Corona Journal: Christiane Löhr from Tuscany

Corona Journal: Christiane Löhr from Tuscany

Christiane Löhr, installation view San Fedele, Milan, 2020, photo: Luca Casonato

We asked artists around the world, who are close to Haus am Waldsee through exhibitions, what their situation is like at the moment.

Haus am Waldsee has invited Christiane Löhr (*1965) for her first solo exhibition in Berlin in 2021. This will present a strong sculptural position that already achieved international success at the 2001 Venice Biennale. It is characterized by the artist’s courage to work in the smallest format, using only renewable materials and thus setting an counterpole to the general sculptural trend towards large-scale installations made of industrially manufactured basic materials.

Here is her report from 18 April 2020:

When I arrived at the church of San Fedele in Milan on 23 February to set up my exhibition, there was still a lot of activity in the centro -two days later it looked completely different- here, between Duomo and Scala empty squares, a few people on the streets wearing masks, the museums closed, also the churches, cinemas… and a general confusion.

Salvatore and I literally fled back to Tuscany. The opening in Milan was postponed indefinitely. We planned to open in mid-March with the curator, Padre Andrea…Since then I have been here, my second home after Cologne, in Gricigliana a small mountain village near Prato.  In the beginning it was relaxed in Tuscany, but every day new regulations came in. Still you are only allowed to leave your house to run errands. A radius of 200 metres must not be exceeded. The Carabinieri control strictly. Once they even checked the forest roads that lead past our house.

But for the Italian ‘io resto a casa’ (I stay at home) there could be no better place than here in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, where I have been living with my Italian partner for 10 years.  Fortunately, we don’t notice anything of the terrible conditions in the Italian hospitals here.  But every errand is still an adventure that has to be well planned. There are no masks. It’s good to be in this situation as a couple. And we are healthy.

Again, all art fairs are cancelled or postponed, exhibitions, projects, meetings are postponed. There are no trips or visits. This must be accepted. But the fact that the production of my first large monograph had to be put on the brakes is quite tormenting. Only very slowly does it continue. With digital instead of real meetings and cumbersome courier routes.

So I find myself between the final spurt for the book and new works in the studio. To live without pressure and to be able to dawdle, I have not known for years. Somehow I enjoy it too. Nevertheless, worries block my creative process.

I imagine that life in the countryside must have been similar hundreds of years ago – few outside stimuli, concentrating on what is around you, looking and listening. Slowness. Every morning is the same, the days flow by. Suddenly I can hear the river rushing, far down in the valley, which is usually drowned out by cars.

Porträt Christiane Löhr

Christiane Löhr, photo: Studio Christiane Löhr