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The relationship between Landart, Social Landart and Social Sculpture


Landart originated in the sixties, when artists moved out of the city and museum space into unspoiled nature to use larger landscape spaces for and as art. But these untouched "dream places" increasingly became taboo places. Because almost every place on our planet is already occupied: In industrial and agricultural areas, in settlement and urban areas, in energy landscapes and rudimentary cultural landscapes or in nature and protected areas. Man is always a thoroughly organized part of it - or he is excluded from it. 


Social land use therefore has an immaterial and also empathic character. Artists immerse themselves in the areas in order to research socio-cultural, ecological and economic effects on site. Usually there is a problem in the space. Maybe invisible, but tangible, maybe clearly visible, but not comprehensible. Nature in the reflection of man and environment. Artists meet farmers or intervene in the contaminated zone of the Chernobyl reactor accident. They see the transformation of rubble landscapes of past bunkers, explore a moor between its past and its future, celebrate the wind as a repeated action on the coast with the local population by bringing art objects. These are examples. What is desired in each case is development as a transformation process with its inhabitants.


Social Landart also has its roots in the late work of Joseph Beuys (1982-86) and his expansion of the concept of art. Beuys posed the question of methods in space and manifested the Social Sculpture as an artistic means for a social "Gesamtkunstwerk". Free academies were to be founded, in any case with participation. Artistic methods that promote the self-discovery of one's own creative potential for each person. The artist uses his charisma. Social sculpture has become a therapy of creative healing. It finds formats of participation, teaching, regenerative and creative education. Thus the artist now approaches destroyed nature and disturbed community.


The Social Landart deals with the complex cultural landscape in which we live together, which is changing at every moment and is increasingly consuming itself - including all the living creatures it contains. Artists explore these landscapes with all those who are part of them. Social Landart makers* act transdisciplinary between ethnographers and inventors or present enthusiastic mirror landscapes and add visions as alternatives. They link existing knowledge with new knowledge. They become mediators between humans and nature, they convey sensory perceptions in everyday life. 


Social Sculpture and Social Land Art are directly connected with each other, but one can distinguish between the work on humans and the work of humans in dealing with the environment. The one can condition the other. Social Landart is here an intervention practice that works on implementation strategies and calls for common insights. First of all, Social Sculpture brings about self-knowledge to change something in oneself, and the potential for change can develop further in Social Landart. First of all, one sees oneself in the mirror and then the mirrored environment itself. Therefore Social Landart is also a collective matter. The Social Landart challenges us to develop it and to use it in a new way.