The Final Outcome Remains Open

01 July 2015

Since the OUBEY MINDKISS 5th Anniversary Happening we’ve had a lot of interesting resonance, especially from those who were there on 5 May at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and so had the opportunity to see some of OUBEYs original works for the first time.

Here’s just one comment:

“OUBEYs paintings are visionary. They open a view of the future for me even though they were painted over 30 years ago.”

It was this comment in particular that gave me the idea of letting OUBEY speak for the first time in his own words about what he considered the particular quality of his paintings to be – here in this Blog, after OUBEY MINDKISS has now been on the public stage for five years. So below you will find a previously unpublished extract from a recorded interview he gave in 1992 at the time of the first and only exhibition of his work held during his lifetime. Even if in this extract OUBEY is explicitly talking about the quality of the square – because this exhibition was exclusively concerned with square formats – we know today, from a huge range of comments and reflections, that the impact of his paintings he talks about is by no means limited to the square format alone:

The change in the imaginary world of the viewer is not caused by external influences, not through the viewer walking around the object and seeing, for instance, changes in the light and shadow effects, but rather by the painting being modified in his consciousness, triggering an irreversible process. This is something that a painting can do when it has the right kind of quality. Then the movement starts on the surface of the painting by itself. Then there are key moments, key points, in this two dimensional object that purposefully trigger a four dimensional projection in the mind of the viewer, a chain of optical contexts continuously shifting and reassembling. The dynamics of motion are stored in the painting.

The square constitutes the geometric groundwork on which, under certain conditions, disorder and chaos can transform into order. The picture is set within the square, with the square symbolizing a state of low gravity, so that new dynamic states can continuously arise in the consciousness of the viewer. The pictures of Jackson Pollock have something of this quality, too, although with Jackson Pollock the dynamics of motion painting have such a high priority that the impression they form in the mind is more of a superb monotony on a high complex level, stabilized at that level.

My paintings, on the contrary, continually compose and recompose themselves in new structures during the whole time they are viewed. They have an initial period of viewing in which the painting can cause unease or possible irritation or an enthusiastic response. In the course of viewing the viewer can move forward on a journey, a stronger mental process can unfold in the viewer’s mind than is the case with other paintings which define and represent themselves more clearly. In the painting I seek to lay out the processes that can take place in the mind of the viewer in such a way that the final outcome remains open. This means that I consciously accept an irreversible structure. In the end the idea is that each viewing tells its own completely fresh story – as the deliberate, explicitly intentional core of the painting’s being.

The Encounter of Frans Boeckhorst with OUBEYs painting „Journey of the Monads“ lets in some parts become evident what OUBEY intended to evoke in the mind of the viewer, as he told us more than 25 years ago.

There Are More Worlds than This One

10 June 2015

On June 1st Professor Peter Kruse died, a man well known in Germany for his research into the workings of complex dynamic systems. Intelligence, collective intelligence and the dynamics of social systems, in particular those of the internet , were the main themes of several decades of intensive research which are now more acutely topical than ever.

He was also a friend of OUBEY, as he himself often used to say, even though he never had the chance to meet OUBEY personally. My first meeting with Peter Kruse was sometime after OUBEYs death. What fascinated him about OUBEY first of all was his story – that an artist with a body of work of such extraordinary quality should resolutely turn his back on the art market and shun its blandishments after his first highly successful exhibition instead of doing the very opposite he saw as something wholly admirable and deeply impressive. Yet for him it was an act devoid of any kind of heroics or sailing against all odds. Peter Kruse instinctively knew that “OUBEY just had to do it”. I think this was the decisive connectedness, a “brotherhood in mind”, that led to this close posthumous friendship.

And now this very good friend of OUBEYs has died and this is a very new experience for the OUBEY MINDKISS Project and for me. A friend of OUBEYs is naturally a friend of mine and this is why I spontaneously said yes when I was asked on 2nd June whether I would write an obituary for Peter Kruse. “I’ll do it with a heavy heart but I’ll do it gladly,“ was what I said. It was a matter of honor for me.

