Leer 2019/20 · Opening


Photography and Painting

John and Juergens · At eye level
Leer · Castle Evenburg, Germany

Am Schloßpark 25 · 26789 Leer · East Frisia · Germany


26/10/2019 – 10/01/2020


Trailer and exhibition-video

2019

From chanson to opera

2019

Guided tour of the exhibition

2019

John and Juergens | At eye level

2019

Photos by Manfred W. Juergens

2019



Opening speech

Manfred W. Juergens · 25/10/2019


Thank you, Mr. Landrat Groote for your welcome.

Hello!

Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear portrayed, dear children, good evening Peppina!

You wonder who Peppina is. Peppina is the bitch of Katharina John and Ulrich Tukur. She already sat me at the age of eight weeks model. Peppina is also available in oil. At the top floor of this beautiful castle we will see you again later.

Please settle with me now. Katharina John and my wife have condemned me to moderate here and now the introduction to this exhibition. Certainly, I am an austerity measure. Please understand the behavior of these ladies. I wanted to try an art historian, but the girls chose me, the helpless painter.

Before I forget it: At the beginning I would like to thank for the absolutely uncomplicated cooperation with the Evenburger Castle Ghosts in the preparation of this exhibition. Thank you, Mrs. Zimmermann! A castle ghost was so friendly and drove the pictures from the Far East to Leer. Mr Lübbers picked up Helmut Schmidt by truck from Bremen.

The best picture hangers in the East Frisian universe are not just gardeners and janitors. Her stage names are Michael Haseborg, Joachim Köster and Ewald Zimmermann.

My thanks also go to the lenders of the portraits, these are the House of the Bremen Parliament and the East Frisian Landschaft in Aurich. Rarely was it so straightforward. We are very happy about it!

Welcome to Castle Evenburg in the beautiful Leer.

I am one of those loners who stand lonely for months at the easel and paint their own world. When I'm out, I seem a little disturbed. I apologize for that. It is the distraction of self-doubt.

When I heard that this exhibition opening will take place outside in the middle of October, I immediately thought of 100 drinking and weatherproof East Frisians in yellow rain jackets happy with a glass of grog in their hand. On stage, the slightly dressed actors completely disillusioned and hard-frozen with hastily borrowed Siberian fur hats. In their eyes you can see the end. Tomorrow's end of summer time. But today is still summer!

You love photography? You love painting? Then let yourself be surprised! The surprise is 3 meters above sea level. For us northern Germans here begins the high mountains.

On the internet, we read the slogan on the page of the City of Leer: We make culture! Oh, we thought we could join in!

How did this exhibition come about? We were lucky. The then director of the Kunsthalle Emden, Frank Schmidt, was asked before Mrs. Modersohn-Becker lured him to Bremen, whether he knew someone who could portray the supreme East Frisian picturesquely. This Jürgens, who currently lives in Bremen, has ever painted a Helmut, who was once King of Germany. He does that.

That's how it started. In Aurich, in the East Frisian Landschaft, it is like this: If the Chief of the East Frisians, also called President, so if he has done enough, so it will be portrayed for the ancestral gallery and sent him immediately after drying the picture happy home in the deserved retirement.

That is what happened to Helmut Collmann. As Chief Helmut is alienated from this rest, he secretly organizes again. He is undercover at the age of 80 and continues to attend concerts and exhibitions, e.g. in Clemenswerth or Evenburg, combines and manages secretly. So it happened that Mr. Collmann wished that Katharina John and I exhibited here together today. His Sqaw Elise lured us into her tepee with delicious East Frisian tea with little clouds.

We did not resist. It is a great idea. Thanks Helmut. And many thanks to Mrs. Zimmermann, who took up this idea and implemented it so professionally with her team. Maybe this exhibition is the prelude to a multi-year tour!

Where do John and Jürgens know each other? Let's take a few steps back. More than 20 years ago I saw Ulrich Tukur on a talk show for the first time and thought that it would be interesting to have a glass of wine with him. As an aging DJ, on the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents-in-law, I successfully launched a night of hits from seven decades in Lower Saxony for one night. As a thank you my wife gave me a concert with Ulrich Tukur and the Rhythm Boys in Worpswede in the MusicHall. There we met for the first time. Ulrich said alright, if it cannot be prevented!

