I am happy to present my new website.
It is currently under construction

I am very pleased to announce the following works
within the framework of the Capital of Culture Salzkammergut
During the opening of the exhibition in the Tanglberg Gallery
at Schloss Hochhaus Vorchdorf on 26 May 2024
the durational performance
In the unique Galerie Tanglberg within the Schloss Hochhaus, which specializes in contemporary painting in dialogue with often historical drawings and engravings, Yama Kowa is showing a work in the style of a living panel painting and again on the theme of the cycle.
On the one hand, making a performance-cycle about the cycle can certainly be seen as ironic, while on the other hand it is an exploration of the artist's tendency to bring the essentially ephemeral and irretrievable of a performative moment into a permanent context.
Because a circle has no beginning and no end, it reveals eternity as well as a moment of absolute presence. Thus, the cycle inspired Nietzsche to the idea of eternal recurrence, while Goethe measures the intensity of a moment with "Oh stay, you are so beautiful", i.e. the desire for eternity
While Yama Kowa examined the cycle of construction and destruction in her last work in the Schloss Hochhaus "Creative Creatures", this time the water of life will circulate. And in a very direct way: elegantly dressed, Yama Kowa holds a cocktail glass in her hand, a second one stands beneath her, between her legs.so that a cycle of give and take can develop, or rather of release and absorption.
The salacious decadence of this process is certainly no coincidence, but refers to a gallery that is also known for its first-class gastronomy.
Nevertheless, Yama Kowa is by no means concerned with provocation, but rather with creating an awareness of the absurdities to which our physically hostile moral concepts lead.
For example, the fact that synthetic urine is produced as a fertilizer for the allotment gardener who is disgusted at peeing in his flower bed while we shrug our shoulders at the fact that the fields on which our food grows are fertilized with animal manure soaked in antibiotics.
Or that we would rather trust a genetically modified injection as supposed virus protection than the detoxifying and immune-boosting effects of urine therapy, which have been known since time immemorial and logically trigger a vaccine-like immune response.
But above all, our body-hostile moral concept prevents us from recognising the obvious: that on an elementary level we are a single organism that contains all life on this earth.
Whether we hear that the groundwater level is falling or the sea level is rising, it is always the same water circulating on this earth in different aggregate states.
Respect for quality is therefore much more important than the constant evaluation of quantity. Ultimately, it is the same water that circulates through all living things on this planet. It is the same with air and all other elements.
The elemental view is therefore much more suitable than the moral view for remedying ecological and social grievances.
The title "Currencirculation" should therefore be understood ambiguously: an economy that is adapted to the elementary cycles of life would be desirable, but the financial economy is increasingly and more clearly one that revolves around itself.

Mail Art Hands-on Happening
with the artist Yama Kowa
Saturday, 8 june, 2024 2-5pm Bartlhaus Calligraphy Museum
What is Mail Art? When and how did it come about? Yama Kowa talks about her own experiences in the Mail Art movement, about the art form and its connection to the Fluxus movement She shows examples from her mail art archive presenting works of Picasso Gaglione (USA) Pere Sousa, Rafael González (Spain)  Tohai Mano (Japan) and Chris Voisard (France) talks about the artists who designed them and how this resulted in a network of relationships and artistic games. She also invites visitors to get creative themselves and design their own mail art. This can take different shapes, be written, glued or stamped. A creative afternoon awaits you at the Bartlhaus Calligraphy Museum. 


Mail Art Guerrilla exhibition
in the ruins of Seisenburg
the artist Yama Kowa Sunday, 30 June, 2024 2pm
joint hike to the ruins of Seisenburg and picnic In a spontaneously set up pop-up exhibition, the Mail Art works, which were created during the joint hands-on happening on June 8, will be hung up in the Seisenburg ruins and presented to the public. If you feel like coming, meet at 2pm at the parking lot to Seisenburg. The group hikes together to the ruins, looks at the exhibited mail art and perhaps gets inspired for further activities. All participants are invited to bring snacks and drinks for a picnic together at the special place. The event will only take place when it is not raining.
Participation in both events is free of charge.

 For organizational reasons, we ask you to register by kontakt@schriftmuseum June 5, or for the hike to the ruins by June 26.

much ado about nothing


I am at the end of my fourth year of caring for my mother in Austria. Since I've been here, my artistic life in Berlin has been on hold, so to speak.