What came out when I sat down to write is not the usual kind of obituary but a letter to my friend Peter. A letter in which the intellectual and spiritual affinity which Peter Kruse found with OUBEY plays an important part. But it’s also a letter to my friend who so often and in so many ways was a source of inspiration for my own work and whom I knew I could count on whenever I had something to ask him.

Like only recently in March this year when he told me that he’d try his best to come to the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) in Karlsruhe to be at the 5thAnniversary Happening of OUBEY MINDKISS but if he couldn’t make it he’d be sure to send a video statement about the current state of development of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project. It was my heartfelt wish to have Ulrike Reinhard make this interview and despite her busy schedule she flew out especially from India to make it with him. And now suddenly this is his last recorded statement on video for all time. The conversation finally turned to many questions of absolute concern for how we live life on this planet and what kind of society we wish to live in. But its main focus from the beginning was on OUBEY, on Peter’s relationship with OUBEY and his art and how Peter saw the important role now being played by the OUBEY MINDKISS Project in a context completely dominated by commercial considerations and market forces.

Here is my letter to Peter Kruse, posthumously:

Dear Peter,

Taking leave of you is very difficult. Writing to you perhaps will make it a bit easier.

What for others was the limit was the launch pad for you. Lightening quick yet profound and well grounded, electrifying. “The child-like joy in the creation of boundless form. Not accepting any frames or frontiers”, that’s how you described what you saw in that painting of OUBEYs which I brought you to see in an encounter in January 2010. You were also describing yourself. A free-ranging mind.

An extraordinary blend of incorruptible intellect and explosive passion with a love for constructive dispute. Tough-going and unsettling for some, gripping and charismatic for others, and sometimes perhaps simply overwhelming. Tireless and persevering, steadfast and unshakeable, inexhaustible. Patient and impatient at one and the same time. And always in top gear. Never in neutral.

Your brilliant lectures where the audience was picked up and carried along by your infectious enthusiasm, lectures full of the most surprising connections and illuminated by flashes of your wry erudite wit. Pyrotechnic displays, fine entertainment of the highest order – of the sort that is rarely found in Germany. Yet without a trace of personal vanity. Driven only by your pleasure and your sense of obligation to share your thoughts and precious insights. Seriously committed. Expectant. Demanding.

Or the outstanding quality of a totally new range of self-developed methods and instruments . And the razor-sharp precision of the analyses and forecasts they delivered – now points of departure for all those who seek change for the better through action well grounded in reason. Never self-serving. Motivated by the desire to see smart action. An incentive for what you called “the collective quest for fitting solutions and good leadership.”Networking as an existential condition. The quest as a challenge and a mission. So urgently needed.

Your partner, your colleagues and your comrades in arms will go on. Without you and yet with you too. It won’t be the same. But it will go on. Because what you’ve achieved and what you’ve left behind will make it go on. And that’s something good. At least we can be thankful for that.

I too will go on. The statement you made on the 5th anniversary of the MINDKISS Project, just five weeks ago, has turned overnight into your farewell gift. It will accompany OUBEY and me. It will inspire us and hopefully others as well. We’re so fortunate to have it.

What happens when the spirit leaves the body can only be known by those who have experienced it. This experience has now come to you. Too early in my view. But at least Erwin Schrödinger has taught us – the living – one thing for certain – that “Spirit Cannot Be Destroyed By Time“. Which means that the free-ranging spirit that lived in you is still there. That’s a beautiful though I find. It’s comforting and consoling but it still doesn’t alter anything about the fact that you’ll be most sorely missed.

Dagmar

Click here to see Peter Kruse´s Encounter with one of OUBEYs paintings. Here you may find the three-minutes trailer “OUBEY Complexity”.

It´s text is exclusively based on quotes by OUBEY himself and Peter Kruse, from the Encounter with OUBEYs painting. And here finally see Kruse´s statement on the meaning of OUBEY, his artwork and the approach of the MINDKISS Project on occasion of our 5thAnniversary.

There Are More Worlds than This One

10 June 2015

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In deep sorrow I take my leave of Peter Kruse who died suddenly and unexpectedly on 1st June. His bond with OUBEY was indeed singular. He himself described it as a “spiritual kinship” and the encounter with OUBEY and his works led postumously to a close relationship that very quickly blossomed into a friendship between the three of us.

