The Answer is Yes:

In this review of Horst and Jennifer Kornberger’s ‹Garments of Survival›, the artists invite us to try on anthroposophical imaginations in an accessible, creative, commitment free way with an eye towards a moral future.

What is ‹Garments of Survival›? Is it a series of art objects that Horst and Jennifer Kornberger and their collaborators have created? Is it a 5 part weekly webinar they led this past February into March? Is it a poetic translation of Rudolf Steiner’s Threefold Social Order into imaginative pictures for our day? Is it the forthcoming book that Horst will write as a culmination of all of the work and thought that has gone into the project thus far? The answer is Yes.

Art helps make life real

Horst and Jennifer are a married artist couple who work in words. And community. And snake skin, roots, costume, festival, light, movement. Up until very recently they lived in Western Australia, but now they are working from Austria in Central Europe. Horst and Jennifer are important to know about. Their work is important to know about. It is important to know that deep Anthroposophical concepts can be brought to non-Anthroposophical crowds. That deep Anthroposophical imaginations can well up through participants in a co-created festival. That art helps make life real.

Garments of Survival is a vehicle for the Kornbergers to contemplate what it might look like for Rudolf Steiner’s ideas around social three folding to be taken seriously. To be tried on. Not yet, as the permanent clothing that we recognize as our familiar uniform. Just tried on – commitment free – the way one does in front of a changing room mirror. Just to give the imaginations a try. Garments of Survival is this invitation. It is an offer of a crown for our heads, a snake skin glove
for our hand, to catch sight of ourselves wearing different social agreements. What if the gem-encrusted golden crown of Kings was reimagined as the delicate strength of intertwined grassroots? What if instead of one crown on one king at the top of a power pyramid, all of us citizen, sovereign and co-responsible, were wearing crowns? What might that mean for
direct democracy? What might that mean for the stubborn tendency to look for charismatic “leaders” out there, who’ll simplify the complexities of the world and handle the responsibilities for us? What does it feel like to put this crown upon my own humble head? This is one of the super powers of Art -its ability to impart feeling.

Designing a new social fabric

Can we reimagine Human attire? Can we imagine the Human Being able and willing to practice the radical act of a truly direct democracy – where each bares the weight of their own crown? There are of course, individual trend setters who have come before. Moral heroes who act as the Avant-Garde – prototyping the new fashion. Martin Luther King Jr. wore garments trailing a different sort of glory. Again, and again, through out time – lone individuals and small bands of conspirators have designed new social fabric and overturned cultural norms to push the fashion of the day forward.

A sensible person dresses for the weather. When traveling, a sensible person pays attention to the conditions of their destination. Where are we going? What will it mean to be adequately outfitted when we arrive? Are we creative enough to update the contents of our luggage, journey light and wrap ourselves in the garments of survival? Jennifer and Horst Kornberger’s work answers: Yes.

Additional information
Theatre of the sea – experimental artwork
Horst Kornberger
Jennifer Kornberger

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