Interview with artist KONSTANTIN SCHNEIDER

Who are you and what are you doing?


I am Konstantin Schneider, grew up in LOWER SAXONY, have been living in Berlin since November 1982 with a few interruptions, and have been calling myself a Berlin Kunstkontakter for almost 17 years, since my heart has always been beating for ART and after I came into close contact with young artists at one of the Berlin satellite fairs in 2004, I wanted to help them to become better known, as my communication studies at the Berlin UNIVERSITY of the ARTS were strongly focused on ADVERTISING.


Who are your biggest artistic influences?


There are quite a few role models. Kurt Schwitters, for example, created something UNIQUE out of NECESSITY with the MERZBAU, something that the COMMERZ met with great IRONY. In a way, his works were imbued with the idea that ART and ADVERTISING do not have to exclude each other. Of course, MEDIA ART has always been interesting for me, e.g. Nam June Paik but also the Americans Bruce Nauman and Bill Viola were very interesting for me even before I fully dedicated myself to art. For several years I have been finding inspiration in ARTE POVERA, especially since I have met Michelangelo Pistoletti, Fabrizio Plessi, and Laurence Weiner personally and also maintain a friendship with the inventor of the "TRASH PEOPLE" HA Schult. Thinking art and garbage together prevents me from drifting into the HYPER-AESTHETIC.


What role do you think the artist has in society?


The artist should always have SOLUTIONS in mind because they are needed. At the moment, it could be said that we need artists as a CORRECTIVE to the distortions that we are confronted with through an overly unreflected economy. Difficult times are beginning for ESCAPISTS. However, the fact that ART of course also stands for the "GOOD LIFE", i.e. should not only produce MEMORIALS, which is often the case, is undisputed. However, the artist should like to shake things up and show that there are always ALTERNATIVES. Especially since not all old IDEAS were lucky enough to be realized. ESCAPISM should allow artists only now and then to relieve the SOUL. In this respect, PICASSO is still contemporary.


How do you define success as an artist?


Every artist who can make a living from his art is already successful, regardless of whether he is well-known or not. At times, however, art is also regarded as an "asocial" activity, because it is usually produced in hidden places. And since, unfortunately, many people still think that they cannot afford ART at all, the artist's PERFORMANCE will always have to be measured by special STANDARDS. Since people in Germany speak of the "fine arts", strong FOOD for THOUGHT is needed and they should always make WORKS OF ART possible, even those that people don't particularly like. Then you will automatically become successful.




At first, I felt it was a special STROKE of LUCK to be allowed to use the premises. Then there was the fact that the gallery is run by a woman who left Russia with her parents at the beginning of the 90s. Because of the complete "reorientation", which is currently being demanded of HUMANITY, it was a need for me to further sharpen my already existing sense of justice. In addition, I had once missed the designation "Safe yellow system" in one of my previous installations, because my way of working is always based on, after all, the artist is also an entrepreneur. To convey continuity in my artworks, the title "TIME IS YELLOW" was also close. And since yellow makes people happy, the conviction prevailed in me that given the new HARDSHIPS, an "ARTE POVERA HAPPENING" could be the answer to the "ANGER" that grips the citizens more and more often, because the POWERFUL no longer find answers to prevent AGGRESSION. By the way, as a young man, I once took to the field against STAR WARS in the spirit of the protest movements of the time in the 80s with the slogan "No riot in space".

In essence, they are asking people to rethink the power of money and power and turn to simpler things in life, such as relationships and love. Some would call it a utopian dream, is this really for you?


In my opinion, the "FINANCIAL INDUSTRY" has developed far too much POWER and this POWER is selling us for stupid, as they say in Germany. That is why being HUMAN is the MOST IMPORTANT THING we have and, in addition, it has been a GOAL for countless generations to live in HARMONY with NATURE. Because that, too, is FREEDOM. This does not rule out adapting to the ENVIRONMENT or CIRCUMSTANCES, but we have gone far beyond the GOAL with many CONSUMPTION DESIRES and have driven the "CONSUMPTION OF NATURE" into dimensions that take revenge. The COMFORT we enjoy now demands its PRICE. This is exactly why we have become extortionate.


Where to start to change?


Even if it may sound crazy, you should just ignore more OFFERS. SUPPLY and DEMAND are still inextricably linked. Being constantly tempted and accumulating more and more DEBTS to "be allowed to be there" has ultimately only led to the fact that you are moving further and further away from yourself. We can no longer afford such a "HERD INSTINCT".


Favorite place or most inspiring place in Berlin?


Not specified!


Text: Irina Rusinovich