Partner Museum of the Blickachsen 12 exhibition
The same year as the first Blickachsen exhibition took place, an art exhibition entitled A Dream Play opened at Wanås, a reference to Swedish author August Strindberg’s drama. The then 90-year-old preface states: “Everything can happen; everything is possible and likely”. Those words perfectly describe the strong vision and the driving force behind the recurring exhibitions in Bad Homburg and at Wanås Konst, Sweden.
Today Wanås Konst consists of a sculpture park and art gallery located in the Swedish countryside on the premises of a medieval castle and next to a large-scale organic dairy farm. Located off the beaten track in the south of Sweden, ever since the beginning the focus has been on producing and presenting site-specific international art in close collaboration with the artists. After 32 years, Wanås Konst is a Centre for Art & Learning, engaging in innovation and accessibility. The collection in the sculpture park contains 70 permanent works especially created for Wanås by artists such as Jeppe Hein, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono, and Martin Puryear that are complemented with a programme of temporary exhibitions and events involving a wide audience. The sculpture park has approximately 80 000 visitors per year. Wanås Konst is a destination for art lovers open every day of the year.
It is with pleasure Wanås Konst takes on the role of being the Partner Museum for the twelfth edition of Blickachsen. The biennial has championed the understanding of sculpture and its vital contribution to society, adding to where art is to be found.
In Blickachsen 12, the meaning of sightlines (German: Blickachsen) is once again emphasized and added to: our eye is guided into the distance, while at the same time we are encouraged to have a close look, in other words: to contemplate, or consider. Together with Christian Scheffel, we ask the viewer to engage, to look thoughtfully as well as to look inwards, to participate and even make a wish. In medieval times prominent gardens were closed potential paradises, the Renaissance came with the new ideal of directing our gaze towards longer sightlines. The Blickachsen biennial has turned our vision towards the present with the focus on contemporary art in the public park areas of Bad Homburg. In light of the current global geopolitical situation, in which we are experiencing a rise of nationalism, we aim to create a powerful outlook, inviting artists from different continents as well as sharing the specific knowledge of the Nordic art scene and connecting with Wanås Konst’s programme. Therefore a markedly site-specific approach will permeate the biennial in 2019: Several artists have studied the surroundings, carefully looked at the trees, added to the bird song, altered the benches and even propose we change the way we walk.
Strindberg would have been pleased. In his Dream Play time both moves forward and backwards and a castle grows up in the garden, as if it were a plant. The purpose of the historical Blickachsen is to evoke curiosity on what lies ahead – which we invite you to discover.
Elisabeth Millqvist and Mattias Givell
Directors of the Wanås Konst Sculpture Park
289 90 Knislinge