Artists: "It Is Normal to be Different"
From the Website of the Landsmannschaft
der Deutschen aus Russland, Stuttgart, Germany
Russlanddeutsche Kuenstler: "Es ist
normal verschieden zu sein"
Von der Website der Landsmannschaft der
Deutschen aus Russland
From the official website the Landsmannschaft
der Deutschen aus Russland, Stuttgart, Germany: www.deutscheausrussland.de/start/05.htm_
(Located under its German title)
Translation from German to American
English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado.
"We need to learn something so difficult,
yet so simple: It is normal to be different." These words
by the former President of the Federal Republic, Richard von Weizsaecker,
reflect that the visitors of a collective exhibition by German-Russian
artists were able to see for themselves within the Action-Hall
of the New Expo at the [Landsmannschaft's] Bundestreffen.
Twelve artists (Ella Kalezki, Eduard Deibert, Renate
Storck, Maria Tribus, Viktor Land, Natalia Dueck, Aleander Windholz,
Lena Herzen, Guenther Hummerl, Andreas Prediger, Boris Wald and
Alexander Kopp) exhibited works of strongly differing artistic
directions: portraits, landscape paintings and floral motifs,
concrete and abstract art in oil, warter color paintings, collages,
and sculptures. All generations that returned to Germany from
the former Soviet Union within the last 25 years were represented.
Connecting the life stories of the artists with their corresponding
works allowed one to recognize clearly that their pictures and
objects speak of German-Russian history.
The relative intensity by which this topic comes
through depends on whether the artists personally experienced
deportation to Siberia or Kazakhstan, as Guenther Hummel, Andreas
Prediger, and Eduard Deibert did, or whether they are part of
the subsequent generation, who see these as events in their parents'
lives. The differences in experience and in age are very strong.
The older generation seeks to express the tragic experiences in
image and object, while the younger generation is searching for
a new orientations. What does connect the works of German-Russian
artists is not style, expression or theme. The connecting element
is the biographical, which in various facets comes to light again
These works of German-Russian artists remain barely
familiar to the public. However, the exhibited works do, in their
great differences and variety, represent an entire group of the
population. Pictures and sculptures transport personal and historical
experiences, views of life, and hopes. Viewed in this context,
painters, graphic artists and sculptors are indeed the voice of
the Germans from Russia.
All day long there was constant traffic at the various
exhibit stations. Numerous friends of the arts took advantage
of the opportunity to converse with the artists.
From Viktor Land, chair of the working group "Bildende
Kunst [Fine Arts]" of the Landsmannschaft it was possible
to purchase the art album "Nach Hause kommen ... [Coming
home ...]," which documents exhibits by ten German-Russian
artists (three of whom were represented in Karlsruhe) in churches
in around the Lahr area. An exhibit by Nikolaus Rode in the Sankt-Martin
Chuirch in Lahr was visited in February, 2004 by the then President
of the German Federal Republic, Johannes Rau, and it met with
great interest nation-wide.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog
for translation of this article.