Seeing Peace: Artists Collaborate with the United Nations

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Seeing Peace is a visionary international initiative that seek to bring the imagination, through the presence of the artist, to the table of the General Assembly of the United Nations on prder to embed the imaghination into the great global dialog of the day. A story: In 1989 when Vaclav Havel came into power in the newly formed Czech Republic he inviterd the artist to the table. He invited the creative Czech community of poets and painters and sculptors and playwrights and architects to come to the table. Not as experts in transportation or global warminmg or defense or finance, but as experts in the imagination!. Havel felt that without the imagination being present that the new state would be dark, lacking in passion and grace, less human. So, he invited the artists to the table. Seeing Peace has three aspects to it: 1) a tableaux: on International Peace Day, 191 artists from each one of the 191 member nations, and their reaspective ambassador, will meet at the Peace Bell, and pair by pair, enter the General Asembly and take their seats at the the table; 2) an exhibition: one artist from each 0ne of the 191 member nations will make one piece of art reflecting their unique cultural perspective as to what peace looks like;' 3) a chant: on the opening evening, 500 voices, in various language and various dress, will meet on ther esxterior plaza of the UN and let their voices riose and soar in song.


Keywords: Peace, Art, Artist as Citizen
Stream: Art and Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Richard Kamler

Associate Professor, University of San Francisco, Visual Arts
San Francisco, California, USA

Kamler’s installations, drawings, sound pieces, actions and events, environments and presentations have been exhibited in a wide range of venues, among them are, Alcatraz Island, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the East Jerusalem Cultural Center, McMullen Museum in Boston, the San Francisco Art Institute, on the grounds of the San Francisco County Jail, “The Sound of Lions Roaring,” a sound event in San Francisco Bay, Long Beach Museum of Art, Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville, Texas, Raw Space Gallery in Chicago, Art Space in New York, at the Experimental Video Festival in the Netherlands etc. In the early 90’s Kamler began to include a “dialogue” component in his work, a series of community conversations. It was influenced by the idea of “social sculpture,” from Joseph Beuys’, the German conceptualist, and that has the intention of reaching out to a wider public and to act as a catalyst to effect social, cultural, educational and environmental transformation. Kamler has received many awards and grants for his work; among them are: a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship in New Genres, an Alaskan State Arts Council /NEA grant when he spent 9 months in residence at Petersburg on Baranof Island in Alaska doing “landscape installations.” He has received several California Arts Council Artist in Residence awards, Gunk Foundation for Public Art, Institute of Noetic Science, and Potrero Nuevo Fund. In 1981 Kamler spent two years as Artist in Residence in San Quentin Prison. This experience dramatically changed the focus of his art as well as his thinking about the way art might be integrated into the fabric of our culture. He began to think of art as a transformative agent, one for social change and cultural transformation. In 1990 he received a grant from the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation. In 1996 Kamler was awarded the Adaline Kent Award from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1997 Kamler was awarded a California Arts Council Fellowship and in 1999 a major Artist Fellowship from George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
In 2002 Kamler, conceptualized, and is currently working on, Seeing Peace; Artists Collaborate with the United Nations, a visionary international initiative that seeks to bring the imagination, by the presence of the artist, to the table of the General Assembly of the UN. The intention is to move the artist into the great global dialogues of the day.

Ref: A07P0017