Andreas Hahn: Künstler / Artist

la vida es bella

Francis & Madonna (notes)

La Palma — 2008

During this time, I once again struggled with the economic imbalances that have an iron grip on our planet. Recent experiences had induced me to make strong judgements about accumulated capital – capital that is not in flux and about those who are responsible for this greed and its effects on society. Making such judgements in this way led to a loss of inner strength in me.

It was the biographies of two personalities that gradually helped me to adopt a different perspective. One was the North American pop star Madonna. The other was Francis of Assisi of Italy.

– The one with a fabulous fortune of over 850 million dollars.

– The other renounced the promising security of an inheritance from his father – an extremely successful cloth merchant – and lived from then onwards largely, in today’s sense, as a homeless person.

– The one increased her capital with her voice, her shows and the extremely successful economic cooperation with fashion designers such as Versace, Luis Vuitton or Karl Lagerfeld, whose fashion items she wore during her shows.

– The other, when he sang, had at the most, an audience of feathered, free-flying or crawling creatures, which he, or so it is said, overcame their shyness through his loving devotion and they returned his love.

– One set trends throughout her career and cultivated audiences of millions through multiple media opportunities with extravagance and the exhilaration and disgust of having the moral boundaries of her audiences pushed to their extreme.

– While the other struggled daily, with a handful of brothers, to seek and serve love, truth and life by means of the voice of God expressing itself within him and who fully trusted that his daily needs would be met.

– The one more outward-looking.

– The other more inward-looking.

Even though they lived almost 1000 years apart, their absolute polar ways of life are in every respect a testimony to the question of the individual’s inner struggles.

What seemed remarkable to me in reviewing these so different life paths was my own views, my own emotional inclinations and judgements: 

Superficial – profound; materialistic – spiritual; manipulative – altruistic; obsessed with power – humble; both ecstatic.

The amount of adjectives and prejudgments grew and gripped me in escalating and frightening proportions.

What was liberating was the moment I was able to look at things from a different perspective. My strong surges, characterised by alternating feelings of sympathy and antipathy, completely obscured any form of deep insight. Only gradually did rational thought gain the upper hand.  It became clear that it was completely impossible for me to make judgements about the mysterious, about the intimate complexity of someone else’s life course, someone unknown to me, and above all, with regard to their personal destiny.

This insight became the impetus for me to deal with this theme in a different way: I chose colours and photographs of likenesses and sought a different form of expression for these biographical mysteries.

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