In the statement he made on the 5th Anniversary of OUBEY MINDKISS, just five weeks ago, Peter Kruse expressed this once more in highly personal terms. And suddenly overnight this statement has become his parting gift. Now both of them are united in the same undiscovered world about which we the living know only one thing – that all of us one day will be there.

This drawing by OUBEY is one of those which hit Peter like a jolt of electricity when he first laid eyes on it. “I know exactly what was going on in his mind while he was drawing it!” was his astonished spontaneous comment. And I believed him implicitly even though it was clear to me that this really couldn’t be the case. But that’s how it was. Today we dedicate this drawing to our friend Peter Kruse with the wish that that for which he stood and that he sought to advance will not fall into oblivion, and in the hope that it will continue from strength to strength in the future.

Read more on this and our farewell letter to Peter Kruse in the current OUBEY Blog.

The Reawakening of a Mummified Artist – A Metabolism of a Very Special Kind

24 May 2015

The 5th anniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project was a time to honor its work publically and put it in perspective. Up to this point the project had simply surged ahead and happened. It had fostered experiences and encounters with people all across the world from a wide range backgrounds and professions, created situations and hard facts, and publicized OUBEY and his works on the internet. And in the resonance space created, over the course of the past few years it had received a steady stream of comments and feedback. And now for the first time in the public spotlight it ventured onto the meta-level of having other people put their own perspectives on what it had achieved thus far.

That two such brilliant and famous thinkers as Professor Peter Kruse and Professor Peter Weibel came forward to give their views was in itself cause enough for excitement. And on the evening of the 5th May, together with the other guests at the ZKM Center for Art and Media, I was privileged to hear the thoughts of these two pioneering thinkers on the OUBEY MINDKISS Project. Click here to view a short video which gives a general impression of the happening along with some excerpts from their talks.

Taking as his starting point the question of what a MINDKISS actually means, in his opening address Peter Weibel embarked on an associative train of thought that led us through science, poetry and technology in its exploration of OUBEYs original neologism, and throwing a fascinating light on both its MIND and KISS components.

Professor Weidel also touched on what in his view made the project such a unique undertaking which is that he sees in it a successful attempt “to transfer this material painting with its material carrier medium into the world of electromagnetic waves. Dagmar Woyde-Koehler has taken these paintings from the old analog world and resituated them in the new digital world. This is an unparalleled undertaking. (…) Because the fact of the matter is that to some extent the painter already was preserved in another storage medium. He was partly mummified, he was already dead. But I can reawaken him by transferring him to digital data.”

Peter Weibel expresses in a nutshell exactly what we have been doing in the past five years of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project in a creative approach we shall continue to pursue unflaggingly in the years ahead. With Digital Discovery we have already made the next boundary-crossing step in this direction. Weibel‘s statement – but also the enthusiastic response of all our guests to the world debut of this Digital Discovery Technology – is reassuring testimony that shows us how right we were when we first struck out on these unconventional untrodden ways.

Quite a different tour of the horizon was taken in Professor Peter Kruse‘s conversation with the internet publicist Ulrike Reinhard the video of which was screened on the evening of the 5th anniversary happening at the ZKM. In Peter Kruse’s view the three key dimensions of the project are the dimensions of empathy, experiment and provocation.

Kruse offered not just an unvarnished personal account of his encounter with OUBEYs art and the OUBEY MINDKISS Project. He also pointed out the potential for growth inherent in this project as an open and interactively shaped process and as a cultural experiment in communication. And he also gave an extremely incisive critical analysis of current trends on global markets and the art market in particular, starting with the dominant position of the financial market and the repercussions this has on the overall system affecting every nook and cranny of society – including the cultural sector and art itself.

The guests followed Peter Kruse’s talk with the keenest interest and it provoked many lively discussions during the further course of the evening. Ulrike Reinhard has now written about the project and her conversation with Professor Kruse in her own blog which you can read by clicking here.

