Artist: Andreas Hoffmann
避 难 岛
“岛屿”作为身体：空间/思想 – 空间/社会、空间/关系、空间……
Andreas Hoffmann’s Home Island
Text by Andreas Hoffmann
The year 2020 will probably remain in everyone’s memory for a long time. The pandemic has shaken up the whole world.
Not only does the mass, incomprehensible and often anonymous death of so many people come very close to us, but the tearing open and deepening of many rifts that existed before is also frightening. Poor people are becoming even poorer, a few rich people richer and richer. The socially disadvantaged, refugees around the world, people discriminated against because of the color of their skin, the lonely, the sick, the elderly in nursing homes, they are all the most exposed to the danger posed by the pandemic. At the same time, democracy around the world and the values that go with it are being trampled on. Europe is tearing each other apart, Americans are irreconcilably opposed. Self-appointed or worse, popularly elected heads of state rule autocratically, and those who think differently are silenced.
Irrationality pairs with the wildest theories that seek scapegoats for the pandemic, or deny it. The strange procession on the street, demanding freedom in the “unjust state,” spreading old familiar inflammatory slogans about a Jewish world conspiracy.
But that is not all, we are still here, we are alive! Every day we are looking for a way in this leaden time and we must, we can stand against it.
How? By looking for the connection, the commitment and the responsibility, for us, for others, in the family, at work and in public. By living what is important to us.
Sharing our thoughts with others. Clearly stand by the values that are important to us.
Building bridges instead of digging trenches. Trying out new things, learning from others.
Find sources of strength for ourselves and share them with others. Be inspired by the language of art, literature and music. Living each new day, being grateful for life.
Warm greetings from the island
Warm greetings from the island, I have signed my mails in the last 2 months. Everyone has a different image for the place where he, or she, has spent the time since March 16. A time of a state of emergency in which traditional rules no longer seem to work. Habitual accesses to forms of thinking and concepts of thinking had to change by force. In reality as a place my island is our house and the property around it. This real place is located at the edge of fields in a small village with 900 inhabitants in a valley 6 km away from the university town of Tübingen. Meadows and forests surround the place. We are very lucky that we can live in the countryside and not in the city during the pandemic period.
The island as a space for thought and action
Approaches that had focused on international concepts of art and exchange, with the selfevidence of being able to be present always and everywhere in the world, had become meaningless.
It was natural to immerse ourselves in art and cultural contexts across the globe, to further develop the dialogue with international artists, and to invite and reintroduce them into our home culture. An extraordinary treasure that had been at our disposal. Out of this, a network was created across Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan, Philippines and China. From China started the end of this self-evident. There, where we had further developed and exhibited the project “Exploring the original nature” until the beginning of December, the reason for the end of the self-evidence had probably already arrived in the world. Maybe even in the environment of the artists who came from different parts of China. Who knows?
What happens when taken-for-grantedness breaks down? How does it feel? What kind of traces develop when accesses are no longer effective. Does this network remain, and how?
Lock down, everything concentrates on a small self-contained cosmos. Suddenly, society slows down. One’s own daily clock is reduced. There is no longer an excuse to do “nothing.”
There is time to clean up the apartment, time to sort, to rethink artistic progressions and insights. An island of time emerges.
Direct relationship, partnership, even family escapes the direct connection. What arises from this, insecurity?
Island as a vanishing point from the reality of life?
A small unit with the directly obvious references that are indispensable. What and who belongs to it? Who is allowed to be on the island?
Impressions in the distance – collected like bees and processed concentrated on the island. Impression island.
3 years ago I finally gave up my studio in Eningen u.A.. 30 years of art – sifted and sorted out. Decisions had to be made, what has continuance and what not. What had at the time, was allowed to go. The old place dissolves. A new field of activity emerges.
Does it arise from the standstill, now, real? The new field of action wants to be enlivened. The homelessness seems to have found a place, the home island.
Reencounter with 30 year old body casts, which were created during performances in the 80s and 90s. Many of them were models in their own right. Reencounter with 30-year-old body impressions taken during performances in the 80s and 90s. Many of them were models for projects developed from them. They are visible evidence of the physicality of this time. Body memory – a reservoir of themes and feelings.
In retrospect, the body island connects with the memory island, collides with the time island and allows plastic and performative projects to emerge.
me, myself and my counterpart
I protect myself from
we protect ourselves from
you protect yourself from
mine towards me protect itself from
they protect themselves from
who protects the bond between us
“The island” – as “sharing crises
“The island” – as “sharing crises
“The island” – a reaction to the Corona crisis
“The Island” – an artistic reaction/action to crises we are confronted with.
“The island” is body – space, thinking – space, social – space, relationship – space.
“The island” is not a metaphor for demarcation but rather a conscious self-perception and reflection of the individual and society.
The outbreak of the pandemic changes established patterns of behavior; narrows the living space, sets individual boundaries. Social, physical, societal and economic contacts do not function as usual. Health, existence and the natural coexistence seem to be at risk.
We are sitting on an island of our own.
Living together begins to be redefined. The pandemic is felt as a crisis. The crisis of the global world hovers over it.
The art project “The Island” is an exemplary space for artistic engagement with this existential situation. It is an Installation and Performance space. Part of the island is a tubular steel cube 3 meters by 3 meters covered with foil and life-size casts of my own body in plaster.
Through the continuous examination of the direct sensations in the individual phases of the crisis a very personal expression has.
“Close to nature”
“Close to nature” is a project that was created at the end of December 2020 until the beginning of January 2021 during the 2nd lockdown. During daily walks physical interventions in the forest were created.
The year 2020 was very promising for me as a performance artist. I was supposed to participate in many international performance art festivals. Because of the pandemic, I was unable to travel to any of them. And yet I was there for all of them! With a lot of creativity the organizers found ways to include artists from all over the world with their performances in their festivals. Sometimes people streamed their contribution via Facebook, sometimes they showed each other their work in a video conference and discussed it. That’s how my “home island” became the setting for performances. They were created on this island, streamed to the world, and were the occasion for digital exchange. Until then, I had been a strict believer in live presence, but now I realized how digital can transcend spaces and link artistic contributions from far-flung places. Based on this, I’m currently developing a platform that will make it possible to digitally unite two performances in two distant locations into one joint performance. A chance, a new artistic quality?
During the pandemic, 70% of my income was lost. We live on savings. Partly, a state aid has bridged the deficit.
We live, we survive, well. A privilege that many people in the world do not have. We live in a house in the country. Forests and fields border it. We could always go outside despite the restrictions. A privilege not all people have.
The island art space
artist’s website: www.hoffmann-kunst.de