Kunstsammlung NRW
Foto: Kunstsammlung
this & that

Norbert Lammert (66) – the President of the Bundestag and a good friend of art and culture – is a well-known figure in Germany. During a spontaneous visit to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the “second member of the government” after the federal president also revealed himself to be a connoisseur and lover of the works of Günther Uecker.

For #32, Gerd Korinthenberg met with our prominent guest and asked him three questions during his tour through the K20.

#32: Herr Lammert, we are delighted to have you here as a guest. Your Smartphone displays an image of a nail relief by Günther Uecker. What exactly is it about this artist that appeals to you?

Lammert: The extraordinary connection to the human being, between technique, and vision. Contemporary art especially is often suspected of trying to compensate for inadequate technical achievement through brilliant dilettantism. Uecker is one of the most marvelous counterexamples. Far from being chasing after trends, he is an artist who sets them. He also makes an extraordinarily powerful impression on me as a person.

#32: Is Uecker particularly congenial to you as a professional politician because he sees himself as being explicitly engaged politically as an artist?  

Lammert: No, not really. Of course, I like the fact that has always regarded himself as a committed contemporary, that he has engaged at irregular intervals in demonstrative actions and art projects – but that alone would hardly be enough for me. This kind of delight in affirming one's political beliefs does not make him unique. Many artists could be placed in this category together with him – but they lack the other two gifts he possesses.

#32: Do you miss the presence in the Bundestag of artists, writers, composers. Wouldn't it be better to have 10 percent of parliamentarians practicing artistic occupations?

Lammert: Aside from the fact that in general, I regard quotas as a well-intended error rather than as a positive accomplishment: there are few areas that rely upon one another structurally to such a degree as art and politics, yet at the same time get in one another's way. Politics becomes incapacitated when it is unable to make compromises, while art is unable to compromise.

(Kopie 1)