The 11th Wind Art Festival “bewegter wind” with the theme “beyond …darüber hinaus” took place from August 13 – 27, 2023, in Wolfhagen near Kassel, Germany

Visitors on their way to the artworks in open landscape.

With almost 50 installations, videos, performances by artists from 13 countries the 11th wind art festival” bewegter wind” with the theme “beyond” took place in Wolfhagen. The organiser is the association “bewegter wind”, which realises the exhibition in the wind art land Northern Hesse with the support of the district of Kassel, the city of Wolfhagen and sponsors. A team of volunteers from all over the region, together with the sponsors, made it possible for the exhibition to be accessible to everyone around the clock free of charge, thus reaching many interested people beyond the art scene.

For a fortnight, thousands of visitors from near and far were able to discover the magic of the extraordinary combination of art, wind and landscape. The enthusiastic feedback for the diverse expressiveness of the artworks and the impressive landscape situations was complemented by a very cheerful, communicative mood. Art is communication. Many of the artists were on site and enjoyed the exchange among themselves as much as the conversation with the audience.

The prize winners were announced at the finissage. The jury consisted of Ursula Eske (artist, gallery owner), Dr. Carola Schneider (art historian, director of the Marburger Kunstverein) and Sabine Stange (artist, art teacher). After intensive consultation, they decided on six prizewinners. Their exhibits will receive special recognition, but all participating artists have contributed to the success of the event with their work and commitment. Together with Deputy District Administrator Silke Engler, Mayor Dr. Dirk Scharrer and local councillors Helga Hughes and Torsten Grüning, curator Reta Reinl presents the prizes.

Silke Engler extends special thanks to the artists who have made it possible for people to meet and talk about art. She is convinced that experiencing art alive is a gift. At the same time, she appeals for donations for the event. Wolfhagen’s mayor Dr. Dirk Scharrer is happy about the international guests and about the fact that art can overcome borders. Helga Hughes, head of Philippinenburg, adds that her “beyond” are many new impressions, contacts and friendships that have come about through the Wind Art Festival.
So the organisers’ heartfelt thanks go to the artists, the patrons and the many helpers and supporters. A jigsaw puzzle of individual achievements has succeeded and has become an experience of contemporary art, landscape and togetherness in the Wind Art Land Northern Hesse.

The criteria for selecting the prize-winners are based on the thematic reference to “beyond …darüber hinaus”, the reference to the landscape, the artistic quality and implementation and the concrete and thematic thematisation of wind and its characteristics.

The text of the call for entries cites winds beyond landscapes, beyond borders, beyond doubt and beyond pigeonholing. The ambivalence between limitation and freedom.

The first prize (€ 3,000) goes to Anne Heilmann for “Vor dem Wind.“The first prize ( € 3,000) goes to Anne Heilmann for “Vor dem Wind”: The installation, which consists of two parts, is the artistic transfer of two sections of a weather map: a gust in the trade wind zone and a low-pressure area of the North Atlantic were depicted as a spatial drawing by means of linking special ropes. Another component is the artist’s own texts, which can be heard via a QR code. Inspired by a seven-month voyage on a sailing ship, the artist succeeds in combining the poetic language of her texts with the knotting work in a subtle and coherent way. Not only for sailors, but for all people, weather and wind forecasts are of great importance. Anne Heilmann explores her personal perceptions of winds of varying intensity and opens up a space of reflection on the subject of wind for the recipient.

The second prize (2,000 €) goes to Piotr Weselowski, Karola Konieczky and Aleksander Bryk for “Catch me if you can.“The second prize (2,000 €) goes to Piotr Weselowski, Karola Konieczky and Aleksander Bryk for “Catch me if you can”: The 8-metre-high installation on the Helfenberg can be seen from afar. A scaffold encloses and fixes the hollow form woven from bamboo strips in the shape of a tornado, whose tube-like end is connected to the ground. The artist and the two artists have succeeded in expressing the destructive power of this wind phenomenon and at the same time giving form to the – mostly futile – human effort to tame and contain it. In view of climate change and the associated increase in extreme weather, this installation has a powerful impact and political significance. The almost exclusive use of natural materials is consistent.

