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Strict Standards: mktime(): You should be using the time() function instead in /home2/ibelev/public_html/inc/_err.inc on line 78

Strict Standards: mktime(): You should be using the time() function instead in /home2/ibelev/public_html/inc/_err.inc on line 78
Société Imaginaire
Deutsch
         
 
   

BATUZ IN CHEMNITZ

I first met Batuz fourteen years ago – in Altzella of Saxony, Germany. Michael Morgner introduced me to this artist and founder of the Societe Imaginaire.

Like no other, Batuz embodies this imaginary society, whose goal of crossing frontiers and building bridges between worlds brings together people of different nationalities, professions and schools of thought.
To organize direct communication - an answer to Globalization years before the word and the issue even became the focus of public discussion.

With his impressive enthusiasm, Batuz stands for a new way of thinking – as does his art.

In 2003, once again, it was Morgner who told me about a chance to offer Batuz, this cosmopolitan, with his artistic works and extensive collection of art and documents, as well as the activities of the Societe Imaginaire, a domain in Chemnitz.
Batuz and Chemnitz are well suited to one another. New ideas and the modern art of the 20th century are what have driven this city.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was born here, Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner attended secondary school together here in Chemnitz and Carl Friedrich Claus communicated from here with philosophers and artists throughout the world.

The works of Batuz are also represented in numerous museums across the globe - including many museums in Germany as well.
A typical symbol in his works, and an important aspect of his work utilizing the most diverse materials, is the phenomenon of frontiers. This theme dominates the multifarious projects of the Societe Imaginaire, changing borders from walls that separate people, into places where people meet.

In 1984, the art department of the Senate of Berlin commissioned a large-scale work for the Ernst-Reuter Square in Berlin. The idea was to create a kind of anti-Berlin Wall. Batuz made a model, which was itself 4 by 8 meters in size. Made from plants, it was designed to contrast with the dead concrete of the wall.
It portrayed a divided Berlin, but the plants gave this division the hope of integrating once more, a hope that few Germans shared with the artist at this point in time.
Three years before Ronald Reagan’s historic statement: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall“, the plan was thwarted by a senator anxious to ensure the coexistence of two German states.

When the Wall finally fell in 1989, it did not solely make the dreams of the Germans come true, but also paved the way for a free Europe without borders separating its people.

However, walls such as these are still being built in the world, people are still being separated and graves continue to be dug.

Batuz’s work in Chemnitz refers back to the Berlin Wall model he designed in1984. It will remind us that above all, the division of Germany should be a monument that reminds us to tear down walls, and open borders.

My thanks to all of you who have helped.

Peter Seifert,
Former Lord Mayor of Chemnitz
April 2007