Imago Dei 2013


„Die einzig revolutionäre Kraft ist die Kraft der menschlichen Kreativität (...), die einzig revolutionäre Kraft ist die Kunst. Kunst ist eine technische Möglichkeit, solche Informationen mitzuteilen. Der Mensch ist seinem Wesen nach zur Freiheit veranlagt. In der Freiheit liegt seine Kreativität begründet, seine Fähigkeit, Schöpfer zu sein. Die Revolution auf dem Gebiet des Bewusstseins brachte den freien, selbst-bewussten Menschen hervor, der außer sich selbst keine Stütze mehr benötigt. ‚Die Revolution bin ich‘, ist das Erkenntnisergebnis des freien Menschen. Mensch, du hast die Kraft zu deiner Selbstbestimmung.“ 

Joseph Beuys



Down the ages and throughout human civilisation there were – and are – sudden social upheavals as well as radical changes to the terms of power, property and wealth. Scientific discoveries, daring expeditions and adventures, seafaring journeys of Christianity, enterprising artistic projects, spiritual visions and politically engaged manifestos inspired what apparently emerged unexpectedly and abruptly as a new world-view. Yet, those signals were usually heard some time in advance, foreshadowing the emergence of new ways of seeing and thinking.

Signals as alerts for danger served as orientation markers that always stirred up heightened sensibilities, spelling warnings or the ‘all-clear’, or an end and new beginning; they heralded defeats and victories and served as memento mori or vita. Yet, the condition was and is that signals could also be heard and individuals were motivated and gifted in their interpretation.

Often, these intrinsically valuable signs of the times were hardly noticed, not taken seriously or consciously negated as well as suppressed or even forbidden. These signals, which ushered in far-reaching changes, often took people unawares and by surprise. The resulting powerlessness and lack of foresight in the new situation led to areas of tension that, in turn, were the breeding ground for aggression, violence, prejudices and all kinds of vulnerabilities.

What if there had been enough time to identify, recognize, see, analyze and process the signals…? Regardless of how things were and are now: signals are enhanced calls to see what lies ahead, to face the future. A future that is faced with responsibility needs consciously mapping out. In this spirit, at the Easter festival Imago Dei a host of artistic productions and lectures has always focused on the revolutionary forces of human creativity, on new beginnings and radical changes, sources and abysses of enlightened reform ideas. There are numerous signals to respond to in our globally active world. A multitude of signs inundates the present that often foregoes any prospect of orientation. On the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s Reformation and the Russian Revolution Centenary, this year’s Easter festival Imago Dei invites an interested audience to enjoy a unique programme that explores “signals and signs” – moving, disturbing, stirring, enigmatic, mesmerizing, uplifting, irritating, empathetic, spiritually exhilarating and joyful possibilities for interacting with the “world”. Hear the signals…!

Josef Aichinger
(Artistic Director of Easter festival Imago Dei)