The present issue of ART IN SOCIETY
offers two main "subjects."
The first concerns documentary
film, a genre that many of us learned to love while watching works on the
isle of Aran, Vietnam, the "Fifth Side of the Pentagon" or "Route 1."
The article by Pavel Branko does
not concentrate on any one work but on the development if not decline of
a genre that finds its way into television programs as never before while
losing many of its distinct features. A few brief comments are added to
this, in a short article that is more of an "appendix." (Originally, the
text - slightly revised now - was a letter sent to Pavel by
e-mail). Underlining the importance of Pavel Branko's assessment, it is
shown how his article implicitly questions "structural" contradictions
between the technological possibilities of the documentary and the conditions
of production (and distribution?) that seem to inhibit many filmmakers
to truly make use of the options technologically at hand now.
Pavel Branko, a film critic and
translator, was born April 27, 1921 in Czechoslovakia. A member of the
antifascist Resistance and, after his arrest, a political prisoner, he
welcomed the liberation of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army in 1945.
Always a humanist with a strong awareness of the social dimensions of art,
he was soon disillusioned by the day-to-day reality
of "real socialism".
The second part of this issue features
the work of Canadian expatriate artist Angelo Evelyn.
This section honors the 60th birthday
of the artist who on this occasion had a beautiful retrospective exhibition
of his oeuvre at the museum in Kranenburg, thanks to the late Hans van
der Grinten, the renowned Beuys collector. Angelo Evelyn's work, consisting
of many fine drawings, paintings, lithographies and examples of his collage
and mixed media technique (often, a combination of enlarged xerox copies
turned into silkscreens, plus painting, or of woodcut or etchings plus
lithography), has been focused on by Christian Krausch, an art historian
working in a museum context in Moenchen-Gladbach, as well as
the artist himself, the art critic Gene Markopoulos, and the poet
(and writer of these lines), Andreas Weiland. It is Christian Krausch who
points out the vital relationship between PLACES, that is to say, locations
that mattered, in the life of the artists and his WORKS, which means,
for one thing, his SUJETS or subject matter, but perhaps also other,
more strictly formal aspects.
A third part is comprised of merely
one article that focuses on the German artists Gerhard Betterman and Klaus
Boettger as well as the Czechoslovak artist Ernest Špitz. Time and place,
immersion in the artistic, cultural, and even political climate affecting
different generations, are factors reflected when attempting to throw light
on the diverse "realist" approaches of these artists. Each asks us to be
regarded in his own individual terms, and each also seems to be part of
a specific socio-culture.
Finally, there is a small article
recalling the work of Anton Woelki, a painter who did a remarkable fresco
in the trade union headquarters in Duesseldorf in the 1950s.
A final word concerning the fact
that a bi-lingual issue has been produced. We are not too happy with the
dominance of (American) English as the lingua franca of the day, in many
parts of the world. But seeking to communicate beyond national frontiers
and linguistic barriers, a lingua franca can be helpful of course,
whatever the drawbacks of cultural hegemonism. In introducing a second
language, the editor of ART IN SOCIETY seeks to reflect the fact that this
internet journal is produced in Germany. It is possible to include other
languages, as well, but in order to reach readers from diverse countries
and continents, English will continue to play a 'bridging' role. Apologies
are offered for not including English summaries with the German texts.