John Young, Politics, 2008, Chalk on blackboard-paint on paper.
Thrush, 2008, Digital inkjet print
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, member of resistance and 1945 murdered by the Nazis was ordained pastor in the St.Matthäus church / Berlin in November 1931.
Living from 1930 until 1931 in NYC he already got to know the oldest afro-american Abbyssinian Baptist Church foundet in 1808.
John Young, a Chinese born in Hongkong in 1956, has studied art and philosophy in Australia. Young, currently living and working in Melbourne, visited St. Matthäus church in 2008 for the first time, followed by an exhibition of his 'Bonhoeffer Concept' at St. Matthäus for a six months period in 2009. He has done some reasearch on painted windows by Afro-American glass painters working for the Abbyssinian Baptist Church. The windows's colours inspired him to realise an abstract image.
This image served as a blueprint for a silk tapestry manufactured by exiled Tibetans living in Nepal. As an altar piece it forms the heart of the exhibition at St. Matthäus, supported by eight mid seized tablets and rasterised original prints.
These tablets recollect the anthroposophical 'educational boards' by Rudolf Steiner. They also quote Joseph Beuys' 'Chalkboards Made of Slate'.
Using just a few words, terms and sketches Bonhoeffers' path of life is traced.
Detaching his work out of the spiritual-religious context, John Young uses the Bonhoeffer Concept to lead his work back towards the White Cube.
An enrichment for the work Steps by Micha Ullman
Israeli artist Micha Ullman famous in Berlin for his work Bibliothek located at the Bebelplatz has developed a new project titled Steps in favour of the St. Matthäus church.
Ullman will excavate a space in the floor of the church measuring 2 x 2 x 1 meters; steps made of red sand will lead into the deep. The gallery's proceeds of the Bonhoeffer-Concept will be used to the benefit of the Steps.
On the occasion of John Young's exhibition Bonhoeffer in Harlem, a catalogue was published with the same title in the edition of the foundation St. Matthäus.