Picture Details: Roland Schneeweiss (Bulgarian artist with German roots): „Kukeri“ – Engrave
Roland Schneeweiss: “Kukeri”
Or: Art-Meeting with a Bulgarian Tradition
Remark first of all: Unfortunately, it had not been possible for Roland Schneeweiss (R.S.) to fly together with us to Oklahoma in the year 2001. This had been very a pity – for all of us, particularly for himself.
Some time ago, R.S. had sent me some copies of some of his artworks. He wished that I write a contribution for him to the Art-Meeting in Oklahoma… Renate Hugel
“Kukeri” is the title of the engrave-work to be seen above. With that, Roland Schneeweiss (R.S.) refers to an Old Bulgarian tradition during carnival.
Analogously, Schneeweiss has written for me the following lines to this:
“These folklore-dancers are called „Kukeri”. Their dances symbolize the fertility. While dancing they are carrying wooden sabers against the bad.”
At first the observer looks into quite a number of eye couples who belong to the mask-carriers. A concentration of masks lets appear them in an enormous presence. Above and on the sides the picture edge is determined by dynamically set lines and triangles – in different thickness. Through this R.S. lets the observer feel the enormous energy which the mask-carriers expend during the dances. Altogether, this graphic work therefore works as a part from a much larger crowd of mask-carriers. Apparently they are wearing masks having been carried out differently. The facial expression worked mainly straightly and angularly is common to them – beyond organically tracking face features.
A saber mentioned above by R.S. – for the fight against the bad – is held up in the above on the left of the picture. This fight is meant against the bad one at itself. A certain abstraction is lying in this, and, how I think, primarily philosophical thinking: For, the used energy for the defense is not aimed at another person or persons also not against other groups. How, the bad one at itself is defined and where can it be found? I will seek an answer to it by following further traces which prove the determination of the dancers for the defense of the bad one:
It can be recognized in the foreground that in addition also cowbells are carried. By the movements during the dances they are made sound. R.S. has shown the cowbells in their form-variety and condensed them to a complete composition on his work of art. That way, the cowbells can be perceived in any case and simultaneously as well they “can be heard in any case”!
The ringing of cowbells gets a weighty meaning with that! I will get on the track of it by considering which association the metal sound is producing: The world is all right if the life insurance “cow” – as the food-donating – has not been got lost! So the sound of the bells associates: Feeling oneself protected because the bells are proving this that life is secure (by the existence of the cow) and everything runs well. The bad, however, does not know any reliability and, therefore cannot interpret the cowbell-ringing in this way either. For the bad, the ringing merely is an infernally noise! And the dancers want to chase away the bad exactly through this.
Another indication for the reinforcements of the fight against the bad is the facial expression of the masks. These are arranged mainly angularly what emphasizes their determination in their facial: The people behind really want to chase the bad! That the bad does not have any chance, the masks of the dancers confirm furthermore with their ”extended tongue” – of which one of such a mask is lying in the field of vision of the observer in front on the right. I find this detail meaningfully in connection with this, because: With an extended tongue, all inner feelers are blocked and cannot get into an inner contact with the opposite person – or even to absorb something of the spiritually of the person.
The dance of the Kukeri symbolizes the fertility, such R.S. had formulated it. As described above, the main concern of the dancers consists in fighting against the bad. So, the fertility stands apparently for the good: Everything which is good for living lets the good arise. To carry fruits, this is the result of infinitely many actions which collaborate in nature. And this means not to act against the laws of nature. Then, the growth in the nature and of the nature wants to happen undisturbed with the aim to produce new fruits… This excellent performance of reproduction, inwardly natural balances, culminating in the fertility, which owe the people to the vegetative processes within all living ones! If such a balance is disturbed, nature answers on this with corresponding negative consequences. It is an act of understanding of correlations, in order to realize, to what the so-called bad can be put down! … And these consequences had been caused by having been careless! Because: Attentiveness is an inner attitude which keeps everything in the balance, the outer like also the inner world!
With that, the fight against the bad is not only meant for outer disastrous natural phenomena but primarily for one’s own “inner human” who can stimulate or block the natural processes by one’s inner attitude!