I hardly have any time left to take part in performance festivals or exhibitions, give workshops, continue long-standing projects or edit videos.
Everything that is questionably part of the permanent self-promotion of contemporary artists - such as websites, social media, newsletters - is now only fragmentary https://www.instagram.com/kowabarbara/
What I started elsewhere during this time (such as the performance at Artpark Marzona or the performance film on the subject of masks in collaboration with the greek filmmaker  Giorgis Fotopoulos) has been lying around unedited as video material ever since. I am therefore delighted that Fotopoulos has now completed his film in which he introduces me as one of five artists he considers to be Artist of life:  https://german-documentaries.de/en_EN/films/artists-of-life.22981 

Because it's simply not possible for me to do anything else while caring for my mother, who can no longer do anything on her own. That's just the way it is.
I'm learning acceptance and patience, which isn't easy for me, because I've always suffered from too many ideas and it really annoys me when they remain just ideas for too long, that means they stay. pure theory. This year, however, I have realized that the ideas and concepts we develop are just as real as their implementation. Or just as unreal, because neither is permanent in the eternal change of life.
I am therefore very grateful that Picasso Gaglione introduced me to the wonderfully light and playful world of mail art and praised my ability to do "nothing"...
Because I can't actually do anything at the moment that goes beyond the playful and momentary. There's also something liberating about that.
And on a meta-level, doing nothing is of course the quintessence of every creative endeavor. Creativity would be unthinkable without nothingness (that is the. potential space).
To honor nothing is to liberate art from the ego.
So I am grateful that in this situation I have no choice but to recognize that in our society there is an overemphasis on doing over being and that I actually find this obsessive busyness and overproduction very destructive.
Because everything that does not lead to production and therefore to a market is considered null and void in our society, even if it is essential to our lives, such as caring for the elderly and sick. In this sense, I think it is quite possible that those who do "nothing" in this world actually make the most decisive contribution to a coexistence that is not based on the total sell-off and professionalization of even the most intimate, interpersonal life.
After all, nothingness is not nothing, as we now know from the new science of antimatter.
On the contrary, it is the alloy that connects all matter. It is our actual element.
When I think more deeply about doing nothing, I am reminded not only of Lao Tzu´s WuWei (described in the Tao Te King as "acting  through non-acting" ) but also a quote from Max Ernst comes to my mind: "An artist who knows what he wants is lost, but he should always know what he does not want"
Especially in the last four years, in which we have been subjected to one crisis after another, which have kept us more and more on an intimidating leash, it seems clear to me that it is much more important NOT to do things than to blindly follow any excited action.
In this context, I would like to point out Ely Daou https://www.instagram.com/elydaou/ who has been doing his performance, during which he does nothing for an hour every day, for about as long as I have been here. Because, of course, my being here is also based on my ability to dispose of my time as I like, which I have created for myself through a life as an artist. Here too, the essence of art
for me is not doing art  but being an artist.
Although there are still artists who fantasize about their special skills (which is becoming increasingly absurd against the backdrop of AI taking over all skills) it has long been clear to those who consider the deeper reason of art, that it is about our being as self-determined creators, as opposed to being  employed and therefore dependent consumers.
It is about the transformation of our being from reaction to creation.
We can see that this transformation is possible from the fact that these two words - reaction and creation - consist of the same letters. So nothing needs to be eliminated, just a little shifted to turn the consumers we have been made into,back into the artists we actually are.
In this sense, I see my decision to care for my mother here for an indefinite period of time as a durational performance that runs parallel to that of Ely Daou.
This is why I share my life with Erika on social media, as it is currently the most direct way to share something that I consider socially essential, that is, artistic in the sense of a social sculpture, while at the same time I envision an installation that makes this time comprehensible even when this time is over.
Sometimes I'm attacked because I share my life with Erika in public and it's implied that I'm abusing her for my own self-expression. But Erika knows that I see this time here as a performative work. She also knows earlier works of mine, such as "Hommage à Marcel Duchamp", in which I relate cleaning a toilet during my one-year work as a 'caretaker at home' to Duchamp's 'Fountain' art piece.vimeo.com/user7359970/
I am not here because I am responding to some moral compulsion, but out of genuine conviction and interest. This certainly has to do with the special relationship I have with my mother. My parents are both a great inspiration to me and that's why I also cared for my father at the end of his life.
However, the fact that seventy percent of all care cases are cared for by relatives and ninety percent of carers are women, who then contribute to the high number of old-age poverty among women due to a lack of social security, is an automatism that I find rather questionable. It is a social problem that I would like to point out. Although, on the other hand, I am of the opinion that the nationalization and professionalization of vital and intimate, interpersonal areas is increasingly training us to become dependent reactionaries.
And in a society bred from reactionary consumers, those who do not work for the gross national product are very quickly left alone.
For a year now, the amount of care has been so great that I can no longer manage it alone, but try to find a trustworthy caregiver who takes turns looking after Erika here with me. After the tenth caregiver from the second agency we tried, we were able to take a deep look into a dilapidated system of modern human trafficking and are so exhausted and shocked by what we have experienced that we need a break now. I don't want to go into any unpleasant details here, but just want to say this much: the care situation in this country is degrading and inhumanely organized for everyone involved, or rather not organized at all, except that emergencies are turned into a business on both sides. Our much-vaunted welfare state looks rather unattractive on closer inspection. This is a consequence of the fact that only activities that do have a market that can be exploited endlessly are actually valued.
Against this backdrop, all members of this society are naturally trapped in an existential hamster wheel that makes it almost impossible for them to do anything with conviction.
I say it's almost impossible, because I manage to do it somehow.But perhaps I wouldn't manage it if I hadn't grown up in such a generous environment. By generous, I mean above all mental generosity.A sense that mental freedom is a luxury that is endlessly renewed. An eternal fountain. I am infinitely grateful for that.
Sometimes I fear that I will never be able to emancipate myself from my two very strong parents. Because my father, the art historian Wieland Schmied, and my mother, the photographer Erika Schmied, both made a strong impression on me and inspired me through their work. In very different ways.
My father was hardly ever around when I was a child because he was a workaholic and was constantly on the road visiting important cultural figures. Above all writers (Ezra Pound, Beckett, Canetti, Bernhard, Artmann, and so on) and painters (De Chirico, Bacon, Albers, Nietsch and so forth) but also the miraculous creatures of  art  such as  Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys - he visited them all.
The positions at academies that my father held were a means to an end for him. He wanted to get to know the people whose work he found fascinating in person and then present them sensitively in his more than 130 publications. I always felt very insignificant in my unsuccessful bid for his paternal attention. For as you can see from the list of artists, women hardly featured in his perception of important people and his own daughters could certainly not compete with so much importance.
It was only after Wieland's death that I was really able to shake off this urge for importance, this struggle to be noticed, and thus become more and more deeply inspired by his work. The huge library he amassed here enriches me.I find it unique and worth preserving.
Erika inspired me in a completely different and more direct way.
Not only because we were always very close - in the absence of my father - but above all through our joint work on her body landscapes, because in addition to the artist portraits that Erika photographed alongside Wieland, she has been taking very surreal nudes of me for as long as I can remember, in which the body usually appears as part of the landscape.
Today, I recognize the roots of my work as a performance artist in this collaboration.
Because exploring  the body as a connection to the rest of the world is the central theme of my work. The only difference is that my attention is not only focused on the image, that is. the surface of the body, but on the body itself as an organ of consciousness.
So I am well aware of how strongly both my parents shaped me and although I wanted to free myself from them in my youth (like most of us), today I realize why I don't have to. Because I think the urge of most artists to stand out as individuals and to convince themselves that they have reinvented gunpowder is a fixed idea. As everything is created in context... and nothing arises out of itself.
There it is again: my beloved nothing! Nothing as the space of inspiration that makes new references between the works possible in the eternal kaleidoscope of life.
Accordingly, I am developing a vision of how I could preserve this place with the huge library, the artists' gifts and Erika's photo archive as a kind of gallery, in the context of which my installation about this time of my live art with Erika would then also be comprehensible here. Because what do I actually mean when I simply say that our life is the most important work of art to be created that there can ever be?
I mean that it's not about WHAT we do and what we imagine about our actions, our abilities and so on, but about HOW we do it. With what amount of awareness, with how much love, authenticity that is.truthfulness, gratitude and courage.
Whether I succeed in realizing this vision does not depend on me alone, because this house already belongs to me,although together with my sister, who no longer speaks to me since I have been looking after Erika here and does not tell us what she has in mind.
But that's another story.
In this moment of eternity, I am simply grateful that I am clear about why I am here and trust in the universal wisdom that every clarity finds its own form through my not doing but being and more precisely my being clear. Which simply means: being love and  peace
and I wish you all just that from the bottom of my heart.

