Art Berlin 2018

Art Berlin 2018
Bo Bjerggaard Gallery
Brigitte Waldach, Parsifal I und II, 2018

Of height in the frightening sense of the word, of a knowledge and perception that cuts through a soul as if with knives – and of compassion with what is seen and judged. (Nietzsche on Parsifal)

No other work of operatic literature has been as controversial to the music world as Richard Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal.
The plot of Parsifal, which Wagner referred to as a Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage inauguration festival play”), focuses on just a few characters and Wagner’s omnipresent idea of redemption.
Salvation and regeneration through compassion or empathy – represented by the seeking Parsifal and the suffering Amfortas, who are seduced and enlightened by Kundry – exert what Wagner called an “enrapturing effect on the audience”.
The moral contradictions of guilt and punishment, seduction and resistance are ultimately dissolved – for an open redemption that transcends all religions.

My fascination with Parsifal today is based on the statement from the libretto: “Here time becomes space.” My drawings “Parsifal I” and “Parsifal II” depict the three protagonists – Parsifal, Amfortas, and Kundry – in the midst of their sung text or their scope of action, which seem to stretch like a flexible, curved space-time fabric into another dimension, accompanying us into the present day.

I assigned each of the three figures a particular color, and with it, an emotional principle. Parsifal, in violet, is at the intersection of the female (Kundry) and male (Amfortas) principles, translated into the colors red and blue, respectively. Incidentally, the original libretto was written by Richard Wagner in purple ink.

Parsifal I, 2018
Gouache, pigmentpen on handmade paper
146 × 140 cm

Parsifal II, 2018
Gouache, pigmentpen on handmade paper
146 × 140 cm