Talking With Ann McCoy at Zero Galerie, Berlin

Published: 23.01.2008
Updated: 30.07.2015


Last week we received two interesting messages. One  was from our friend Atul Shah, London. He recommended to contact New  York based artist Ann McCoy who shows her project “Pfaueninsel” at Zero Gallery in Berlin-Kreuzberg until 25th January 08.


Another mail was from Ann McCoy. Two days later we met at Zero Gallery  where we also came in contact with Anna Krenz who is responsible for ‘zero projekt’ together with Jacek Slaski.


Ann Mc Coy


Ann Mc Coy


Anna Krenz

Ann McCoy’s ancestors were Irish Catholics; she has  found her spiritual destination in Jain Dharma. Mahavir’s teachings of  Ahimsa - no acceptance of violence in thoughts, speech, and actions –  are her guidelines in life. The philosophy of Anekantvada - teaching  the multiple aspects of truth - helped her to communicate with her  students in New York who could not stand spirituality, “In New York  it’s Wall street that counts.” Anekant enabled her to start  communication with them, resulting in mutual tolerance and respect.  “Peaceful coexistence in a minor key,” Ann remarked smilingly.


According to Ann, many people are afraid of their  inner processes, because they are not connected with their Self. There  is a dark side in anyone of us, and we only can change it when we know  it. According to Ann, Jain Dharma has a long tradition in teaching how  to know and then transform the negative aspects of human personality.  For many years Ann has been studying the metaphysic tradition of  alchemy based on the explorations of famous Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung. Her deep interest in transformation is seen in her paintings.

In one of her drawings, she unites a prenatal depiction of Mahavir with  one of his allegories - the impact of a drop of dew on a flower,  emphasizing the very subtle activities transforming life.


Birds are the only animals able to fly, Ann takes them as a symbol of the divine.




Goddess Aphrodite embodies the universal as well as the erotic aspect of love and stands for positive human relations.


Her critical attitude towards American Realpolitik  maintains her view that in America a pre-war mentality prevails whereas  in Europe a post-war consciousness has developed. In 2003, she was  invited for a performance at Majdanek Museum in Lublin, Poland. For her  it is most important is to say NO to violence, wherever and under which  aspects it appears. Violence is like a boomerang, it always comes back.


In her view artists should present solutions and not  problems. Artists should bring light into the dark; this is their  responsibility. Sometimes they do not succeed but it is better to fail  than not to try at all.

Reverence for all life and nature is the most important for Ann McCoy.


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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ahimsa
  2. Anekant
  3. Anekantvada
  4. Ann McCoy
  5. Atul Shah
  6. Consciousness
  7. Dharma
  8. Jain Dharma
  9. London
  10. Mahavir
  11. Tolerance
  12. Violence
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