OUBEY was just beginning to prepare for offering his art to The public gaze after a long creative period of withdrawal when he was killed in a car crash in 2004. Following his untimely death, Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, his “partner in crime” for over twenty years, dedicated herself to the posthumous realization of his plan and his vision. In the OUBEY MINDKISS Project she has chosen an approach that is modeled as faithfully as possible on the interdisciplinary and un-compromising creative processes of OUBEYs art, one that follows in his footsteps and thus eschews conventional well trodden paths in its attempt to present OUBEYs artistic and intellectual legacy to the people of the world.
The Project first caught public attention with the publication of the OUBEY MINDKISS book in 2010. Yet the Internet with the web site and the MINDKISS blog was and still remains the central channel for outreach. Through it an international network of people from different professional backgrounds has now grown up who keenly follow and support the development of the project and who in doing so are connected with one another and form in the spirit of OUBEYs art – a WE of a very special kind.
A universal spirit lives in OUBEYs pictures which dynamites and rides roughshod over the frontiers thrown up by the development of culture and science over the centuries. In his paintings the awareness that everything is connected with everything, and that this awareness holds a key to the better understanding of the world and the universe from which we have emerged and which is our cosmic habitat, finds a visual expression that can be understood by all the people of this earth.
This also includes the realization that even time levels in the cosmos are inextricably linked with each other. Past, present and future melt into one another when we think beyond the fourth dimension. Which means that we are not only connected with everything that exists in our present here and now; we are also connected with everything that has existed and everything that will ever exist. This is an aspect of WE that was clearly present in OUBEYs mind and is still embodied in his art.
Every single entity, no matter how large or small, forms an element of the Whole and the existence of the Whole is based on all the living parts of which it is composed – whether human beings, animals, plants, drops of water or grains of sand. After all, we can also trace our existence on this earth back to the dust of dead stars which forms the chemical building blocks for our Periodic Table of the Elements. Such knowledge, and above all such awareness that this is how it is, was an unshakably fixed point in OUBEYs spiritual outlook.
So what I would describe as an element of the WE in his art is – an inner feeling of being related to everything, from the smallest to the very largest element; an ability to conceptualize and experience this vast interconnecting arc and to express it in works of art; and at the same time to eschew the narrow limits imposed by the zeitgeist in favor of a self-created free ranging space in which the artist can be sport himself. “Everything is related to everything else and my art is a visual statement of such knowledge. It simply reflects the joyful exuberance of such knowledge and is basically an ode to it, a poem.” OUBEY
The fact that – after his first and very successful commercial exhibition – for many years OUBEY pursued his creative work at a far remove from the art world, shunning any form of publicity is testimony to his convictions and his awareness of this inextricable interconnectivity. Whoever understands his work as an Ode to Joy extolling such perceptions is obviously going to have considerable difficulty with a reference system that gives precedence to material effects. Yet OUBEY was no conscientious objector. He simply had no choice. He could never subjugate himself to a mechanism that demanded anything other from him than what his own spirit prescribed and brought forth. And in this way – never compromising – he created the widest possible free space for himself, from where the body of work emerged which, now that he is no longer, is being presented to the public in the MINDKISS Project.
Making OUBEYs art accessible to a broad public has also lent a new kind of vitality to the living WE in his paintings. The project’s consistent use of the Internet as the key communication channel has given people all over the world the opportunity to view OUBEYs pictures and become acquainted with his way of thinking. The Encounters which bring together his paintings and scientists and artists from a wide range of disciplines have given birth to a compelling and fully in-the-round view which – quite independently of the interpretations of the experts – is now gaining increasing traction. A kind of resonating space has been created in which the WE in the previously unknown paintings by OUBEY can meet with the previously unknown WE of a broad worldwide public which is now getting to know OUBEYs work. This present edition of we_magazine is part of this process and one which will hopefully drive it forward.
As a free communication space with no access restrictions, the Internet gives everyone with something to offer a challenging perspective. Above all else, the Internet offers direct access to people all around the world. What a stupendous resonance chamber it is! Precisely what this Project needed and what I was looking for – When i had to decide which way would be the right way for OUBEYs legacy to encounter the public scene: a space of maximum freedom in which OUBEYs art can unreservedly move and be viewed, where the magnetic attraction of his work can develop to full effect – immediate and unimpeded.
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler is co-founder and CEO of EnBW Akademie GmbH and in this capacity acts as a consultant to the EnBW Group and other companies on issues of the integrated development of human resources, management and organization. She was voted Chief Learning Officer of the Year 2009 for her development of the Akademie business model and her work on the implementation of knowledge-based management. Dagmar Woyde-Koehler is a member of the New Club of Paris, the Wertekommission – an Initiative for Value-oriented Leadership and Corporate Culture, and the European Corporate Learning Forum. She is also an Ambassador of the Leonardo Award Council.Working together with Stefan Sagmeister, renowned New Yorker graphic designer, she conceived and published the first book about OUBEYs art: OUBEY MINDKISS.