Undine Groeger | Testimonials

TESTIMONIALS

2016 

"Within Our Walls and Beyond" project is not only interesting but very relevant in the subject matter it protrays. History is a necessary as it allows us to penetrate the past, reflect on the present, and think about the future. It can also be told in various innovative fashions. However, the personal aspect brings the subject home and allows us to engage on a personal or communal level. 

The art exhibition was engaging as it was participatory in that the audience were given the opportunity to not only think but more connectedly jot down their thoughts relating to a specific year in history. The responses were diverse. But at the same time made a connection to humanity.

Additionally, the film portrayal looked into the personal lives of artists and how art itself related and was relevant in their lives. Again, the diversity showed in ages, art work, and personalities. Finally, the audience was again given the opportunity to ask questions in an interactive dialogue after the film screening. It was engaging and interesting that we ran out of time very quickly.

The beauty and sometimes necessity for having such interaction between the artists and the audience alllows for questions and looking deeper into the subject matter. One of the interesting questions that came up was on the aspect feminiity as the panel were all women and all the artists in the film were women as well, so this raises questions of identity in gender and individuality (e.g. artist).

- Mutua K. Kobia - Visitor at the Opening Reception of photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, and the Roundtable on Women in the Arts at Centre des Arts on November 14, 2016

 

I believe in art for, and about, the collective. I believe in art as a message for furthering some kind of peace, or truth. Art as therapy. I also believe Undine’s exhibit, though personal, opens up essential dialog about a how we collectively create irrational thought processes that unnecessarily divide us up. I personally believe there must have been an important shift in consciousness in 1989, as there will be again soon and this exhibition only serves as additional fuel to a powerful fire that honest and empathic people must create together to break down the world of more unnecessary walls.

- Sarah Delatte - Visitor at the Opening Reception of photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, and the Roundtable on Women in the Arts at Centre des Arts on November 14, 2016.

 

 

2015

When I met Undine, it seemed to me the perfect fit between this place and her concept. The Caux Conference Centre was bought by Swiss in 1946 to help the process of healing in the European continent after the Second World War. So the idea of walls, breaking down walls, going beyond our own inner walls discovering those barriers within us and between us has been very much part of the history of this house.

-Extract from interview with Andrew Stallybrass, Managing Director of Caux Books, on the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in partnership with CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation until March 31, 2016.

 


 

... les murs naissent d'abord dans les esprits et (...) c'est d'abord dans les esprits qu'il faut travailler puisqu'après les murs se projettent dans la réalité en béton et en grillage, mais ils sont d'abord constitués de peur, d'arrogance, de haine, etc. C'est en travaillant sur ce niveau là que la Fondation CAUX-Initiatives et Changement espère mettre en question les certitudes des visiteurs ainsi avec l'aide de votre exposition, et puis leur poser la question: "Est-ce que nous nous sommes des bétonneurs, des diviseurs dans l'humanité? Ou, est-ce que nous sommes des gens qui essaient de démanteler les murs, de faire progresser la compréhension entre les gens?"

-Extract from interview with Antoine Jaulmes, President of CAUX-Intitiatives of Change Foundation, on the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in partnership with CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation until March 31, 2016.


 

Caux dieser Ort hier ist ja ein Ort, wo wir über Ungesagtes auch sprechen, über Dinge, die uns beschäftigen, über Konflikte, die wir haben in uns mit anderen Personen, Spannungen,

Unverständnis auch, und ich denke auch, dass es diese Mauern gibt wie sie hier auch ausgestellt sind, … Mauern, die nicht unbedingt sichtbar sind, aber die doch hier sind, die bestehen und über dieses sprechen wir ja hier und versuchen auch, die Leute zu motivieren, sich zu öffnen natürlich unter grossem Respekt, und so passt die wunderbare Ausstellung wirklich sehr gut mit der Philosophie und den Werten von Caux und den Initiativen der Veränderung.

-Extract from interview with Barbara Hintermann, Secretary-General of CAUX-Intitiatives of Change Foundation, on the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in partnership with CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation until March 31, 2016.

 

 

Within My Walls and Beyond is a heart-warming story of one woman's journey from the fall of the Berlin Wall to rediscovering her identity and her roots. With her evocative photos, Undine succeeds in capturing the spirit of a bygone era and the effect it had on so many peoples' lives, and weaving it into her own personal story and that of her family. She connects with you at an emotional level and inspires you to look inwards and ask yourself similar questions about the walls you might have had in your own life.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, at Caux Expo during the Friends of Caux Weekend on November 21, 2015.

 

Undine's presence, storytelling, art work and exhibition are beautifully rooted into a deeply embodied life experience. It is one of those experiences that are generative of human, social and societal dynamics. It is part of those key moments that shape and renew history, culture and the destiny of individuals, countries, and continents alike. One that impacts the whole and the parts at the same time. 

Undine opens us to her experience and feelings, as far back as East- Prussia migrations and a teddy bear, inviting us to open up to ours.  
 
