Michaela Merz

Bad Ragartz in Bad Ragaz

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Until 4 November there is this wonderful open-air art exhibition, where things can be touched. I wanted to see it and it was really worth it. The exhibition is huge and anyone not fond of walking is definitely at the wrong place. One needs at least half a day and even then one does not manage to see everything in detail. There are many funny and original things and something for every taste.

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Also inspiring was the plate, which is not part of the exhibition but became art already – Dear guests old and young. Behave well – art is not a playground!! But tell this to the children. They took the art in Bad Ragaz by storm. But let’s be honest, an art experienced with all senses is much more interesting and this requires also hands. I was impressed with what matter of course the younger and older children took this exhibition for them and how much fun they had. I don’t particularly like exhibitions, where one does not even dare to breathe.

Once in New York I visited a photo exhibition on the war in Iraq. One of the exhibits was a video installation. It was very good and pretty long. I had been walking half the day through the city and my legs hurt. Since there was no seating in the entire exhibition, I sat down on the floor, with my back to the wall and continued watching the video installation. Out of nowhere a huge female attendant appeared. In her blue uniform with a weapon at her belt she looked intimidating. She shouted at me with a voice, which could have navigated ships through the fog. And how she shouted at me. What I dare to do, where I think I am and whether I do not have any respect for art. I admit that perhaps I did not understand everything. But at that time I was really shocked. I am not used to it that people shout at me. I felt like a criminal who had just tried to rob a Picasso. Since I had fallen into a kind of rigour in my shock, I continued sitting on the ground. She shouted from above down to me. “Get up” she shouted so loud that all visitors looked in my direction. Slowly I got up. “Leave the room”, she ordered. I had enough and after that wave of insults I probably would have left voluntarily anyway. For that reason I do not know until today, how American artists deal with the war in Iraq.

Things like that cannot happen in Bad Ragaz. One is allowed to walk on the grass or lie on it, the objects can be touched. Bad Ragaz is simply not New York.

And if you still do not have enough, the Tamina canyon is basically around the corner. And there is it just as exciting, only different.

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