I am delighted to be performing at the Gallery am Tangelberg
https://www.galerie-tanglberg.at/ for the upcoming show of Alfred Kubin.
Opening on the 19th of february 2023 at Schloss Hochhaus
As an admirer of Kubins work, I feel glad about this opportunity
Humans aare strange animals, creating cathedrals and atomic bombs. Engaging ever more manipulative with the elements that surround him and of which he himself is composed.
Out of sheer Creator God megalomania no longer realizing that we are actually intervening in our very own life and that a fascinated perception of creation would be more appropriate than
exhausting all manipulative possibilities.
Yama Kowa approaches this phenomenon in the spirit of the tantric
philosophy of the unity of samsara and nirvana/being and nonbeing and creates a landscape, as if inspired by the tantric "wheel of time", which every six years Tibetan Buddhist form of
colorful sand to depict the whole buddhist cosmology, which is then blown away in an instant by his holiness the Dalai Lama.
As a practicing Buddhist who grew up in a christian culture, Yama Kowa is inspired from both worlds to her performative work.
That the outside world passes through us as food (sympolized by bread and wine as the Messiah´s body in christianity), so is actually not just outside but all our human body, without separation of outside and inside, your and mine, Yama Kowa explores by destroying the worlds she molds three times out of
flour and wine with her naked body