Values are a precious commodity - it must be cultivated, but also constantly questioned.
The project "Reconciliation of Values" is based on the idea that art is the most suitable way to openly discuss controversial topics. In principle, all artists are invited to represent their own positions with their works. However, the project is not only aimed at visual artists, but at artists of all kinds. Different opinions and views should be given a platform. The decisive factor is mutual respect and the willingness to uncover contradictions and rethink one's own ideas. One way to get into conversation with each other is to use a shared space in the context of art exhibitions, performances, readings and much more. Here, if there is a willingness to do so, different ideas can be explored, but also a way can be found to find oneself in the peace and quiet of contemplation.
Everyone has their own values and confrontation seems inevitable. The task of art in an exhibition is therefore not to defend one's own ideas, but to take them as an opportunity to question them. This means that the first person you should confront is yourself as a viewer. What possibilities open up when you have the broad-mindedness to reflect on yourself and thus discover facets of yourself that were previously overlooked or closed off. Art can fulfill this function as a mirror of oneself. It doesn't take any particular courage, you just have to dare to do it yourself.
The message of the artist Heinz Zolper - for everyone
Heinz Zolper, painter, publisher, filmmaker, musician, narrator and presenter, sets a positive example as artistic director of the project and places essential positions on current questions of meaning at the center of an exhibition with graphics and reworked drawings. For Zolper, the obvious question is naturally also arises as to whether the necessary education for this message will work at all. "Reconciliation of values" may sound like naïve wishful thinking at first. Appeals "Against hate, for diversity" alone are usually not sufficient in politics, as they do not touch the target groups. Many people cannot be reached through Sunday sermons, fine slogans for the political poetry album. Zolper recognizes the shortcoming in the fact that politics and the executive cannot determine values themselves, but should concentrate on creating the framework conditions for a democratic debate. He is aware that values are a precious commodity - it must be cultivated, but also constantly questioned.
The project focuses on elementary contributions to gender equality, taking a stand against hate of any kind and generally demanding human rights for a society worth living in; all topics, that have occupied the artist throughout his life.
Currently, the war in Ukraine and the terrorist threat in Israel show what a lack of respect and communication can ultimately lead to in extreme cases. These events affect us in particular because they have a major impact on our lives. And they frighten many people.
Art is the only thing left for people who don't want politics to have the last word.(After Marcel Duchamp)
The declared aim of the "Reconciliation of Values" project is to use the diverse and almost unlimited means of the visual arts to encourage people to reflect on their own values, while respecting human dignity, and to be equally open to the values of other people and cultures. Values, as something personally or culturally worth preserving, should be communicated, but also questioned and, in the best case, offered as a gift. Zolper and the artists involved in the project are deeply convinced that art, as an open medium, offers the opportunity to make a significant contribution to self-reflection and thus to understanding the world. In its infinite freedom and malleability, it offers perspectives on the challenges of the present and the future. In this way, art and culture constantly create new conditions for social development and at the same time provide the impetus to try out new approaches. They reflect social debates and point beyond the events of the day.
Heinz Zolper is currently facilitating this debate through the presentation of drawings and graphic prints that have an impact solely on their own merits. He categorically rejects art as a decoration of power. The graphic works include many newly created works, to which the artist has given a programmatic title with the words "see and weep". However, there are also prints of older pictorial inventions, which he revives with a different title in order to breathe new life into them. Zolper is a painter and he uses language only to make paintings and graphics appear even more expressive. In this sense, "Reconciliation of Values" may even work wonders, because when spoken with the right vibration and conviction, Heinz Zolper sees these words as a mantra for peace. His unique art provides the supporting hand for this.
The "Reconciliation of Values" project and its related activities stem from the need to strengthen efforts to promote democratic discourse in the face of an increasingly polarized world. Artists, cultural workers, and all citizens who want to work for a more just world are invited to participate.
Monograph "Reconciliation of Values
ArtForum Editions, 2023
Softcover 20 EUR, hardcover 28 EUR
The editions will be available during the exhibition.
Editions can be signed by the artist at the vernissage.
Reconciliation of Values
Vernissage: 30.11.2023, from 18:30
Exhibition: 01.12.2023 - 17.01.2024
every Thursday - Saturday, from 14 - 18:00
Finissage: 18.01.2024, from 18:30
Merowinger Str. 30
50677 Cologne (Südstadt)
Phone. 0221-977 12 600
The artist will be present at the opening and closing ceremonies.