Page 4 - La Biennale di Venezia issue of World of Art Magazine
P. 4

                                  TORSO #2, 1994 BRONZE SCULPTURE
                                  4.7X4.7X11.8 IN. | 12X12X30 CM.  THE   ARE ARTISTS NECESSARY
                                   SURFACE IST INTENTIONALLY MADE
                                  ROUGH TO SHOW (700 B.C). I WILTHE   OR GOOD-FOR-NOTHINGS?
                                  MATERIAL BUILDING A HUMAN BODY.      by Hans-Joachim Horstmann
                                 IT MAY BE THE BODY OF A MAENADE,
                                    INSPIRED BY “THEOGONIE” FROM
                                                              The German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-
                                                              1716) asked, “Why is something and not nothing?” Like
                                                              everybody else, I suppose, there is something and not
                                                              nothing. But I do not ask Why?, since I cannot answer this
                                                              question. I cannot KNOW. Other people can’t either. They can
                                                              only claim or believe to know.

                                                              Since obviously there IS something, is it the Greek CHAOS
                                                              of Hesiod (ca. 700 B.C.), the gaping void? No, because this
                                                              findable something is structured. Is it evil? No, as I see
                                                              harmonies from the beginning. They, so I think, cannot be
                                                              “evil”. Maybe there was something like a terrible mess of
                                                              the first “particles” after the big bang and prior to further
                                                              cooling, but then hydrogen atoms formed. Apparently,
                                                              they were the most stable structures compared to other
                                                              more instable ones (which fell prey to the first Darwinian
                                                              selection). But if this something was not “evil”, then it was
                                                              neutral or even good, meaning – to me – productive to
                                                              develop more complex forms of matter.

                                                              Please allow me to make a brief digression into chemistry:
                                                              The first atoms (hydrogen [H], helium [He]), together with
                                                              other elements, bred later in suns, fit into a periodic table
                                                              of the elements which arranges them according to their
                                                              properties. I am no theoretical chemist, but biologist (and
                                                              biochemist), so please excuse if I attribute human response
                                                              to these elements. So, I imagine that elements put an effort
                                                              into having or attaining completely occupied electron shells,
                                                              which are initially present in the inert gases (helium, neon)
                                                              and explain their disinclination to react. For me, as an artist,
                                                              this is an immanent harmony which is inherent in this
                                                              matter. On the left in the periodic table, there are what is
                                                              called the alkali metals (lithium, sodium, potassium) which
                                                              only have one electron in the next outer shell. They “like”
                                                              to lose it so as to dissolve in the form of positive ions in
                                                              aqueous solutions. On the right in the periodic table, there
                                                              is the group of halogens (fluoride, chloride) whose electron
                                                              shells are almost complete: they greedily absorb the free
                                                              electrons contained in solutions of alkali metals, thus having
                                                              craftily attained the harmony of a complete shell. But what

         4      WORLD of ART
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9