The angel, being between wish, wonder and reality.

The walls of German bedrooms were decorated with Sweet Dreams pictures "Ruhe-sanft-auf-beiden-Seiten" with beautiful angels in them. And on the night dresser right beneath the picture were the photographs of soldiers, with their black ribbons. Since childhood I have wanted to find the connection between the all-too-beautiful pictures, and the young men destroyed all-too-early

Since then the angel has undergone many transmutations in my imagination: Now with, now without wings, now an eagle. He is a little fantastical, but hardly esoteric. Often he's even interfered fairly roughly in earthly happenings. But one thing he's never been: kitschy romantic.

WHERE does it begin, the dangerous sleep?
WHERE does it begin, the human insanity, that finds it's most absurd expression in war? And:
WHAT can I put up against it?

In the 80ies I created sombre chalk drawings: Germany's beheaded angels, after Ingeborg Bachmann, fallen, wounded, and lonely messengers of good. Today my angel wanders about with disarming naivity and holy earnestness. he does the seemingly futile anyway. He calls a lie "lie", and nonsense "nonsense".

He fights the danger of the comfortable mind. for that he is often smiled at indulgently, or laughed at viciously. Very, very rarely is he acknowledged. This angel is a stranger, always and everywhere. He himself feels an outcast. Through solitude the fantastical becomes the truly miraculous.

He is unsuited for violence, hate and envy, because his is a harmless happiness. It is only his harsh humour that frightens at times. He unites with all wide awake angels, with or without wings!

Silke Kowalski


Walking angel