I would like to mention in this place what R.S. – analogously – further has written for me: Nowadays the masks are called “wisdom” jocularly in Bulgaria. This is an ironic reference to the scientist Albert Einstein of whom a portrait photo exists with an extended tongue.…
My thoughts to this: Does Einstein, with this pose, take distance of his own scientific discovery???
It might have become conscious to him that his scientific knowledge requires the purified and responsible person. The good and the bad are lying quite close together and are a question of an inner attitude – of everybody man…
Interpretation: Renate Hugel
To the Person of Roland Schneeweiss
(Bulgarian artist with German roots)
Left photo: From the year 2000 during the symposium in Bremen, Germany
Right photo: From the year 2015 in Burgas, Bulgaria (in front of the announcement of his exhibition in September 2015, on the occasion of his 80th birthday on the 25th 07th 2015)
Roland Schneeweiss: “Karnobat in the 19th century”
(Hometown of R.S., Bulgaria)
Roland Schneeweiss: “The Advancement”
(Art in the Public Room of Karnobat, Bulgaria, Concrete)
was born in Leisning (Saxony in Germany) in 1935. By the chaos of war his family came to Bulgaria. He has grown up and been socialized there in the small town Karnobat. He studied art at the Academy of Arts in Sofia.
Works of art of Roland Schneeweiss are in the Bulgarian National Gallery in Sofia durably as well as in many other galleries of the country, and in the Graphic Gallery in Pittsburg (USA).
Roland Schneeweiss lived and worked on 1988 in Rotenburg (Wümme), a town which is located between Hamburg and Bremen (Germany).
He had got a profession with interesting tasks and devoted himself to the graphical documentation of archeological finds and knowledge among others, in which he had been very interested and what had brought him much joy. His “Studio on the Meadow” had been the place for his artistic activities. Today, he already lives some years in Karnobat (Bulgaria) again.
Participation in International Art Exhibitions:
- Participation in “Exhibitions of Bulgarian Art“ in
Austria, Algeria, India, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, UDSSR,
Germany and in the USA
- Repeated participation in the “Biennale for the modern Graphic“ in Varna, Bulgaria (from 1981)
- Repeated participation in the „International Art Exhibitions“ in the Cultural Center Jockrim near Landau (1981 – 1985)
- Participation in International Exhibitions in Vienna (1990), Austria, New York City, USA (1995) and in Lahti, Finland (1998)
Individual and Community Exhibitions in Germany: Syke, Lemgo, Bremen, Buchholz, Rotenburg (Wümme), Brunswick, Lilienthal (near Bremen) and Hamburg
Other Activity and Awards:
- Artistic Inner Design and “Art at the Building“ in “Ethnic Graphic and Historical Museums” of the country Bulgaria (from 1965)
- “Monumental, Plastic and Picturesque Wall Design” in Bulgaria and in Moscow (from 1965)
- Medaillion for 1300 years Bulgarian State (1984)
- Medal of the Bulgarian Minestry of the Arts for Art, Kyrill and Methody III (1984)
- Medaillion for Wall Design of the Bulgarian Inner Department of Commerce (1986)
- Member of the Bulgarian Artist Union (since 1970)
- Member of the Organisation „Art in the Province r. a.“, Lower Saxony, Germany (since 1991)
- Founder Member of the Group „Quintum“, Bremen, Germany
- Participation in the exhibitions at the completion of the symposium “Attempt of an Encounter: Native American Artists – European Artists”: Artist of American natives, European artists, in Bremen, Germany, 2000
- Participation in FOOTPRINT INTERNATIONAL 2014 in Norwalk, USA
- Exhibitions in Bourgas and Karnobat, 2015 (Bulgaria), 2015 (Bulgarien)
- Participation at 18th International Exhibition in Varna, 2015 (Bulgaria)
- 2016 Participation: International Watercolor Triennal Exhibition – Varna (Bulgaria)
Reference to originator:
My listing of the life data, as also of those ones of the artistic activities of Roland Schneeweiss, refer to a composition which Schneeweiss himself had worked out once for himself. The details on his exhibitions as of 2014 refer from the correspondence with R.S. They do not lay any claim to completeness.
Remark 1: Current stand: To Roland Schneeweiss I have written the contributions “Art Touches Art – 8, 14 and 38”.
Remark 2: Information about the complete previous contents of the category „Art Touches Art“ you will find by selecting „Art Touches Art“ on HOME on the right on the outside.