Berlin, October 9, 2019
At Extinction Rebellion street actions during International Rebellion Week
Performance November 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm on Tiananmen Square, Beijing
“June 4, 1989”
Performance June 4, 2014 , 5:00 pm, at Stureplan, Stockholm
Calligraphy in water on linen canvas: Chinese characters for 6 and 4
An LED advertising display screen over Stureplan square simultaneously displays a video from Beijing: a barefoot, burlap-clad figure walking slowly across Tiananmen Square before being detained by police.
“Poverello Painting II”
Performance July 15, 2016 at Kalkladan Konst Bungenäs, Gotland, Sweden
Performance October 4, 2013 in Domkyrkoforum, Lund, Sweden. St Francis was a radical monk in the 1200’s. Barefoot, dressed in rags, he practiced “doing mercy” (active empathy) to the poor and the powerless. The performance invoked his spirit to commemorate martyrs in today’s China.
Performance July 19, 2014 at Gåxsjö Church, Jämtland, Sweden
calligraphy in water on asphalt
Performance August 28, 2016 at Kalkladan Konst Bungenäs, Gotland, Sweden
“Space and Culture: Three Conversations at the Dome of Visions“
October 14, 15, & 16, 2015 at Dome of Visions, KTH Campus, Stockholm
“Space and Culture” was a series of 18 public conversations between architect Peter Lynch and artist Madeleine Hatz, held in different venues in Sweden and the US throughout 2015. In their dialogues they examined painting, sculpture, architecture, music, poetry, philosophy, and literature as spatial situations.
Cultural works like painting, music, and architecture manifest spaces optically, acoustically, and physically. In conversation, Lynch and Hatz stepped beyond these categories of spatiality to focus on the actually-lived experience of space that arises in the production of a cultural work and in its reception by a viewer, listener, or inhabitant. Their approach extended the notion of cultural production beyond the arts to include everyday activities, domestic and public.
Wednesday, October 14: Intimate Immensity
Across many cultures the dome is understood as the all-encompassing sky-vault, a representation of the universe, Like other cosmogonic constructions—mandalas, universal systems, mythologies—the dome is an attempt to model infinity and immensity. Sitting beside “Domes within Domes,” their recent installation in the “Dome of Visions” project space, they discussed how it is also possible, paradoxically, to experience vastness in the opposite way: through miniature and intimate constructions. In conversation, Hatz and Lynch discussed the experience of “intimate immensity” in works of art and everyday life. Building upon the writings of philosophers Martin Heidegger and Gaston Bachelard, they reflected upon “miniatures” by diverse artists, composers, and poets, including Mir Sayyid Ali, Bela Bartok, W.C. Williams, and Basho. Within tight boundaries, each of their representative works embodies a universe.
Thursday, October 15: Entering through the Breach
Here is how Tomas Tranströmer begins his 1978 prose poem “The Clearing”: “In the middle of the forest there’s an unexpected clearing that can only be found by those who have gotten lost.” In conversation, Lynch and Hatz spoke about how “getting lost” may sometimes be the best way forward. Painting and other kinds of creative work often begin by creating a situation the maker cannot master or control. This lack of control is practiced through “necessary recklessness”— or, conversely, through an over-determined method. The “way in” to the work—the trail the maker seeks—is marked by an aspect that the maker knows least: the part of a work-in-progress that is weakest and most flawed. This is what Matisse calls “entering through the breach.” Working this way, vulnerability is essential: this may be the reason why painter Philip Guston completely scraped away works-in-progress that he felt were too predictably resolved. Getting lost and finding a clearing are spatial situations: makers sometimes experience their creative process spatially in these terms. Their conversation explored examples from painting, music, poetry, and chess, and discussed how, in each example, the work is built up from its weakest link.
Friday October 16: Public Space and Activism
Drawing upon the writings of philosopher Michel De Certeau and playwright Antonin Artaud, Hatz and Lynch offered one view of the contemporary artist’s public role: to engage dynamic situations that arise within the city, in order to bring repressed histories to the surface. They discussed Hatz’ street actions in New York, Beijing, and Hong Kong.
Performance, six hours in slow motion. On Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn., July 11, 2009. Part of “7 in 6,” seven performances in the spirit of the 60’s during six hours, curated by by Creative Thriftshop and Williamsburg Gallery Association. “Klein Blue Performance” on July 22, 2009 at Elga Wimmer Gallery, New York City.
In The Klein Blue Performance by Madeleine Hatz, the artist, working with YKB paint and attired in lyotards of similar hue, paints a large drop canvas with her hands and feet, dripping and printing the paint around the contours of her own body. She pays homage to the anthropometries of Yves Klein while correcting the sexism of the French master, who used comely, naked young models as his instruments, by having the artist be her own brush. (If only such brushes were available at Pearl Paint!) A hint of the dionysiac via Carolee Schneemann’s Meat Joy might come to mind from the photographs of these performances, but that’s deceptive: With a Jordi Savall soundtrack, the experience is decidedly meditative. Hatz gave her performance in Williambsurg June 11 under the auspices of Creative Thriftshop and repeats it July 22 at 6pm at Elga Wimmer, 526 West 26, # 310, where her small YKB Ceilings series of paintings are part of that gallery’s Summer show.
review in artcritical, July 20 2009 https://artcritical.com/2009/07/20/madeleine-hatz-at-elga-wimmer/
Performance November 3, 2003 at Borusan Foundation, Istanbul. Part of “Hands to Work, Mind to God,” curator Elga Wimmer
Performance November 26, 2000, Florence Lynch Gallery, Kunst 2000, Zurich
A migrant construction worker passed by here and left traces which amount to a place. It is a site of energy, of drama yet serenity.
