realUNreal Stephan Barbarino

April 17, 2013


Curatorial dreams can start as a fairy tale: Once upon a time, there was a beautiful piece of nature, at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, a work of art in its own right. One day a young king discovered and claimed it. He asked several artists, most of them not architects but scenographers, to design the epitome of a castle for him, a dream of towers and turrets on a mountaintop surrounded by forests and waterfalls. The castle was built; it cost the king his fortunes and his life. It was named Neuschwanstein, and up to this day it rules its location as if nature and history were one and the same.

A century later, technology entered the field and dammed the river near the castle. An artificial lake buried villages and meadows, forests and a Roman road. During the summer months, mountains and the castle bathe their reflections in the lake, in the winter it falls dry and appears as a desert or a treacherous snowfield.

A few years ago, a producer came and claimed the lake for another dream: He and his team erected an opera house in the lake and created a musical in which the dream king and his castle would come back to life – and die a dramatic death, each night, in an artificial stage lake. Today, almost 3 years and more than 1 million visitors later, mountains, castle, lake and theatre coexist in perfect harmony. Nature, history, technology, music, dance and drama will live happily ever after.

A suitable ending for a fairy-tale – but a starting point for a new dream?

Imagine that this harmony as the base for yet another melody.

Imagine a land for art that is a lake.

Imagine a lake that is never ever the same, one day flat, the other crowned with waves, one           day frozen, the other vanished. Imagine contemporary artists as different as James Turrell, Robert Wilson, Keith Sonnier, Jürgen Partenheimer, Hamish Fulton visiting the site and dreaming up grand ideas to open a dialogue: with water and clouds, rocks and rubble, snow and sun, castle and opera house.

Imagine an under water light garden.

Imagine an island with two spaces not to view only the sky or only ones imagination.

Imagine a wall of fog or a floating line of fire. Imagine wells of sound.

Imagine a walk along a sunken Roman road. Imagine a castle inhabited by changing colors.

Imagine the task of the curator. Artists are invited to start dreaming. Now we have to stop dreaming and start working on the happy end: the consent of the politicians, the support of the neighbors – and a few million Euros.

History and fairy tales prove that thinking big is the best fundament for dream castles.

J L dez’ 02


DIE ACHSE VOM THEATER – mit dem thema ludwig.II, der produzent – DURCH DEN KÜNSTLICHEN FORGGENSEE – als ort der kunstsammlung zu ebendiesem thema – ZUM SCHLOSS NEUSCHWANSTEIN die steingewordene gralsburg einer idee des 19. ten jahrhunderts – IST DIE DURCHDRINGUNG VON ZEIT, ORT UND THEMA FÜR DIE INSZENIERUNG AN DIESEM SPIELORT. zwischen den punkten schloss 19.TES JAHRHUNDERT und theater 20.TES JAHRHUNDERT entsteht IM 21.TEN JAHRHUNDERT eine sammlung von kunstwerken für das LAKE ART MUSEUM. DER volle/leere SEE, MIT SEINEM WECHSELDEM WASSERSPIEGEL, das sichtbare oder überflutete werk, ALS IMMERWIEDERKEHRENDES THEATRALISCHES DENK-MAL, agiert zwischen den spielorten schloss und theater. der schritt von der VISION zur TAT erfordert den KURATOR als PRODUZENT.

SB dez’ 02

( The axis from the theatre – with the theme Ludwig.II, the producer – through the artificial lake Forggen – as the location of an art collection with the same theme – to the castle of Neuschwanstein – the manifestation of an idea of the 19th century – is the combination of time, space and theme for the staging at this location. Between the points castle – of the 19th century and theatre – of the 20th century, there develops a collection of art works for the Lake Art Museum. The full/empty lake, with its changing water level, the visible or disguised work, as a repeating theatrical monument, acts between the locations castle and theatre. The step from the vision to the action requests the curator as producer. )

Stephan Barbarino,Munich / Füssen .with Jan Linders, Berlin and David Barbarino, London

Selected Artist : James Turrell