The Rediscovery of Wonder
»Good art is rarely simple, but it is hardly ever incomprehensible, « says Christian Kaspar Schwarm, IC founder and avid collector who has never lost his excitement for complexity.
I enjoy getting people excited about contemporary art. Preferably those who have never had anything to do with it. I was once such a person myself, and bridges were built for me, too, into this huge, creative universe called art. When you invite someone to get involved with it, you often encounter two typical barriers—even among the wealthy and highly intellectual: either your counterpart considers themselves »too poor« or »too uneducated.« As if the enjoyment of art were about money or intellect. Partly responsible for these two unnecessary hurdles are the sensationalism of media and the demarcation needs of some theorists. In order for art to make it into the news, it has to be removed from its actual idea: It usually only appears in the headlines when a work is obscenely expensive, has been exposed as a forgery, or has become a bone of contention between two disputing parties. For many people, this leads to the notion that art is a »passion of the elites.« And if that doesn’t scare you off, experts who make their descriptions and texts so theory-heavy that the potential emotional encounter and confrontation with a work no longer seems to be a dimension. The bottom line is that both camps are moving away from their starting point, art, and are establishing—whether intentionally or unintentionally—elitist world-views that do not explicitly exclude millions of people from art, but do de facto keep them away.
And yet, especially now, in a time of radical contrasts and international conflicts, art has the potential to open our minds and hearts and sensitize us to the fact that it will certainly not be the loud and simple solutions that show us the way to a better future. Good art is rarely simple, but it is hardly ever incomprehensible.
Personally, I have never met someone I would gladly listen to about art who would then shock me »politically.« Quite the opposite: Reflection and depth are qualities that, fortunately, can rarely be limited to a single area of life. And: Those who learn to love art also rediscover wonder. People who instead consider themselves standard-bearers and believe they have already seen and heard everything are probably less likely to marvel. That is why I wish for a world full of wonder. It will be a peaceful one.
About the author:
IC co-founder Christian Kaspar Schwarm (born 1972) is a dedicated collector and book lover. He describes his collection as a constant movement between two different poles: the dimension of "conflict" – most often in a political or societal meaning – is confronted with the contemporary interpretation of devotion and emotion. The latter seems to symbolize an almost spiritual chance of facing the obscure complexity of our world today. The artists in his collection are Fiona Banner, Beni Bischof, Nina Canell, Marcel van Eeden, Tom Ellis, Guan Xiao, Diango Hernández, David Horvitz, Raimer Jochims, Jonathan Monk, Mario Pfeifer, Peter Piller, Lin May Saeed, Karin Sander, Slavs and Tatars, Michael E. Smith, Simon Starling, Fiete Stolte, Lukas Stopczynski, Hague Yang.