My Ex-Voto-Story

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When I came to Mexico a long time ago, it seemed to me that I jumped straight into life with a dive. All the essentials were very close. Death, God, Music and  Mary, the heavenly woman who smiled at me from the image of Ex-Votos in the churches. "Help"! People screamed and then the Super-Donna Maria flew away and the happy ending was there. And all this accompanied by the sounds of mariachi music.

 The memories of these votive images remained awake for a long time and animated me to make my own ExVoto. An Ex Vote is thanks for a salvation that has occurred in need. My grades based on these awards are difficult to find out afterwards. There is too much in my life for which I asked for help and somehow found a happy ending. But as always, the essential is not the good end, but the story itself, that is the work of art, the Exvoto in which the whole story is included from beginning to end. Time is banned from these images. The beginning and the end are recognizable at the same time. And equally present is the Divine in the form of Maria, who looks down at the scene with a slight smile, such as the murderer who punches the naked woman on the bed with a knife.

 And all this hanging on the wall of a church. There are often hundreds of these votive images in a single Mexican church.

If all these images could be summarized in a single image, I think a complete picture of the human being would emerge. And maybe then we could see what holds the world together inside. Or we could find the Philosopher's Stone, Nirvana or at least a large piece of gold.

 I see how Maria smiles with sympathy and I remember one of my latest videos "HeartMachine" based on the film Metropolis by Fritz Lang. There Maria was also omnipresent, even in duplicate, the good Maria and the bad Maria.

And I wonder: why doesn't the good Super-Donna Maria intervene before the killer kills? Is she up there in a corner and can see everything? Maybe he doesn't because the good Maria would otherwise be unemployed - or did the bad Maria even put it on stage?

 I think so, since Mary is not only good and evil in a person, it is much more, she is the great mother, who embodies all the opposites in herself.

 And it is also the inspirational muse, who keeps me alive with his love and makes me a creator.

 The eternal feminine pulls us up, says Goethe at the end of Faust. And so it is Mary, eternity itself. She looks at me, the Sisyphus, with a sympathetic smile, the Sisyphus (as well as Angelo Crespi) who is trying to unite all the ex votos of this world in a single work, in a single "all inclusive" Exvoto image.

 The Chinese circus artists, or if it exists, the Chinese Maria, would say: "May the experiment succeed! "And Maria would smile strangely and probably remind me of Mona Lisa!

BK November 2019