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Matthew-Project

Matthew-Project

      Different Destinies

Millions busily toil,
that the human race may continue;
But by only a few
is propagated human kind.

                                          Friedrich Schiller

                     Painting of a friend

 

jan-05-011

 

working notes

The “Matthew-Project”

“My Matthew” is not a historical figure. He is a friend (his German name is Matthias) whose destiny has moved me.

Matthew is a surgeon, and to him his hands are his “outer brain” (Kant). He had an accident with severe head injuries and was in a coma for 2 months. After going through a difficult phase of recovery and good caregiving by relatives and friends, he decided to take up his life anew: to learn it again – right from the beginning.

Perhaps it was this majesty of beginnings, the strength of his deeply affirmative impulse to live that reached and inspired me, when I saw him again on his 50th for the first time after the accident and felt the spontaneous wish to paint his portrait.

To begin also means exploring the familiar more thoroughly. To question the known once more. To reveal the miracle in the self-evident. Even as an artist I’m at the beginning. I want to be there. Every empty canvas holds the promise of a beginning and of the possibility to work on the self- and world-image as on a living sculpture. This allows for a perspective that makes the subjective, the personal, transparent for the intersubjective, for the entirety in its diversity.

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On the most personal level, the transpersonal expresses itself most clearly and makes the common structure of human existence experienceable. In the destiny of each individual, something deeply collective resonates. When we spontaneously wish to ease the distress of another, it is also because we sense that we belong to this vast human body and sometimes feel the world-heart in our own heart.

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Every person is distinctly unique and is, exactly because of that, at once a representative of the species.

However, the more we become manipulable and reproducible particles in a global tendency towards collectivization, the more we lose the connection with our individual creative forces and get caught in illusionary ghettos where our pulsating aliveness stiffens into hectic reflexes. This may be the reason why the personal, the individual existence, interests me: so as to unfold those difficult to access, precious inner resources, and – being gifted with life – nurture them again with something fresh, nutritious and beautiful.

 

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It is not a coincidence that the Weimar of Goethe and Schiller, Nietzsche and Steiner, is the place where Matthew lived and worked. We spent 4 days together there, in his spacious apartment in the city center. I drew, photographed and filmed him. Afterwards in the studio, a triptych consisting of 27 single images, pastel on torn paper, materialized.

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