22.12.2015 09:32

Sánchez Castillo takes stock

"Tank Man" at emigration quayside in Bremen, Photo: Ute Meckbach

With the International Art Grant of the Foundation of Arts & Music for Dresden, Fernando Sánchez Castillo lived in our city from July to December 2015. Before he returned to Spain, he had reflected on his stay:

"It is difficult to sum up the experience of my 6-months residency in Dresden in a few short lines. Most probably, because I cannot stop pondering the intensity and complexity of the situation in this city. I was generously invited by the Foundation  of Arts & Music for Dresden to explore the rich past of the arts in Saxony. And I was awe-struck by the fact that foreigners have been welcome and that their perspectives have been highly appreciated.

Despite several destructions of your hometown by physical and/ or ideological wars from the XVIIth century until today, citizens have striven to create an aesthetic, beautiful setting that is inviting to scientists and artists and, of course, to all kinds of people. In Dresden specifically, the idea that art could help making a new and better human being has been central to coping with political disasters and war conflicts. Art is a common medium for human kind to communicate across times, places, and cultures.

For the city’s future, I hope that people will keep with its long unique tradition of providing a refuge for all types of cultural origins in order to nurture a better society. I hope to leave my tiny stone with you in the city’s story, alongside many more stones. A stone in a place where people stand up together to build a wonderful home for all.

Wherever I go, I will take with me the Herrnhuter Stern. Right now, it is shining in my home city Madrid. It shines as a sign that I have become part of your vivid community and that I will work to spread the spirit of art that we share."

During his stay in Dresden, the Albertinum staged Fernando Sánchez Castillo's installation “Made in China”: In China, the artist had 5000 green plastic figures manufactured based on the photograph of the man who became known as “Tank Man” when he bravely stood against the tanks on Tiananmen Square in Bejing in 1989. Whoever left a written thought about human rights and democracy on a ‚Post-it‘ at the wall, was allowed to take one „Tank Man“ wit her and was invited to take a picture of him in his new context.

The foundation's International Art Grant for Fine Artists requests application every two years and will be issued again in 2017. In 2016, the foundation awards an artist's grant to a singer or composer. "Our foundation promotes contemeporary fine arts as well as music," says executive director Martina de Maizière. "Our grants support the variety of art and bring together various artistic branches."

"Tank Man", </span></span>Foto: Ute Meckbach"Tank Man", Foto: Elfriede Schneider"Tank Man", Foto: Elly Brose-Eiermann

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