Der Messias

THE MESSIAH Oratorio by G.F.Händel
Performance in English at Basel Minster
with image projections by Erich Busslinger.

Soloists: Miriam Sharoni, Heike Werner, William Lombardi , Stefan Zenkl.

Cantabile Choir and Capriccio Baroque Orchestra conducted by Dittmann Bernhard

Premiere 17 May 2014 at the Münster, Basel

About the projection:
For two thousand years, Christian art has depicted the salvation story of the "Son of God" in unique diversity.
These visual traditions belong to the collective memory of our culture and have fundamentally shaped our understanding of what an image is.

These stories of image of salvations were a central starting point for me:
How can we transfer that connection with the retelling of biblical texts on which the libretto of Händel's Messiah is based into a pictorial narrative that incorporates the expression, rhythm and gesture of the oratorio? Without wanting to compete with the powerful music or comment on the historical texts, but rather to help create a synaesthetic experience.

The confrontation with Händel's work in discussions with the orchestra conductor Bernhard Dittmann became an essential basis for me to create narrative and symbolic references between music, text and image and to turn them into cinematic sequences. I proceeded from my perspective as a visual artist and my passion for painting - often intuitively and associatively and without focusing on the theological aspects or art-historical categories.

I let simple questions guide me:
What images from the vast fund of Christian art are touching me? Which works speak to me, sound out of me? How do I, as a contemporary artist, tell the story of Händel's Messiah? And how does my understanding of Händel's work have an effect on the interpretation of my own pictorial inventions?

Images speak their own language. They mediate between reality levels, let the sense resonate and light up, and create community in the process. The pictorial work on Händel's Messiah has demonstrated to me once again what significance Christian iconography still has for our culture and what impulses it is able to give to our thinking and reflection on images - even in our postmodern, image-saturated world.
Last but not least, this work is also a tribute to all the artists who have dedicated themselves to the representation and transformation of Christian beliefs and whose works I use for image meditation. My thanks go to them for the inspiration I have received from contemplating their works.

The projection of images in 36 parts to "The Messiah" by F. G. Händel quotes works by:

Fra Angelico, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, Master of the Berswordt Altar,
Sandro Botticelli, Joseph Beuys, Dierick Bouts, Berlinde De Bruyckere,
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Erich Busslinger, Caravaggio, Cimabue, Willem Claesz, Lukas Cranach the Elder, Petrus Christus, Otto Dix, Albrecht Dürer, Etienne Descloux, Pierre André Ferrand, Gudrun Müsse Florin, Artemisia Gentileschi, Théodore Géricault, Giotto di Bondone, Hendrick Goltzius, Matthias Grünewald, Frans Hals, Klaus Heider, Hans Josephsohn, Hans Holbein the Younger, Hurter-Urech, Anselm Kiefer, Hilma af Klint, Memmi Lippo, Jan Mabuse, Andrea Mantegna, Simone Martini, Quentin Massys, Master of the Orcagnesque Misericordia, Master of Nerezi, René Magritte, Hans Memling, Antonello da Messina, Theodoros Poulakes, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Andrei Rubljow, Martin Schongauer,
Aldo Solari, Vecellio Tiziano, Niccolo di Tommaso, Christian Triebsch, Lorenzo Veneziano, Paolo Veronese, Leonardo da Vinci, Konrad Witz, Francisco de Zurbarán and further unknown masters.

Category: Image - Projection
From: Erich Busslinger
Status: Archive pearl
Production Year: 2014

Status: Archivperle
Produktionsjahr: 2014
Länge: 140 min


Idee und Konzept
Erich Busslinger

Regie und Realisation
Erich Busslinger

Musikalische Beratung
Bernhard Dittmann

Dramaturgische Beratung
Hansmartin Siegrist

Simon Denzler




Technischer Aufbau
point de vue


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von

Kunstmuseum Basel

Museum Unterlinden Colmar

Kunsthalle Göppingen

Pinakothek München

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

The Courtauld Gallery London

Museo del Prado Madrid

Metropolitain Museum of Art New York