The third prize (1,000 €) goes to Ralf Witthaus for the lawnmower drawing “Perpetuum.“The third prize (1,000 €) goes to Ralf Witthaus for the lawnmower drawing “Perpetuum”: Two paths running in curves and crossing each other again and again form a “bracket” between the two exhibition sites in three stages. They were cut into the ground vegetation with cordless and power scythes – right down to the turf, so that the paths contrast with the green surroundings in a brown earth tone and are clearly visible, even from a distance. Here, too, the artist’s reference to place is important and successful. Landscape experience and communication enter into a connection, on the one hand already in the phase of realisation by voluntary helpers in black and white clothing, and on the other hand then when visitors walk along the paths. Both in the basic form of the symbol for infinity chosen by the artist and in the title Perpetuum (Latin for continuous, permanent, eternal), an analogy can be seen with the phenomenon of the wind.

The special prize (1,000 €) is awarded to Ria Gerth for the video “Silence.“The special prize (1,000 €) is awarded to Ria Gerth for the video “Silence”: The camera glides over a blossoming rape field, the horizon is wide. Colour filters create shimmering yellow and green tones. The idyll is abruptly destroyed by a detonation, which spreads as a bluish wisp of smoke along the edge of the field. No sooner has it dissipated than the camera moves on until another detonation occurs. The video ends with silence over the rape field.
With this dense and precisely conceived video work, the artist refers to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which destroyed any hope of lasting peace in Europe, claimed human lives, disrupted food chains in the agricultural economy and turned nature into a war zone. The video Silence receives the special prize due to its high artistic quality.

At the end of the exhibition, many visitors expressed their gratitude for the impressive art experiences and the discovery of new landscape atmospheres on the Helfenberg and the Hardt. The positive mood will help to pass the waiting time until the 12th moving wind from 17-31 August 2025. After 35 changing exhibition locations in the Wind Art Land Northern Hesse, new ones are being sought.

Award jury:

(f.l.t.r.) Curator Reta Reinl; jury members: Dr. Carola Schneider, Sabine Stange, Ursula Eske.
* Ursula Eske is a freelance artist and founder and owner of the art space Atelier |Zwischen den Häusern| in Marburg. Her installations, performances and actions are based on a dialogue with the location of the event with all its spatial, urban, social and situational particularities. After studying education at the Philipps University in Marburg and training as a theatre pedagogue and mentor for Playing-Arts at the Institute for Cultural Work in Frankfurt and Gelnhausen, Ursula Eske worked as a theatre pedagogue and stage designer in the fields of theatre, musicals and performance from 1988 to 2002. She is a member of the BBK (Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler) and the artists’ association “Werkstatt Radenhausen”.
* Dr. Carola Schneider, born 1962 in Stuttgart, studied art history and Romance languages and literature in Aachen, had a daughter in 1987 and received her doctorate in 1996. She worked as an art educator and research assistant at museums in Aachen, Würzburg and Wetzlar, managed the art association “Kunsthaus Essen” for many years and was municipal cultural manager in Halle/Saale. Since May 2017, she has been the managing director of the Marburger Kunstverein, responsible for organising exhibitions of contemporary art. She is also a freelance curator and art mediator.
* Sabine Stange lived and worked in Kassel since 1969. She studied documentary film and art education at the Kunsthochschule. She has been involved in international exhibitions and artist exchange projects and has had study visits to Berlin, Bonn, Florence, Los Angeles and Venice. She has received several awards, most recently the Doris Krinninger Prize in 2022. In addition to her artistic work, she has worked in various cultural education and art education contexts as well as in the field of art and cultural mediation. In her artistic work she explores questions of perception and seeing. Whereas documentary and narrative were initially the focus of her interest, in recent years this has shifted more and more to what visual phenomena and structures are revealed in deeper layers of intuitively recorded images.

Source: association „bewegter Wind“

(27.12.2023, USA: 12.27.2023)