The time spent in Altzella, the joint work, the desire to get close to people who we may never see again (Perhaps this is why we so intensely desire to see them just one more time.); at first blush it seems that an entire world separates us. But we are forced to throw out all that is superfluous, and thus purified, we show ourselves with just those substantial things that bring us together, and thats the essential baggage each of us returns with to hearth and home. Abel Konya Krakow, 13-07-2000
César Dario Franco Premio No.1 Ministerio de transporte y Obras Públicas del Uruguay Province Treinta y Tres Aída Stolar Artist Participatingin the Show at Tel-Aviv-University Prizeof Batuz Foundation Resident Artist Altzella 2000
Flor de Lis Rodríguez Premio No.1 Ministerio de transporte y Obras Públicas del Uruguay Province Treinta y Tres Isabel Kaplan Artist Participatingin t6he Show at Tel-Aviv-University Prizeof Batuz Foundation Resident Artist Altzella 2000
Altzella Working Center of the Société Imaginaire Since 1993 the Working Center at Altzella has become the focal point of the activity of the Société Imaginaire. This informal, international organization has as its central purpose to overcome cultural and geographic barriers through direct communication between artists and intellectuals from around the world. At Altzella this goal is realized by: 1.) Bringing 1ike-minded, creative people together; 2.) Giving them the chance to work together on a meaningful project, where they share interests; 3.) Living together and working closely on a common project thereby developing a new, common terminology. 4.) The Foundation encourages the participants to enter a long-term relationship. Once the groups, consisting usually of from five to six participants from different regions, have forged a clear terminology among themselves, they visit the country of one of their colleagues where, living with their host, they try as a group to apply their new-found terminology to work in the country, they are visting. Visits to other countries represented in the group then follow with similar activities. On each visit the participants achieve a deeper knowledge and understanding of eachs culture. All the projects of the Société Imaginaire utilize this same method. On the following pages we describe some of our more outstanding projects: 1 2 Abandoned, cow stables and dilapidated buildings, have been transformed in studios, work-shops, and modern exhibition rooms.This architectural project in its entirety has been executed by the architect E. Nowakoswska-Kühl. 1- Former cow-stable, today Museum of Photography 2- International Photo-Museum Inge Morath 3- Exhibition -room Testoni-Saal 4- Altzella patio 3 4
"International Workshop for High-School-Students" Nowakowska Project Upon the initiative of Dipl.-Ing. E. Nowakowska-Kühl, the Société Imaginaire began a summer academy for painting in 1996, initially for talented Polish children. In a very short time many academies of Poland, Saxony and the Czech Republic joined the project. This year we can proudly say that 80 young talented youths from ten different countries benefited from the program. Participants came from Uruguay, Brazil, Israel, Poland, Panama, Saxony and Ecuador. Each year this program has grown in number and quality of the participants. Workshop for Major Companies and Corporations Scaglia Project This program is dedicated to bringing together talented blue and white- collar workers from very large companies. The interested companies organize shows in diverse disciplines of art for talented individuals within the companies, thus providing for them an incentive for cultural activity and at the same time improving the spirit and quality of life of the employees. The first five artists selected by a jury have gotten a grant to spent a month as a resident-artists at the Altzella workshops. During the residency they would meet with their counterparts from other countries and follow a pattern of cultural discovery and understanding similar to the other projects of the Société Imaginaire. This project, initiated by Ricardo Scaglia, President of U.T.E. / Uruguay, has been highly successful and is attracting ever growing interest on the part of other companies.
M.I.T. and other Universities During the past fifteen years several world class universities and other institutions have become increasingly interested in the projects of the Société Imaginaire. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, and Harvard University have taken an active involvement. The Harvard Review, since 1992, has dedicated a section of every edition to the activities of the Société Imaginaire. A long-term- collaboration with the Department of Architecture of M.I.T. started in 1997, when the Head of the Department, Prof. Stanford Anderson, brought graduated students to Altzella to collaborate with the office of town-planning in Dresden. There have been follow-up workshops in the last three years, and a publication of results is planned for later this year. The next project under this aegis also started in Altzella and continues now in Montevideo, Uruguay and will finish in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prof. Stanford Anderson, Head Department of Architecture describes the co-operation and the benefits to the M.I.T. students as follows : "Our department places great importance on the collaboration of rather diverse disciplines, but realizing the benefits of this potential cross-disciplinarily is not easy. It is here that the Société Imaginaire sets an example. The visit in Altzella of the M.I.T.-Sachsen teams, faculty and students, together with notables from still other disciplines and locals, can enrich the immediate work. More assuredly, it adds extremely important dimensions, across age groups, cultural areas, and disciplines, to the learning experience of all those who meet and exchange there."...Meanwhile this catalogue is in print, it takes place in Altzella a project that illustrates even more the work of the Batuz Foundation. Falkland Islands - Tucuman, from September 6 to September 27 Two regions, two cultures in the Southern Hemisphere having little, almost no contact whatsoever with each other, meet, live and work together in Altzella in the Société Imaginaire, light-years away of politics, prejudices and conflicts to enter the Correspondence project of our Foundation, which enables them to continue the work that they started here together in the future. I hope that next year we can present the works that they have accomplished together.
