Roland Fischer: Artist Statement about STOA 169 , THE ARTIST COLUMNED HALL IN POLLING, 2020

„No Man is an Island“
When, in the summer of 2019, Bernd Zimmer and I stood for the first time on the meadow on which the columned hall of the STOA 169 project was to be built, a meadow in the middle of the undulating landscape of the Bavarian Alpine foothills, still within earshot of the small Ammer river, surrounded by corn fields and Forest segments, reached after about a 20-minute walk, and we, through Bernd Zimmer’s descriptions, let the columned hall emerge in our mind’s eye, our conversation revolved unavoidably around the two classic antipodes „Art and Nature“.

Almost exactly 200 years after Alexander von Humboldt gave the relationship between nature and culture a new, all-important turn, Bernd Zimmer’s project STOA 169 uses the language of art to face this fundamental question again. That is, because on the meadow near Polling, the culture sublimated by artistic awareness manifests itself directly within nature. The reason, the rational, exemplified by the soothing order of the grid of the columned hall, shows itself with the emotional, socially critical, political or conceptual representations of the various artistic implementations in a humane dialogue – international, global …

Humboldt’s insight, which he was able to underpin scientifically for the first time through his research trips, was: “Everything is related to everything”, including man.

When I was considering my own column design for STOA 169, I remembered an architectural facade that I had photographed a few years earlier in a suburb of Tokyo. It simulates a structure that can show the identity or the connection between microcosm and macrocosm: on the one hand it can be read as a microscopic enlargement of the human bone structure (speaking of bones: the „pillars“ of the human body), on the other hand it can also be read as a telescopic image of galaxy clusters in the wide universe.

Incidentally, Humboldt’s holistic approach was not entirely new, but it was more likely to be used by poets such as Clemens Brentano or mystics such as John Donne, who articulated: „No Man is an Island, entire of itself …“.
With this quotation I had also found the title for my column.

Roland Fischer 2020