A crowd gathered at the opening of the 15th Small Sculpture Triennial in Fellbach. Many works by over 50 artists concern the issue of ownership and origin of objects.
If things could say what would they say? What would tell us about a thousand treasures from the collection that artist Alice Cantaluppi inherited from her father: a group of fascinating creatures resembling dragons and birds, some resembling horses and cows. About 200 of them have been sitting on a pedestal in Alte Kelter Fellbach since the weekend – as a contribution to the 15th Small Sculpture Triennial, which opened there on Saturday. The artist gave this collection of exotic small sculptures the title “If Treasures Could Talk”. But the treasures do not appeal, so Alice Cantaluppi has been trying in vain for years to find out where the figurines from her father’s collection came from.
A performance about “uncompromising timeliness”
The question of ownership, origins and how to deal with it, which concerns Cantaluppi, also plays an important role at the 15th Triennial. It’s called “The Vibration of Things” and deals with the energy emanating from objects and the resonance they cause in the viewer. During the ceremony, in a tent filled to the brim next to an old wine press, Fellbach mayor Gabriele Zull first welcomed Mussels Kiel, the wife of former mayor Friedrich-Wilhelm Kiel, who died in April. He revived the exhibition in 1980 and, according to Zull, initiated “one of the largest exhibitions of small sculpture art in the world”. In her speech, Zull emphasized “uncompromising timeliness”, “risk-taking by organizers” and “high-quality artistic management” and stressed: “Art is not a soft localization factor, but systemically important, even if it has become questioned in recent months.” The situation is different in the Fellbach city council and the many sponsors who actively supported the sumptuous show with more than 50 artists from around the world.The head of the city hall also thanked Heribert Sautter, exhibition director and director of the Fellbach City Gallery, for whom the current triennial is already the eleventh.
The state increased funds for three-year-old small sculptures
The fact that the federal state of Baden-Württemberg has increased funding for the current Triennial and that state policy is strongly represented at the opening shows the importance of this “special summer event,” said Petra Olschowski, secretary of state at the Ministry of Science and Research and Arts. She has testified to the changing curators of the Small Sculpture Triennial that she “always keeps a close eye on what is happening in the world.”
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Thanks to “The Vibration of Things” in Fellbach, curator Elke aus dem Moore was able to put together very different perspectives and open up new perspectives. The influence of objects on their viewers – Petra Olschowski experienced it herself during her trip to Namibia. The occasion was the return of the family Bible and the whip belonging to the leader of Nam Hendrik Witbooi. They were captured by the German army in 1893 and donated to the Lindenmuseum in 1902. The return in 2019 was the first restoration of colonial cultural goods from a museum in Baden-Württemberg. “People were celebrating, queuing to see and touch objects. The resonance of the objects was clearly perceptible – said Olschowski.
Return of items to the countries of origin
The country is aware of its responsibility in dealing with the colonial era and its consequences: “It is important to us that recognizing injustice is only the first step.”
Elke aus dem Moore, curator of the Triennial, said that the world is not only in a period of great transformation in terms of ownership and responsibility: “New forms of collaboration with all living things are needed.” the names of over 50 participating artists from around the world. And he expressly thanked “all people and other living creatures of flora and fauna.” She added that the objects are also alive: “They vibrate and cause resonance, they travel.” This also applies to the works of Nijolė Šivickas, who came from Lithuania and was exhibited for the first time in Germany. 1946 to 1950 and lived in Fellbach before emigrating to Colombia, her grandson now came to Fellbach for the Triennial.
More about the 15th Triennial
The 15th Small Sculpture Triennial will be held in Alte Kelter Fellbach until 3 October. Open Tuesday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday to 9 p.m. and on weekends and October 3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission free on July 4 and October 2 and 3. Otherwise, adults pay ten euros, the discounted price is five euros. Children up to twelve are free of charge. A ticket for groups of ten or more people costs 8 euros per person, a pass is 25 euros. Guided tours take place on Thursdays at 7.00 p.m. and on Sundays at 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.
The exhibition of works by Nijolė Šivickas will open on June 9 at 19:00 in the City Gallery in Fellbach. She came from Lithuania, studied in Stuttgart, and also lived in Fellbach. In 1950, she emigrated to Colombia, where she died in 2018. The first mayor, Johannes Berner, offers his greetings, and the curator of the Triennial, Elke aus dem Moore, presents the artist’s work. The exhibition will last until September 4 and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.