The original graphic portfolios of the Société Imaginaire bring world renown poets and artists from different regions together. The prologue or introductory texts are usually written by outstanding personalities, for example, presidents; Julio M. Sanguinetti, Misael Pastrana Borrero, Richard von Weizsacker. The poems are printed from manuscript originals by, for example, Seamus Heaney, Arthur Miller, Mark Strand, Alvaro Mutis, Czeslav Milosz, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and many others. The handwritten texts are illustrated by the artists and printed on Altzella-hand-made paper. The linen- bound portfolios are signed and numbered l00/100. The portfolios are than donated to major Museums, for example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C., the National Gallery in Prague, Albertinum, Vienna, Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden, and many others. Here we illustrate this Correspondence with some examples : The Graphic Portfolios of the Société Imaginaire Poem by Arthur Miller Etching by Dusan Kállay (Slovakia)
Grafik work by Igor Rumanský (Slovakia) Poem by Seamus Heaney (Ireland)
Prolog by Richard Weizsäcker, Edition Nr. V.,1993Titel-page Edition Nr. V., 1993
Lithograph by Stephan Plenkers, Edition Nr. V., 1993 Poem by Czeslav Miloz (Poland)
Batuz Foundation Batuz, President Prof. Stanford Anderson, Marcos Aguinis, Argentina Stanislav Baranczak, Poland Manfred Baumgärtel, Jochen Boberg, FRG Jacek Bochenski, Poland M. Pastrana Borrero Ricardo Busso, Argentina Michel Butor, France Ing. Lucio Cáceres, Uruguay Rodolfo M. Campero, Arg. Amb. Walter L. Cutler, USA Jorge Edwards, Chile Amb. Gabor Erdödy, Hung. Peter Esterházy, Hung. Amb. Jiri Grusa, CR Toshio Hara, Japan Stratis Haviaras, USA Olga M. Hirshhorn, USA Enrique V. Iglesias, USA Prof. Kurt Jankowsky, USA Amb. J.-John Jova, USA Bruce Kaiser, USA Prof. Timothy Keating, USA Alexander Kliment, CR Lothar Kraft, FRG Volkmar Köhler, FRG Hanna-Renate Laurien, FRG Amb. Herbert Limmer, FRG International Advisory Board: Andras Mahr, USA Steven Mansbach, USA Miklos Meszöly, Hungary Günter Meyer, FGR Hans-Joachim Meyer, FRG Henry A. Millon, USA Enrique Molina, Argentina Inge Morath, USA Alvaro Mutis, Columbia F. v. Nordenskjöld, FRG Olga Orozco, Argentina G. Bernd Oschatz, FRG Ricardo Pascale, Uruguay Octavio Paz, Mexico Juan Sanchez Pelaez, Ven. Murray E. Polakoff, USA Pierre Restany, France Franz-Josef Reuter, FRG Julio-Maria Sanguinetti Rudolf Scharping, FRG Gerhard Schweiger, Arg. W. D. Snodgrass, USA Mark Strand, USA J.-J. Szczepanski, Poland Amb. E. A. Takacs, Arg. Abdon Ubidia, Ecuador Gerhard Wahlers, USA Helmut Wittelsbürger, FRG Elmar Zorn, FRG
The Société Imaginaire is a work of mine. It has evolved directly and consistently from my work as a painter. (See Interrelation of Forms, catalogue from the exhibition at the Phillips Collection in 1978.) Instead of forms the Société Imaginaire is filled with people, but the rules of interplay and the method are the same. Still, to adapt the abstract idea for its use in the practical world has taken me fifteen years of dedication and hard work. Now the idea has been visualized. It has been made real; the prototype is ready. There may be no greater satisfaction for an artist than to see his work realized. However, this case is different! The Société Imaginaire is not an inert sculpture, but a work full of life. Composed, inhabited and carried forward by many enthusiastic and creative people who believe and live in the Société Imaginaire. Thus, it is hard, if not impossible to leave them and walk away. An even more nightmarish thought haunts my mind: What if all of this were to die with me? Until now, I have been carrying the entire weight of the Société Imaginaire alone with the occasional help of generous friends. If the organization does not gain a solid, lasting structure now, one that assures its continuity, the world will lose not just one more so called cultural institution, but hope itself in a better world: the possibility of a new means of human interaction, una nueva convivencia humana, one that strives for a chance for a peaceful future. If admiration continues, but indifference prevails I shall have to conclude with Talleyrand; A blunder is worse than a crime Appellata