Jannis Kounellis, an iconographer of iconoclasm, as he once referred to himself, uses text, silence, conversation or song to keep playing to his own activities and installational works. On occasion of the opening show at Stommeln Synagogue, too, he created a text that extends the artistic work into the sphere of language, though without letting it be a use manual or an interpretational aid:
You used to wander serenely, in rank and file down a rural tree-lined road, toward a sheltered, paradisical future. But then there is the unforeseen, diabolic, incomprehensible, that which pushed us toward the shapeless, toward chaos. Something unacceptable until recently becomes a palpable reality.
Who is the traitor? The trader? The saint? Or the king of the horsemen? Who is the one who takes suffering to be an old-fashioned foreign particle? The sovereign or the man of the street? It needs to be borne in mind that it used to be a protection against wantonness.
We are now aware that the boundary between good and evil is not as clearly delineated as in the speech bubbles of cartoons. We are slowly moving toward a severe trial for those who own a lot compared to those who own nothing. Today, being able to love means having the tools to comprehend and having the language of storytelling. This is the final system of order left to a cogitating person; otherwise the hardest of punishments would await him, that is, to slide into the dismal abyss of hell.
Stommeln, November 21, 1991