EUROPEAN SCULPTURE PATH - VISIONS FOR EUROPE
Europe is currently facing major challenges. The corona crisis affects and concerns us all, and, at the moment, makes us forget about many other issues. However - and equally so - the increasingly nationalistic tendencies in a number of countries, our handling of refugees, the rapidly progressing climate change and, hence, the question of how we want to use our resources in the future require courageous and clear decisions. The idea and effectiveness of a united Europe is constantly being called into question.
With its own language, the language of art, the association Art moves Europe wants to send out a clear signal for the European Idea. It has therefore launched a very special project: the European Sculpture Path, which aims to connect Europe across national borders. The idea behind is as simple as it is exciting: together and in inter-cultural dialogue, a transnational exhibition will be created that reflects Europe's cultural diversity and its enormous potential. The goal is to set up at least one sculpture in each European country by May 9, 2022. Each sculpture shall be created by a local artist or a cooperation between artists and local supporters, as a local and visible sign of Europe. Then, in the second half of 2022, the European Sculpture Path will be travelled and all contributions visited together.
The starting point and end of the path will be the sculpture Kaiser Karl (Charlemagne) by Alfred Mevissen. The artist, who is also the initiator of the European Sculpture Path, has answered a few questions about his project:
How did you come up with the idea for the sculpture of Kaiser Karl?
The idea for the sculpture was born last year in April, after I had participated in an event of the supporting programme for the Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, Germany.
At my stone dealer's, I found a blank that already had some textures, especially in the area of the beard, that moved me to buy this stone.
In Aachen, where I studied and where I live close by, the Emperor has a special status because his bones are kept here. He is considered to be the first great European, here. Even if his methods of warfare were not exactly squeamish, he had a clear vision for Europe. He introduced a common currency, invested heavily in education, infrastructure and culture. Especially now, in times of a certain Europe-weariness , the idea of freeing Charlemagne from his stony dress and reviving his vision should create a new enthusiasm for Europe.
In your view, what is the greatest opportunity the project offers?
To revive not only economic but also intercultural cooperation in Europe, because enthusiasm for Europe can only come from people and cultural exchange. The idea of creating a European Sculpture Path through a Europe of open borders and then actually traveling along its route, experiencing cultural diversity and meeting friends and like-minded people is a fascinating idea to me. The work on the sculptures rekindles the European idea in every location - through the dialogue between artists, sponsors and administrations.
How do the current circumstances influence your view on the project?
In times of Corona, the European Sculpture Path takes on a whole new meaning. At the moment we are all, without exception, experiencing an incredible deceleration and are inevitably thinking about the world after Corona. We don't know whether we will be able to travel the path through Europe as carefree after the crisis as we would have been before. Or will the sculptures of the European Sculpture Path convey other messages in view of Corona?
People are learning that things considered impossible just a month ago are suddenly possible. We are learning that climate protection is possible, that solidarity exists, that autocrats fail, go into hiding or make a fool of themselves, that our politicians, who are scolded ever so often, are suddenly able to put party politics behind them and make a united effort.
Questions arise as to how we want to carry on after the crisis:
Which experiences do we want to take along in our lives after Corona? Do we simply carry on from where we stopped or do we take the opportunity to reposition ourselves, at least regarding some issues, by , for example, equipping the systemically relevant professions accordingly? Or will we run after what we have lost with even increasing speed and ruthlessness?
Sculpture network will report regularly on the project, and the artists and artworks involved as part of a cooperation with Art moves Europe e.V. Anyone interested in contributing their work to the European Sculpture Path can do so until December 2020. Check our Opportunities site for more details about the project and application.
The purpose of Art moves Europe e.V. is to raise the discussion about the beauty of the European idea: We want to recall the achievements and the value of the European idea. In a dialog especially with the young generation we want to motivate to actively engage to protect the achievements of the European idea and develop it to build an even better future for all people in Europe and the world. You can find further Information about the association here.