And suddenly I was standing in front of his apartment door in Venice. This opened a charming young lady and I thought aloud: Mamma Mia! Why do I want to paint this actor? Then Ulrich came up behind her with the words: Pardon? Fifteen minutes later, he saw me in his bedroom. What are you doing on the edge of my bed, he asked disturbed. And I answered with a naive look: Uli! Have a look! The wonderful photographs of your wife! I feel that I am friends with Katharina John since that day.

You can read a slightly different version of this story from the perspective of Ulrich Tukur in the preface of our illustrated book. This book is published exclusively for this exhibition at this moment tonight. On Monday it goes to the bookstore. Our friends Emmely and Rüdiger from the callidus Verlag in Wismar managed to present exactly to the point, ready to print copies for this evening. Katharina and I are very happy about the quality of the book. Thanks!

Why at eye level? On the one hand, it is the friendship that unites us at eye level. It is like a handshake that makes us look in the eye and wants to say, we are the same. And this eye level says that we would like to meet, help and supplement our work without any problems.

Photography and painting are on an equal footing, see themselves as equal disciplines in search of the essence of our being, are mirror images of our souls.

At the beginning of the 19th century, photography was a threat to painters. No one could picture as fast as she did. One conjured the end of the painting. But probably that was done shortly after the first cave paintings of the Neanderthals. The painting is dead. Long live the painting. The same applies to photography. Today we learn from each other at eye level.

Rembrandt said recently, around 1650: If I want to enrich my mind, I strive not for honor, but for freedom! We have developed this perceived freedom in the past decades. Because learning is a pleasure and it is exciting. You can learn to learn.

Photographs have become inflationary due to the wiping population on smartphones. What a strange sensory overload. Today, every grandmother in the restaurant photographs the heaping plate before the first bite and sends this photo at the latest within the next second to her daughter. Just why? I cannot imagine that the daughter is interested in it. Or is she addicted to the same madness and has to post immediately the latest eco-suck of the son to the grandmother and the world.

True photography is something else. In our exhibition you will experience Katharina John's analogue photographs, which, far from being fast-paced, do not allow a review of what has just happened, until its development, which remains a mystery and even later hardly permits any manipulation.

What connects Katharina John and me is curiosity. This damned curiosity about the substance of life. We must confess that we are actually interested in people. The view into the abyss is just as interesting as the exhilarating uplifting luck. Ugliness and beauty go hand in hand and even have related traits.

It takes a while for a person to realize that convulsive searching is not so important. Just stay awake! Be on the move and learn to see playfully. Drinking red wine, listening to others and making stories out of it. He who stops seeking, finds, finds life, pure life. And what Katharina and I have found, we would like to present in this exhibition, on an equal footing with you.

As you know, the eyes are the windows to our souls. You will not experience a blockbuster exhibition here! It is not much in terms of mass, but it is worth seeing close proximity to other souls in this exhibition. At least we hope so.

Finally, allow me three quotes from great minds, so that this is not too shallow here. Winston Churchill: The trick is to get up even more than being knocked over. Albrecht Dürer: Our human stupid mind is not able to capture all world's things. That is how I feel. Salvador Dali: Models should try to look similar to the portrait.

No, the exhibition is still not open!

The invitation to the exhibition contains two wonderful words: musical surprises. All interpreters of today were portrayed photographically or painterly.

I hear the first interpreters of this evening when painting more often than the Rolling Stones. It is a young band of youngsters on their way to the charts. The drummer can be excused professionally.

Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen! Let's experience the most exotic boy band in the universe! Let us now experience Ulrich Rhythm and the Tukur Boys!






John and Juergens · At eye level · 25/10/2019

Musical surprises

with special thanks to Natascha Petrinsky, Ruth Rupp, Ulrich Tukur & The Rhythm Boys, Schloss Evenburg



Trailer and exhibition-video

2019

From chanson to opera

2019

Guided tour of the exhibition

2019

John and Juergens | At eye level

2019

Photos by Manfred W. Juergens

2019


callidus. Verlag Wismar callidus. Verlag Wismar

callidus. Verlag Wismar callidus. Verlag Wismar

Montage © MWJ / Stender