Sculpture in plastique
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May 26 through end of September 2005, Bückeburg Castle
The Bückeburg castle park is transformed into a landscape with thousands of plastic ravens. It will open for the 6th Bückeburg Castle Outing on Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, May 29, 2005. The installation will remain in place until end of September. A trial installation with nearly one hundred of the impressive bird objects on April 25, 2005 gave a first impression.
The concept for this unique art presentation was "hatched" in a dialog between Alexander Duke of Schaumburg-Lippe and the Nuremberg artist Ottmar Hörl. Traditionally, the constellation "Artist and Duke" is nothing unusual at all but here, the old pattern was playfully "restaged". The dependency of long ago has given way to an eye twinkling "complicity". If one experiences the Duke and Artist at the presentation of this art event one cannot help but get the impression that this is the cooperation of two people related by the same process-like understanding of art. Fully conscious of social and creative traditions, they go new ways of contemporary art presentation. And both of them have fun doing it. The result is a successful synthesis of tradition and modern.
With the event in Bückeburg, Ottmar Hörl, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg presents a large-scale project for the first time in Northern Germany. With his large productions in the public environment he is renowned worldwide. His works are exhibited in numerous public collections, e.g. in the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt/Main, the Graphothek and the State Gallery, Stuttgart, the Art Hall in Mannheim, the Sprengel Museum in Hannover and in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Aside from many other awards, Hörl received the "art multiple" award of the Federal Association of German Art Publishers and was named Artist of the Year 1999. Well known are his 7000 green hares - patterned after the Dürer Hare - which formed the "Large Piece of Hare" in Dürer's city of birth in 2003. Hörl's Berlin installation with 10,000 bears at the Brandenburg Gate was referred to by the press as "the most unusual art project after Christo" and during the previous Olympic Games, he had 10,000 owls carried to Athens. Many of his works are based on the idea of the "serial design principle" and the conceptional maxim "Sculpture as an Organizational Principle". So now, the ravens are coming to Bückeburg.
Hörl wants to reach as many people as possible with his art and confront them with art in an "everyday environment". For the "Outing at the Bückeburg Castle" more than 35,000 visitors are expected. Though art in the museum is indispensable from Professor Hörl's point of view, it is regretfully also "elitist". Outside the temples of art, the master of serial sculpture can give impulses to his projects with humor and charm. And if in doing so he is able to start a discussion around the question: "What really is art in today's times?" it gives him satisfaction for the time being. According to Hörl art is not about "separating the world into good and bad but that art as an aspect of society is characterized by the desire to provoke insecurity and overcome or expand rigid conventions.
Duke and artist have agreed on a "Landscape with Ravens". Why ravens? And why black and white ones? "With the realized components of black and white I want to express the general ambivalence projected on the raven. Though at first, very real facts gave the direction. It is a known fact that ravens come together as a couple already before they have reached sexual maturity and remain true to each other until the end of their lives". Likewise, two crows were the symbol of matrimony in Greece. - "At the same time, ravens - especially the common raven - are the most intelligent songbirds. The more intensively you deal with the subject of the raven myth the more respect you will gain. Even if I see one on the shoulders of a wizard or a witch it opens more room for my imagination than for instance a dove would", Ottmar Hörl says.
Alexander Duke of Schaumburg-Lippe cannot escape the aura of these "wise and intelligent birds"and is sure that the Bückeburg Raven will outlast the spectacular orchestration as an abiding symbol.
Artist and Duke - actually a traditional constellation. In this cooperation, they also have a contemporary beneficial character because the raven Multiples may be purchased at a moderate price - 60 Euro per raven - during the project's running period. A large part of the proceeds goes to the project to aid boys and girls in Bulgaria "Children in Need" of which Duke Alexander is the patron, and to the foundation sponsored by the Duchess Benita which supports female cancer victims.