The fall of the wall impacted millions of individuals, it moved our inner Self, on both sides, East and West. Was it an invitation to consider them as the same reality to be, to be co-created ? It also opened up a world of new possibilities, to bring us closer, to become One, accepting the richness of complementarity and diversity. Did it allow some of us to migrate physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? Poor and rich, young and old, people and leaders alike? Rich of materialism and humanity? Undine's migration, made me migrate here and now, outside of my comfort zone, reconnecting to my walls, inviting to seek and peek beyond them, to enter the spaces of reconciliation and resilience. And as in all life stories, families, histories, some mysteries remain, black holes, "taboos" exist to reveal even more hidden potentials, that are just awaiting to be uncovered, addressed, inside and outside, in our deepest and darkest places. Seeking beyond the obvious, where is my Transnistria, where is my non-dual perspective of freedom and prison, acceptance and perseverance, feeling alone and proud, being left out and wanting to join in? 
 
I recommend anyone on a journey to meet Undine and discover her exhibition. Be touched by her, with her. It is a journey that started in 20th century; it still transcends me today, and it will tomorrow.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, at Caux Expo during the Friends of Caux Weekend on November 21, 2015.

 

Am Samstag, den 21. November 2015, als ich in Caux an einem Wochenende der „Freunde von Caux“ teilnahm, lernte ich in der dortigen Caux Expo Undine Groeger kennen. Sie stellte den rund 20 Anwesenden ihre Fotoausstellung vor. Diese Wanderausstellung behandelt das Thema der Mauern und heisst „Innerhalb meiner Mauern und darüber hinaus“. Wir hatten die Gelegenheit, die Bilder genauer anzusehen, deren Aussage Undine in einer Einführung erklärt hatte. 

Nie zuvor war mir bewusst, dass die Mauer und deren Fall in Ostberlin ganz anders erlebt werden konnte als dies aus der Sicht von uns im Westen wahrgenommen wurde. Ich entdeckte, wie für gewisse Einwohner des Osten dieses völlig unerwartete Ereignis das Leben grundlegend verändert hat und wie dieses Erlebnis destabilisierend wirken konnte. Undine erzählte einiges aus ihrer Lebensgeschichte, wobei sie auf eine wichtige Erfahrung in Transnistria hinwies, ein Land, von dem ich vorher nichts wusste. Besonders eindrücklich fand ich übrigens die Fotos aus diesem Ort, da sie uns eine Welt nahe bringen, die wenig bekannt ist. 

Anschliessend forderte Undine uns auf, über das Thema „Mauern“ nachzudenken. Sie hatte Fragen vorbereitet, die auf verschiedene Aspekte des eigenen Lebens in Beziehung zu Mauern hinwiesen und zum Nachdenken anregten. Wir konnten diese in aller Ruhe schriftlich beantworten. Undine ermöglichte uns damit und mit dem darauf folgenden Gedankenaustausch einen wirksamen Einstieg in die Gespräche über „Migration“, das Thema des Wochenendes, das wir im Laufe des Sonntags noch weiter behandelten.

-Besucher der Fotoaustellung, Innerhalb meiner Mauern und darüber hinaus, in der Caux Expo während des Wochenendes der Freunde von Caux am 21. November 2015.

 

What an inspirational evening at the Impact Hub Geneva - hearing Undine describe her journey, opening up and sharing her art, her emotions, her thoughts. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and I hope to see the full exhibition in Caux soon and of course encourage everyone to do so! 

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, during the #beyondourwalls event at Impact Hub Geneva on October 16, 2015.

 

Awesome event - not only are the pictures great! We had one of the best discussions about walls. Are they always "bad" - what happens if they come down? Are we prepared if they come down? People behind walls develop values which those outside don't? Undine has a nice, calm, charming style. A Gem! I am I saw the photos and participated!

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, during the #beyondourwalls event at Impact Hub Geneva on October 16, 2015.

 

The fall of the Berlin Wall a historical moment seen as the end of the cold war - seen as a personal historical but also symbolical transition by artist Undine Groeger: good discussion around the topic of walls/borders in everybody's life.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within Our Walls and Beyond, during the #beyondourwalls event at Impact Hub Geneva on October 16, 2015.

 

Keep up this important work. It was amazing the way we met last year at the first exhibit. I think we have another wall around us - and what I call the "urban wall". We are so afraid of simply saying hi to someone we do not know in urban areas around the world. I was out in the Swiss villages today with friends and almost everyone we come across said a warm bonjours to us. #beyondourwalls

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, at Impact Hub Geneva on October 16, 2015.

 

2014

Walls can be erected from words, from cultures, from discrimination, all sorts of walls can pop up, and this project as you will see, is trying to visualise that. 

-Former Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Dr Thomas Fitschen, at the first opening of the travelling photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, on November 7, 2014 to celebrate and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

 

In a city like Geneva, full of politics run by diplomats and employees of various organisations, it is of crucial importance not to forget that at the end of every policy and all politics comes one thing: humans. The exhibition on the occasion of this historic event [25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall] showed this in an explicit way. This was further underlined by the fact of the presence of the parents of the photographer.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in November, 2014.

 

Une visite sans fin. Merci pour votre cadre artistique et social.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in November, 2014.

 

Merci, merci, merci vraiment beaucoup pour ces deux jours de partage très inspirants!!! J'ai adoré et m'en rappellerai encore longtemps.

-Visitor at the photo exhibition, Within My Walls and Beyond, in November, 2014.