Excerpt from the speech of Ms. Dr. Joeressen, Kükelhaus research department, at the foundation meeting of the Hugo Kükelhaus Society on March 20th 1993:
“When today, four days before the 93rd anniversary of Hugo Kükelhaus’ birth, the Hugo Kükelhaus Society will be founded, this also means the beginning of a new phase for the support of estate and unpublished works, which has been settled in this house since 1988. This is of course no break; you can see that in the staff continuity as well as in the fact, that the town of Soest as the estate owner had invited you today.
A short retrospective view and the attempt of an outlook may help in understanding with which intention the Hugo Kükelhaus Society is being founded.
The work of the past years, the order of the estate, the gathering of the papers, the contacts with many old and newly gained friends and interested people, the plans for the Kükelhaus Path in Soest, which are based on the ideas of Kükelhaus, and much more – these are things on which you can build something.
From the beginning, the response to the opening of an estate place was great. A reason for this is the fact that the study of the work and the ideas of Kükelhaus have extended to such an extent since his death as he had hoped for at best. This response and effect is not one-dimensional, but corresponds in its diversity to the range of Kükelhaus’ creative work, which is relevant on a mental and a practical level.
Therefore there is a great deal of interest in his papers, published and unpublished, his artistic and creative works, his philosophy and ideas with which his house is connected, that conveys so much of his way of living and thinking. And there is a great response to his pedagogy of senses. While today one can expect approval when talking about his basic approach, even if the approval is superficial sometimes, during his lifetime the awareness of needing a fundamental reorientation was only beginning to develop: the assumption that humankind needs help in order to recover a relationship with elementary nature and the life of the senses so that humans may think and act out of the fullness of their being.
The previous work in Soest had a rather small personal basis. With the foundation of the Hugo Kükelhaus Society, the coming work shall now be put on a wider personal basis, which especially implies that the potential of new ideas, approaches and perspectives shall be expanded, inspired by the thoughts and suggestions of Kükelhaus. A creative involvement with the rich fund of ideas and works, a process, in which people cooperate to create new things and projects, for themselves and for others - this can be the assignment of such a society in the spirit of Kükelhaus.
The work of Kükelhaus and what he has left behind should not just be administered and protected in archives. Kükelhaus did not want people to gaze at him or his ideas, but that one uses them in a creative spirit. Just as our senses really perceive nothing when they hold and nail the object down, so would this attitude be unsuitable in this case. A longer quotation on this issue by Kükelhaus himself may suffice to make the point: “Observe the movements of the blind person’s fingers while they fly across the keys of the Braille: The movements are circling, wandering and radially collecting ones. One should try it for oneself with closed eyes. If you want to understand a phenomenon you cannot jump from dot to dot but you have to approach it by making circling, radial and spiral movements. How different the world and the humans in it would be if they thought in such a multilayered way and if they were, so to speak, thought by the object and its laws, just like the fingers feel.” (Organ und Bewußtsein, Cologne 1977, p. 25)
I also would like to consult another image or rather analogy often used by Kükelhaus. The work, conducted the way I think it should be by the society, would be a kind of tightrope walk, a balancing act: Between the poles of an independent, open and relaxed way of dealing with Kükelhaus’ ideas on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the exact reading and effort to understand that which he has already thought and worked on in advance and paved the way for.
And this whole process can only succeed with a perspective into the distance so that one does not trip over one’s own feet and falls.
I wish the Hugo Kükelhaus Society all the best for that balancing act."