To sum up from our own standpoint: The OUBEY MINDKISS Project has succeeded in creating a free space which, as Professor Kruse says, is a model for how the general public can and should experience culture and art – free from all market regulation. This is precisely where he locates the project’s potential for provocation. At the same time – as Professor Weibel puts it – the project has also succeeded in endowing with new life the work of an artist who died too young by transferring it from the analog to the digital world.

From my own standpoint I see what is unfolding in the OUBEY MINDKISS Project as an energy-charged metabolism – a very particular kind of metabolism. It draws its life from the primary force of OUBEYs free spirit which finds expression in his paintings. It takes this primary energy and transforms it into completely new and very open processes of discovery and recognition. And by doing so it creates a resonance space which as it grows turns into a space of collective opportunities which generates a continual flow of new impulses. The space picks up the impulse emitted by the art and the art lives and breathes in the space. The project ensures that this type of metabolism can flourish.

Thus OUBEYs spiritual autonomy lives on in the MINDKISS Project in new and unexpected forms. In following his traces I allow myself all kinds of freedom – including the liberty to turn my back on the established art market. I do what I find to be true and meaningful – what I think best accords with OUBEYs way of thinking and working and – not the least of considerations – what gives people all over the world an immense amount of joy and pleasure when encountering his art. If this should have provocative effects, all I can say is that these are unintentional. But they are certainly not devoid of meaning.

Nothing of what has been achieved so far could ever have been achieved without the enthusiastic and professional support of an ever-growing number of wonderful people across the whole world. Four of these guys – representing countless others – have sent short greetings videos which you can view by clicking here. To them and to all the others I would like to express my deep and heartfelt thanks. You’re simply marvelous and I’m so glad that you’re a part of this great OUBEY MINDKISS Community!

Empathetic – Experimental - Provocative Professor Peter Kruse on the OUBEY MINDKISS Project

19 May 2015

Unfortunately Professor Peter Kruse wasn’t able to personally attend the OUBEYs 5thAnniversary in the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. But his video statement was very much present. Played on the evening of 5th May at the Special Happening, it provided plenty of inspiration for lively talks and discussions throughout the evening.

Kruse was of one of the very first to venture on an “Encounter” with one of OUBEYs paintings which he did in February 2010. It proved an encounter full of empathy “almost like meeting a kindred spirit” as he puts it today.

The way the project grew organically in an open process of interaction – which Kruse describes as “an experiment in cultural communication” – caught his interest back then and has held it ever since. In the meanwhile Kruse thinks that the project  – continuing on its own idiosyncratic way and turning its back resolutely on all the prescriptions of the speculative art market – has taken on the character of a counter-model to the art market and thus appears to him as a provocation in the positive sense of the word.

Our Blog “A Metabolism of a very special Kind” picks up and reflects on Professor Kruse’s thoughts. It will be published on May 27.

OUBEY MINDKISS 5thAnniversary – This Special Kind of Happening Thrilled Everyone who Was There

13 May 2015

On 5 May 2015 OUBEY MINDKISS celebrated the anniversary of the project launch in the same place where, five years ago, on 23 March 2010, it took its first tentative steps in the public spotlight at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.

What follows is the first photo-reportage of the event. A short video is now being prepared and will be online shortly.

OUBEYs PhotonPainting POW, the key visual of the 5th Anniversary was suspended in the great atrium to greet the arriving guests.

OUBEYs original works accompanied by their companion Encounter Videos were shown for the first time in Karlsruhe– the city where they were created many years ago.

Some people came by in the early afternoon to give themselves plenty of time to see everything there was to see.s

The Special Happening kicked off with a marvelous surprise. SennerJazz filled the atrium with the unusual sound of alpine horns playing melodies by George Gershwin.

Dagmar Woyde-Koehler welcomed the large company of assembled guests. With a twinkle in her eye, she placed the 5th Anniversary in the context of the great anniversaries of the year: 100 years of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope, and 5 years of OUBEY MINDKISS!

Friends and partners of OUBEY MINDKISS, who were unable to make it to Karlsruhe, sent videos of greetings and congratulations from New York and Berlin. Stefan Sagmeister, a partner of the very first hour, Director Bernd Müller, Webmaster Jurgen Altziebler and Christoph Brosius, who together with their team developed the OUBEY Digital Discovery. Please click here to view the video of their best wishes.

