07.09. - 28.10.2023
The bronze sculptures by Michael Jastram, born in Berlin in 1953, show archaic-looking companions, female horsemen, warriors, goddesses, lonely drifters. They tell of man as an eternal traveller but also of his rationality and creative ability. Technical inventions let us overcome our physical limitations and dream of things that are still out of sight: Ladders, stairs, bridges, a boat, a wheeled cart. These ideas are as ancient as they are always wanting to be rediscovered in every human life. There is also something fateful in this image: man as driven and displaced.
"There is no substitute for travel. At home, others are the strangers; on the road, we are the strangers. Travelling requires exposing ourselves to risk, and we do it because strangeness is threatening but at the same time enticing." (Christoph Tannert 2018)
Michael Jastram's artistic commentary on society and politics is not provocative, not lurid but therefore by no means less effective. On the contrary, the political dimension in Michael Jastram's works is expressed in quiet tones: neither admonishing nor accusing and nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, from a historically aware perspective with a broadened horizon into the future and the past.
Jastram's pictorial world is inhabited by beings and things that seem to come from a distant time. In addition to the aforementioned driving objects, we find huts on wheel frames, stilt houses and towers, then horses, bulls and today boats. Horses in particular are often in the company of women — proud riders. A reformulation of myths.The rich world of mythological and archetypal images feeds our imagination, it is about pausing, contemplating and imagining.Just as myths were told in antiquity, Jastram's sculptures invite us to search for the reason behind the mystery that shrouds their origins. Thus, the unbridled steed with its rider perhaps becomes a mirror of primal longings, a symbol of values such as pride, grace, freedom or reminds us of moments of solitude and introspection.