Vase In Front of Vienna Succession

Humankind’s Search For Happiness

Spirit Of Impending Change…

Perhaps it is not coincidental that during the end of each century and at the beginning of a new one, humankind wanted to make use of their unique position to change for the better. Somehow we seemed to possess a higher level of energy to seek for something new, something better or more happiness. Let’s just call this the spirit of impending change. Most of us can’t wait for a hundred years for sure. And so I guess that in a similar mystical way, most of us make new year resolutions for positive changes in our life.  I believe that the common denominator for these changes is our search for happiness.

The Vienna Secession…

In the art world, a major change came around the turn-of-the-century, in 1897. An important art movement, the Vienna Secession was founded by a group of artists led by Gustav Klimt. Breaking away from the shackles of art conservatism, they caused a stir when they crossed boundaries of architecture, painting, sculpture, graphic art and interior design. The Secession exhibition space in Vienna occupies a unique position in the history of Modern Art. It’s architecture is an icon of the spirit of impending change, and it is still a timeless building.

Make Changes, Stay Relevant…

This venerated “art temple” has a dome covered by 3,000 pieces of gold-plated laurel leaves. Its facade carries its oft-quoted motto ~ “To every age its art, To art its freedom” Today, the Secession still lives up to its motto and holds forum for both young experimental art as well as the prominent and established. If I were to offer you an advice in our rapidly changing and sometimes chaotic world, what would it be? “Make changes to adapt. Stay relevant” should make sense.

Beethoven Frieze…

The 1902 exhibition, dedicated to the composer Ludwig van Beethoven, remains one of the most famous exhibitions held at the Secession. Klimt created his famous Beethoven Frieze for the exhibition. This 34-metre long mural takes its theme from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (the Choral) and has enough graphic erotic scenes to both inspire admiration as well as intense criticism. The frieze is now reinstalled in a specially designed room at the Secession’s basement level. A life lesson? You’ll succeed if you make bold changes, believe in yourself and discard the criticisms. 

Artists who are attuned to their cultural, social and political environments have often used their works to galvanize movements for change. I believe that the ultimate change is to achieve happiness. What’s the connection you may ask, about modern art movement, the Beethoven Frieze and the Vienna Secession?

Joy And Happiness…

Choir & The Kiss

Choir of Angels & The Kiss

Well, Klimt’s frieze takes its theme from Richard Wagner‘s interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and depicts humankind’s search for happiness. He depicts genii, human figures and a hairy monster to illustrate our search for happiness entails dangers and temptations. Klimt’s epitome of art consists of a kissing couple in front of the “Choir of Angels”. This choir refers to Beethoven’s symphony, the very first where a major composer uses voices in a symphony ~ considered by many as the greatest piece of music ever written and the first to be honoured in the World Heritage List. The final chorus of the symphony is based on Friedrich von Schiller‘s “Ode to Joy” and contains the words “This kiss to the whole world.”

Notes: 1. If you’ve read my very long post to the end, thank you. My gift to you is my special 04 June 2013 post “Fate, Destiny And Your Life“. I’d like you to know that Beethoven was featured as my role model.

2. The great musical genius had accepted his Fate, but he had steadfastly refused to allow it to determine his Destiny. Without the will to drive us foreward to our goals, genius is of little use. So, how do you measure in your own Life?

Related Posts:

1. Why Follow? Do Something New ~ Retire, Do What?

Enhanced by Zemanta