Page 8 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 11
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Christian Psychology

             About the Art Works

             by Thomas Pfeufer

             (Germany) and                                     Since then, of course, I continue to sit on chairs,

             Werner May (Germany)                              usually without thinking or as something self-
                                                               evident. They seldom rise to the level of cultural
             Life from a chair!
             There it was, in the middle of the olive trees, in   In the chair objects by Thomas Pfeufer, the chair
             Italy’s famous Tuscany: my seminar chair.         was chosen as a platform for life, where human
             More than ten years ago, I was in charge of a     destinies  “take  place”.  All  his  chairs  illustra-
             creativity unit at a summer academy. I had sent   te being locked in, the chair as a prison which
             the participants off with their chairs for each to   nevertheless elevates. The perception which is
             use according to his/her creative language – as   shared  by  cultural  anthropologists,  “the  chair
             a painting, photo, dance etc. Accordingly, I too   forces man to become sedentary,” causes dete-
             set off, to let my chair “speak” in a poem.       rioration, leads to “back pain”. The expressive
                                                               power of these objects impresses me with new
             Perhaps it was precisely because I found it dif-  freshness every time and motivates me, like the
             ficult “to hear the chair” because there was so   chair in Tuscany, to go on an investigative jour-
             much beauty around me – the Tuscan hills, oli-    ney in poetry.
             ve groves, vineyards, and the specific light of the
             place – that I found that all of that, all this na-
             ture, spoke to me, only the chair said nothing.
             It became clear to me how much I had attached
             myself to earth, wind and water, and this “back
             to nature” was for me an expression of “getting
             away from culture”, getting away from the man-
             made. So in this moment the chair became for
             me  a  representative  of  culture.  Simultaneous-
             ly, my “back to nature” revealed itself to me as
             projection of rejection I had experienced per-
             sonally from others, of my own inferiority. And
             of fear of being limited, of being tied down: the
             chair fixes me to one point in endless space. My
             longing for unlimited freedom, a utopia!

             And, as is the case in such existential situations,
             I knew that my task was to decide in favour of
             the chair in order to be really human. In fact
             nature, as I knew it, also showed traces of man:
             the  idea  of  “nature  alone”  was  a  fiction.  And
             freedom takes place amidst limitation and tying
             down  which  one  has  accepted.  The  one  who
             wishes to do what he must do is free, not the
             one who does not have to do anything. Then the
             poem “Becoming human under an olive tree”
             took shape.

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