PORTRAIT

 
   

Batz is one of the most original archeologists of Hamburg. He probes the city, uncovering its secrets with two devices: theatre and light. “Michael Batz - Sceneography. Light.” This is what is written on his visitor’s tag. “Sceneography” means, he conducts theatre where theatre was never conducted. “Light” means, he illuminates nooks and crannies that have never seen light. With his play about the death of the Everyman, Batz brought new life into the Speicherstadt (a historical warehouse complex in Hamburg). What began in 1994 as a one-time-only project has turned into a fixture of Hamburg life. Since 1999, the brusque facades of the Speicherstadt have glown in a soft, brushed light over wall relief. An idea of Michael Batz. The theatre activist and dramatist unintentionally discovered a new career in the process; he became an illuminator, an arouser of deserted building complexes. The elegance with which Batz allows the Speicherstadt’s stone mass to hover in darkness amazes building officials near and far. Today, Batz is a “Light Consultant” for numerous cities.

Sustained revivals of dead nooks and crannies – that, in a word, is the program of Michael Batz. Dealing with that which is repressed is part of this. Each year, Batz writes a new documentary for the Hamburg community concerning the fate of Jews during the Third Reich; each year, the pieces are performed at Hamburg City Hall. Batz has also written an entire theatre cycle revolving around the stone corpus of the Hamburg city landmark, St. Michael. The church has ten portals. Batz writes a piece for each. They all address themes concerning the area into which each portal opens out onto. This is how Batz creates new perspectives and vantage points for the audience. “I’m fascinated by the city’s mirror worlds, parallel worlds”, Batz says. “That is what I want to make visible.”

Peter Kümmel, DIE ZEIT

   
  The philosopher of light

He has brought the memory of the warehouse district from darkness, let the Berlin Reichstag in quiet beauty shine, and transforms our port in a "Blue Port". What Michael Batz is thinking?

This much is certain: Once again this year, hundreds of thousands in the Port of Hamburg will again flock when it comes to admire a very special, quiet spectacle. How mysterious props of a dream game then light Kaispeicher and harbor, the fish market, the cranes on the docks of Blohm & Voss and reflected, with a variety of other objects to a blue wonder combines, in the waters of the Elbe. Created this magical moment of the man who puts our city for years in a very special light: Michael Batz.
  Magazine "The Hamburger" 07/2010
   
 

"Michael Batz works in the classical sense of the word in the aesthetics field. For the ancient Greeks the aesthetic, AISTHESIS, was the doctrine and at the same time the ability of perception.
The aesthetic, social and spiritual strictures met Michael Batz in two ways:
Firstly, in the visual arts with impressive light works, fantastical installations, full of intuitive and imaginative power and charisma. That means more than giving light to cities. There are acts of illumination, the illumination of the hearts and minds magical moments of "enlightenment."
On the other hand compacted Michael Batz these general aesthetic approach in numerous works and pieces to historical records enlightenment: he brings light into the darkness of history. "

  Björn Engholm in his speech on the occasion of the ceremony of the Herbert Wehner Medal on 26 November 2013
   
Michael Batz :: Hamburg Art Ensemble :: Auf dem Sande 1 :: 20457 Hamburg :: Telefax 040 - 36 96 23 93 :: E-Mail kontakt@michaelbatz.de