About Art and Life – das hat was

Text and Image by Corinna Heumann

das hat was – about art and life

The exhibition das hat was in Bad Godesberg plays with the dazzling and fascinating themes of creativity and artistic creative processes. It is about the wonderful qualities that – besides the ability to love – distinguish ourselves as humans. They enable us to shape and understand the world by means of ingenuity. It is always a dialogue between creator, idea and the world: a new artifact might have been created, for example, if while looking at it the thought suddenly crosses your mind …there is something about it! …you think about what that could be, continue working on it or work your way around it, sometimes discarding the original idea and starting all over again. A work of art develops.


Creativity is not reserved for artists only. We often read that creativity is supposed ot be the key skill of the 21st century. Every human being has the potential to be creative, to go beyond boundaries and to be inspired by his or her environment. Every person has the ability to seek and find innovative solutions in all areas. Today, this seems especially necessary in light of the tremendous computing power of machines that can imitate human intelligence.

Artistic creative processes

Now, artistic creative processes are mostly about individual expression, about feelings like courage, freedom and also anxieties, or about love. The artistic creative process is the individual researching dialogue in the complexity and also the intricacy of the world and with people on many different levels. However, we find ourselves in a magical space. First and foremost, we need openness and exploratory learning, rather than assumptions and beliefs. We as artists often don’t really know why a thought or a piece work in an artistic way: …there’s something curious about it, but what is it? This usually remains vague. Walter Pater put this intimation into words in the 19th century, as the power of being deeply moved by beautiful objects.

The world as a space of possibility

The magic space of art isn‘t utopia, it‘s not nowhere. Art drafts the world as a space of possibility. This space, thoughts and ideas are real. They establish a reality parallel to reality (Paul Cézanne). The viewer can look into this world with the eyes of another person. One can go further into it. One can also leave it again. In the real world of tangible reality this is more difficult.

The Universe never explains why – The universe produces no meaning

Only people can create meaning. Creativity is often compared to a universe. Like the universe, it needs time and space to unfold. It also needs inspiration. According to the original meaning of the term inspiration, it is the process of breathing. It is also said that life is blown into a work of art. Images of Dorian Grey or Pygmalion pop up. Like air, the marvels of the universe, nature, art and technology are absorbed by the viewer and their vibrations are transmitted again and again. Artists create new works, new living art from this universal force of inspiration and become part of the eternal cycle of human imagination. Ideas, thought and works of art are passed on and inspire new processes of making something that has the potential to become art.

All people are part of this eternal creation and passing. They have the ability, through their creative activity, to put a stop to this eternal cycle for brief moments. Thus, meaning and significance emerge at least for a certain period of time.


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