In his inspirational welcome address, Professor Peter Weibel, Director of the ZKM, took the opportunity to explore what is actually meant by a MINDKISS in the intersection of science, philosophy and daily life. So he put the audience in the mood for experiencing it themselves.

The internet is the main channel by which the project communicates with its worldwide community. On the evening of the Happening too.

Unfortunately Professor Peter Kruse wasn’t able to attend himself but his video talk situating the OUBEY MINDKISS Project in the context of present day societal developments was followed by the audience with the keenest interest and gave plenty of food for thought and animated discussions thoughout the rest of the evening. The video with Peter Kruse’s provocative and insightful thoughts will go online next week on OUBEYs YouTube Channel.

The questions he dealt with and a great many other issues were touched on in the conversations Dagmar Woyde-Koehler had with her guests.

Each guest also had the opportunity to meet with one of OUBEYs paintings in an Open Encounter. Unfortunately time was too short to give everybody who wished to participate the opportunity to do so which we very much regret and hope that at some point soon in the future the occasion to remedy this will present itself.

The Digital Discovery experience was not only an extraordinary kind of highlight, it was also a world premiere. With this special technology interactive experiments in discovery can now be made with five of OUBEYs paintings. Click here to read more.

At the end of the evening all the guests were anxiously awaiting the result of draw to see who would be the proud new owner of the PhotonPainting POW, in its large format size as presented at the ZKM. The lottery was open to all the guests.

The lucky winner of OUBEYs PhotonPainting POW was Eve who had come all the way from Paris specially to be at the evening. Even if everyone in the room was hoping they would be the one to take this painting home with them, everybody warmly congratulated the winner for her tremendous stroke of luck.

The whole happening went off with great conviviality and good humor with many guests staying for more than three hours to sup their fill of what was offered on show. As someone remarked on one of the Tweet Sheets where guests could leave their comments, “This place really rocks you!”

We would like to say a big thank you to all those whose generous support and cooperation helped make the evening the success it was, and particularly Peter Kammerer.

The photos were taken by Uli Deck, who also photographed the project’s launch five years ago.

Anniversary Greetings from New York and Berlin

11 May 2015

Stefan Sagmeister (conceived the design of the multi-awarded OUBEY MINDKISS Book), Bernd Müller (created the experimental OUBEY Experience Film), Jurgen Altziebler (developed the website oubey.com) and Christoph Brosius (invented and produced the worldwide brandnew „OUBEY Digital Discovery“ installation sent their congratulations on occasion of the 5thAnniversary of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project via video message to Karlsruhe.

If you would like to know what these appreciated partners of OUBEY MINDKISS said, click here

The Play of Light and Time

06 May 2015

Two years ago during the Encounter between OUBEYs painting Nullfeld (Zero Field) and the whale filmmaker Daniel Opitz on Maui/Hawaii, something happened that we hadn’t reckoned with. In the course of the Encounter the painting – which had been properly lit for the video recording – gradually slipped under the sway of an illumination factor which makes all the spotlights of this world pale by comparison – the sun.

Following the rotation of the Earth, the sun reached that precise spot in the heavens from where its rays could fall with full force and splendor through the window of the room directly onto OUBEYs painting. And what happened then on and in this painting was spectacular.

The glorious blue of the painting changed to an incandescent violet while the three dimensionality of its deep structure, apparent before, radiated with a new vitality, an unexpected astonishing sense of new possibilities revealed. The reflections of the sunlight coaxed totally new pictures out of this seemingly familiar painting, although the painting itself of course remained objectively the same. We were dumbstruck in astonishment and delight. Neither of us had ever experienced anything like it before when viewing works of art, and we feasted our eyes insatiably on the banquet of glories revealed by the passage of sunlight.

Since that time on Maui I’ve been pondering how such an experience can be made accessible to other people. But who has the time to wait for the moment when the sun’s beams fall at the correct angle on one of OUBEYs paintings? And at precisely such a moment who has the chance to have a painting before them that can respond so intensively to the light of the sun as one of these paintings by OUBEY?

