Ideas of what is sacred have always sought and continue to seek the proximity of the language of art in order to articulate themselves. The “sacred” can initially be understood very openly – with the sociologist of religion Hans Joas as that which can in some way take hold, that which is able to pull individuals or communities beyond themselves. And in such experiences of “self-delimitation or self-exaggeration” then lies an “affective certainty”: a certainty in which – “binding force” develops “whose strength goes beyond everyday experiences” (Hans Joas, Die Macht des Heiligen, 2017, p. 434).

Art can therefore be understood as opening a sensual access to the permanently nonsensual sacred, evoking in a corporeal-material sense, paradoxically representing the transcendent: in its unrepresentability. Art that sees itself in this way is always more than a visual or perceptual object. Their works are powerful media and make themselves and something OTHER appear. They awaken imagination and imagination that goes beyond what is shown, they construct, envision, stage and iconise. That which is thus represented is present and absent at the same time: traces … traces.

The Reichenau Artists’ Days 2023, for which the Kunstverein der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart is responsible, will go in search of traces through listening, seeing, exchanging and reflecting. A search for traces, which the conference will by no means lead to a goal, but which should perhaps be opened at the very beginning. The programme sketches a possible horizon of such a common search for traces and wants to inspire to get involved in corresponding paths.

The preparation team and the board are looking forward to being together in Hersberg. We also welcome the members of the Community of Christian Artists from the Archdiocese of Freiburg.

For further information on registration and the programme, please see the attached flyer.

Image caption:
Marie Lienhard
Video still: gold explosion (Excerpt)
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023