The small painting in the middle provides a focal point; it depicts the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. From now on, they are migrants in the world of impermanence. The piece, which is based on the painting by Domenico Zampieri in the 1500’s, also has an abstract quality: it is an undulating loop, going from gaze to gaze, from God the Father, to Adam to Eve, to the snake to the lamb, the lion, the cherubs, etc.
The loop movement is also implied in the cycle of growth and decay. Mortar is oozing between bricks, and the walls that are being erected are already crumbling ruins before they are even finished.
The migrant worker left the mortar and tools behind as one more reminder of the movements that took place here. It is by moving inside and through the place that “it becomes space” ( Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life ).
November 26, 2000
“Blue Orange Works”
Studio views, October 5 and November 11, 2001, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
History of Blue Orange
Blue Orange goes back to October 2001 in New York City, one month after the fall of the twin towers. It started as an urge to mobilize for peace, an urge to start forming a resistance movement in the face of growing war propaganda, xenophobia, and patriotism. At a time of chaos and confusion, I wanted to put a call out to the art community. I hosted events at my studio, wrote the Blue Orange Manifesto, and started this web site, which at first did not carry my name. Later the site became the host for all my work as an artist and activist. Painting was becoming literal Act and Action. Color and Space thus become the vehicle for the Act and Action.
The name Blue Orange was picked when I glanced at my palette: At that specific point in time it was blue/orange, which of course is also the two ranges of warm and cold colors. Concretely it is the full spectrum with all its nuances and philosophically it is the perfect paradox: the unification of the seemingly incompatible. Utopia?
As Paul Éluard wrote: “The Earth is Blue like an Orange”
Blue Orange Manifesto
In the days after September 11, we New Yorkers united in commonhood: Strangers in the streets offered each other compassion.
The strange odor (of burnt plastic? cremated bodies?) which is still in the air here, is associated with a sense of horror and foreboding. We have experienced the horror, the fear, the loss, from up close. When we now see news pictures of Afghan villages and cities being bombed, we know the tremors, we know the piles of rubble, the smoke, the smell of death.
Let us extend our compassion to all people!
Otherwise how can we use the word compassion?
Love thy neighbor??? Or would that mean only your next-door neighbor?
In the year 2002, the term “neighbor” ought to mean your “fellow human being”!
I believe there is no “us” and “them”. There is only “us”. All of us – little humans.
As humans we are standing at a crossroads in History. There have never before been so many weapons with the power to totally annihilate the world, and they are in so many different parts of the world.
Communications have never traveled faster, and technological development and consumption rates as well as pollution and environmental destruction have never accelerated faster. At this crossroads, we must take the road of survival.
Let us “stand united” against the threat of global destruction and for global survival!
Many voices, in different parts of the world, are now speaking of this moment as an opportunity for radical change that can lead to an ultimately more stable world. We do not have security now due to the threat of terrorist acts, and terrorists operate internationally, encouraged by a world based on nations and borders. In a global community, with global laws, we could go after criminals more effectively. We have to make agreements across the board of how we define “terrorist” and “terrorism”.
We will need new common definitions, new thinking, a new sense of identity. Finally, compassion as a notion is not purely emotional. It can be seen as a conscious and mental effort.
In a time of crisis, many people reach for something to hold on to: values we learned and that bring us together as a community. Maybe this explains the enormous proliferation of American flags now around the city. Even though, in many places on the globe, the American flag symbolizes military superpower, bombs and devastation, I realize that to quite a few New Yorkers, the flag means cohabitating cultures and ethnicities.
It is time to ponder the meaning of the word “community”, and search for a new way of being in the world. In a church in Holland a year ago I painted a Sufi quote on the wall, in an arch over a lamentation scene (also my me). The inscription reads: “Be in the world like a stranger, a passerby.” It is a position of humility rather than of pride, yet if you are a stranger everywhere, you also belong anywhere, temporarily. This is a paradox, something that is seemingly an incompatibility. What is mystery becomes very clear and simple on an ethical level: Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
Personally I see it as my role, to pray to the “gods” of others. Thus my Blue Orange Works become a prayer. God help us all!
All religions I know share (at least on a theoretical level) the values of compassion, mercy, brotherhood (social responsibility) love and peace.
American people (up to 95%), according to a recent study, see themselves as religious.
“In the name of Allah, the merciful and the compassionate…” Thus starts the Koran.
On a practical, political level, the logical conclusion of all the above spells out:
Stop the bombing, start negotiating. Let’s work for survival, united against the threat of global devastation. Let’s take responsibility for and begin to take care of our earthly community and environment, to share our wealth, resources and territory.
New York, October 18, 2001