And now an answer has come along. It’s called Digital Discovery. With Digital Discovery you can regulate the play of natural sunlight on one of OUBEYs paintings from any place and with very little effort. This unique technology opens the way to sensational voyages of discovery through OUBEYs works. You can move forwards and backwards across the natural 24 hour progression of light and dark and play and replay any section you wish – across the whole surface of the painting shown on the screen which corresponds to the size of the original and is a 3D reproduction as faithful to the original and as accurate as possible.

This is very much in line with OUBEY for whom “painting with light” was a major pole of attraction from a very early stage, even though sadly enough the technical possibilities available to him during his lifetime were few and far between. And it’s also in line with the approach taken by the OUBEY MINDKISS Project which eschews “expert” ways of seeing and interpreting because it believes that each person brings their own way of seeing to a painting which in turns enriches the way all others see. And here the sun as a factor which shapes our ways of seeing is a most welcome guest! The colors and structures of a painting in the rays of the rising sun are quite different to the same painting seen at midday or sunset or during the night. Everything is the flow of a process, nothing stays the same. Each situation has its own particular charm, its own particular quality.

“Digital Discovery” is another example of the highly unusual approach adopted by the OUBEY MINDKISS Project which shuns the conventional rules of presentation and received ways of perception known in the established art business. Rather than assigning a painting one perfect place under perfect conditions of lighting, the excitement of lively dynamic interaction is created by offering the possibility of viewing it from a multitude of changing perspectives. Over and over again.

The Digital Discovery experience will be premiered at the 5thAnniversary of OUBEY MINDKISS on 5 May at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. We’re really curious to see just how the audience will greet it!

27 Cube Memory System

06 May 2015

One day when I asked OUBEY just what “27 Cube Memory System” – the title of the only triptych he ever painted – actually meant, he gave me a very special kind of look and shot back, “You’d better ask Fritz Haller about that”. And that was the end of that until 2005, one year after OUBEYs untimely death, when I drove to Bern with the original triptych packed in the boot of my car to see Fritz Haller and ask him this question.

Fritz Haller and OUBEY met in 1981/82 at the University of Karlsruhe where OUBEY was studying architecture and Haller was head of the department for design and construction of industrial buildings. In the very first night OUBEY and I spent together, talking until sunrise, we swaped stories from our past lives and discussed our visions for the future of planet Earth. OUBEY told me of his professor and the projects like Integral Urban and Prototype Space Colonies which Fritz Haller had introduced him. OUBEYs glowing enthusiasm for science, science fiction and the outstanding range of his visionary thinking impressed me so much that it remained among the freshest most immediate of my memories.

Fritz Haller was one of the very few figures whose authority OUBEY almost unreservedly accepted. A carpenter by trade, this autodidact towered over the university establishment by the strength of his vision and the unconventionality of his teaching methods. This at least was how OUBEY saw him who found in the professor an inspirational role model for just how far you could go if you shook off the weight of convention and forged your own way. And Haller for his part accepted the young OUBEY who was anything but the average conventional student of architecture, dutiful, industrious, ambitious and dull. While others were duly designing a folding chair because designing a folding chair was what the assignment called for, OUBEY drew up a rotational vector which formed the basis of his own idiosyncratic mathematical approach. “Haller accepted this as the outcome of a design process for a folding chair and commented that it was “intriguing”. He told me that this was a direction I should continue to pursue”, OUBEY said in a conversation in 1992. But it was Haller himself who pursued it since by then OUBEY had abandoned the chase.

The enormously important role that Haller played for the young OUBEY hesitating at the crossroads where architecture and art part company becomes apparent when we consider that OUBEY dedicated a triptych to him, named 27 Cube Memory System after the “multi-celled basic structure of orthogonal systems” Haller had developed:. Apart from Fritz Haller, there are only two other people to whom OUBEY ever dedicated a painting: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz with the painting “Die Reise der Monaden” (The Journey of the Monads) and Albert Einstein with the painting “Einsteins Tränen” (Einstein’s Tears) which is also a play on the title of a Perry Rhodan sci-fi novel.

