Tagebucheinträge von Karl-Peter Penke anlässlich des Besuchs der Remodernisten in Lewenhagen

Lewenhagen Diary of a Pickelhaube, July 2010

Chase your shadow, it flees from you.
Run from it, it will pursue
(Adapted from Ben Jonson)


Thursday 22nd July. There’s one! And another surely over there beyond that fine shrubbery? Squatting or sprawled, there are five of ’em about in the park, painting or scribbling and confronting their inner selves; an infective enthusiasm that’s touched us outsiders into vomiting our own feelings onto canvas, or tabletops. Also moving stealthily amongst us, like a big silvery cat, the film-maker. He’s number six.

The five call themselves Collective Remodernists, and they’re very intense, busy people and ever so English. That they have time to work hard and remain so utterly polite, smile and hum and haw, amuses me and makes me miss England.

The leader, striking in poise and intensity, is Mr Machine. Firm legs planted broadly, beautifully bearded, suited in tweed and sustaining intimate dialogues in a no-messing-about Kent tilt. See his fingers patrol tenderly his facial hair, or bulge his pockets when squaring himself, or entwine themselves obediently (meticulously) under his gaze between meals. It’s like sharing the bridge with a merchant navy cap’n under torpedo threat from U-boats.

Friday 23rd July. Do they never tire? They’re off again, painting and discussing ideas. The Collective Remodernist think-tank arrived at Göttingen station two days ago. Hot and bothered from their trans-European train trip, the six were then driven here to Lewenhagen, the former Stuckist HQ in Germany. Late afternoon refreshments cheered them up and excited chatter bounded across the grounds, continuing through and after soup into night. Talk was on mythology and spirituality, Jung and dreams, and reminiscences and anecdotes from the early Stuckist days. One sensed a general urgency to move on and push out. The Remodernist manifesto was gently massaged and tentatively squeezed into shape.

Sunday 25th July. Awoke restless and damp surprised to be dreaming of chickens squawking and lamenting ladies in castles. Wondered a moment why I still heard an unrestrained voice screaming “Richard!” and fumbled for my spectacles. Groggily unzipping the flap entrance to my tent, I poked my head out and saw the skimpy-white-dressed girl of my paintings running wide-armed across the grey-green dawned lawn. It wasn’t a dream of course, just Mary, host and overseas Collective Remodernist, saving the rooster from a life and death struggle with the fox. Richard (of tabletop persuasions), drawn last night into a spell-bound conversation with the foxfriendly poet and artist Bill Lewis, had forgotten to lock the chickens up. A hen had lost her life – the foolish one role-playing gestation in the hay – and there was something poetic about her death – a kind of sacrifice – that suited this gathering of mythology loving artists. Nothing stirred in the Schloß – no silhouettes filled the windows, no flitting shadows. The artists were not to be roused from dream or slumber. Possibly the boozy twelve-headed supper played its part last night: Edwina Jacques, Jonathon Henkel, Edgeworth Johnstone & Shelley Li, Bill Lewis, Joe Machine, Beate Pröttel, Richard Smith, Christian & Mary von Stockhausen, Raymond Unger and the Pickelhaube, content as tomcats licking their balls.

The beautiful Pröttel, bony and gaunt, sang to us her haunted songs and Lewis chanted and recited his psychichal poetry. Christ, what a miserable lot we are. But witty about it, and clever, and the pictures we exhibited were complex and thought-provoking.

Tomorrow we all break camp. It’s a damned shame to have to see them go – these are the encounters that feed and stimulate the points on our helmets. Like or dislike them, Collective Remodernists are out there, shining a light on our shadows. And they’ve been to Germany and back.

Institute for Collective Remodernism


Statement of Intent


1.) The primary function of Collective Remodernism is to continue and refine the values of Remodernism through the medium of the collective psyche, working with archetypes, ancestral heritage and mythology to discover how these elements affect individuals, groups and the creative process.

2.) Collective Remodernism seeks to incorporate the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, religion, mythology, spirituality and science into writing, visual art and thought.

3.) Remodernism is an ongoing experiment, Collective Remoernism sustains the dialogue between the previos age of experience based logic and the emerging intellectual era of the present.

4.)  A collective Remodernist work is defined by its depiction of self confrontation and the exploration of the human shadow. As the cave art of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers depicted the importance of environment to man, Collective Remodernism employs similar methods by examining behaviour ritual and the unifying aspects of world cultures.

5.)  The Collective Remodernist method redefines the creative process as a form of motive examination. A route of enquiry from the unconscious to the conscious with the purpose of encountering the self as a whole.

6.)  Collective Remodernism offers perspective on thought and not just on art. The Institute for Collective Remodernism seeks to examine and unify ethics which transcend secular society.

7.)  The institute for Collective Remodernism offers to work with groups and individuals as well as academic institutions to further knowledge, understanding and the endurance of the human spirit.

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