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Statement of Barbara Heinisch

Notes from My Diary - Berlin 1977

My work – my painting – should be presented like a celebration at which others can (should) take part. Take part, that is, not as passive consumers but as active participants who create the celebration with me and have their say in arranging in what way and for how long it will take place.

I want to set my strength that is apparent in my work, against the general decline of society.

For me, art should be directed away from the lonely, onanistic joys of the artist and towards all those who are wiling and open enough to accept and give back. Art is, then, not just “art” in the old sense but a medium through which positive forces can bring about change in the ossified structures of society.

It’s no use carrying on pointing out and complaining about the present situation.

I do not want to take people’s breath away.

A form must be found which encourages reflection. Rather like the way jazz musicians play together, people should be able to find each other in large or small constellations.

This is why I must treat the other person as a subject, witch due consideration and seriousness.

Painter and model are each as active as the other – the model is no longer a mere object.

I cannot act arbitrarily any more; that would involve a process of deformation in order to get nearer the truth. It is my own inner potential, as regards the action, which guides me towards the “moment of truth”. I do not place myself above what is represented any more because I am directly involved, like the model.

I have to admit that neither can I distance myself from what is represented, as I used to do. And so my work has become part of me, perhaps the most important part of me.