The 27 Cube Memory System explains the fundamental structure of a cube composed of a total of 27 cubes consisting of four different types. The whole structure can only function when the cubes –which are differentiated by various numbers of open sides – are placed in correct order . It’s an intelligent building system, fascinating, seemingly obvious, but far from trivial.

The triptych of the same name, however, is less concerned with the actual cube system, even though the middle panel contains a number of delicate allusions to it along with the name “Fritz Haller” carved in the outer crust of the thick layer of paint. The name can only be found if the viewer stands very close to the painting and consciously looks for it. Astonishingly enough, Haller immediately recognized it, even though when I brought the painting to him in 2005, he was suffering the advanced stages of Parkinson’s. I gave him a large photographic reproduction of the triptych with a dedication as a memento of this extraordinary and even somehow extraterrestrial reunion between Haller and OUBEY in Bern, and he presented me with the voluminous catalog to his one man show in the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin which OUBEY and I unfortunately had been unable to attend. Since I met Fritz Haller and his wife first in 2005, I visited them every year and over the course of seven years until Hallers´s death in 2012, we became true friends.

For OUBEY this three part painting – so he once said to me when we were talking about it at greater length – is the expression in art of the existentially vital dilemma he was facing in 1983: studying architecture yet carrying the flame of art inside him = the meeting with Haller, the brilliant architect, encouraged him to follow the promptings of his heart and go his own way = leaving architecture behind him and forging ahead to live and work as a free artist. Such currents of feeling can be easily deciphered if you delve deep enough into the painting. Yet without knowing anything of the personal background to the work perhaps you might just simply see it as representing our way through life – being aware that living inherently means dying – that leads from living through death to the after death freedom of the spirit and the soul. Death is not an end but a center. Death is the bridge, door and key out of the spirit’s body-bound mode of existence in this world into another immaterial form of energy. OUBEY himself talked about this way of viewing the painting in this conversation in 1992, which I already mentioned before. It‘s a way of viewing that I also embraced when I returned from my visit to Fritz Haller in 2005 and expressed my own thoughts about the painting in a poem. Whether or not I shall publish the poem and if so when, I don’t as yet know.

The right wing of the triptych, by the way, has already been in two Encounters – one of them is online and shows the Encounter with the Maori violinist Elena. Needless to say she hadn’t the slightest idea about anything talked about in this blog post when she first saw the painting – which makes the associations it awakened in her and the discoveries she made that more interesting.”This impassioned red is yearning for the freedom of the infinite blue” was one of the thoughts expressed in the other Encounter which is not online.

After ten years of project work and five years of OUBEY MINDKISS in the public arena one important phase of the project has now come to an end and the next phase is beginning. So many people have talked about this triptych and what they have said shows such fascinating points of divergence and such astonishing points of similarity that any danger of one restricted received view of the painting can be safely discounted. Furthermore, the series of personal Encounters with OUBEYs paintings is now over and done with – always with the notable exception of an Encounter with an astronaut, a wish that thus far has not been realized. So the triptych certainly won’t be travelling to another Encounter – which enables me now to publish a blog like this one for the first time and perhaps by doing so makes you feel a little better acquainted with OUBEY. I am delighted that this is possible now and I believe OUBEY would be, too.


  • Read more about OUBEY and Fritz Haller in previous articles at the OUBEY Blog here and here.
  • If you would like to get very close to the center part of OUBEYs triptych, to see the scratches and Fritz Haller´s name in it, you can do a “360 Degree Virtual Visit” at OUBEYs studio.

An Amazing Development: From a One-Woman-Enterprise to the Community of a Worldwide Joint Venture

06 May 2015

In 2005 Dagmar Woyde-Koehler set up the OUBEY MINDKISS Project – on her own and against all the rules of the art business. In 2010 she first put OUBEYs art in the public spotlight – treading unconventional ways and supported by outstanding partners. In 2015 a global Community is now celebrating the 5th anniversary and all that’s been achieved so far – in eager anticipation of what’s to come.

We wish to thank everybody who’s supported OUBEY MINDKISS and brought it on its amazing way!

And we’re looking forward to continuing this creative fruitful collaboration with all those who join and contribute to the project in future.