Joachim Eckl lives and works in Unternberg near Neufelden at the river “Große Mühl” which is situated in the Mühlviertel: An area steeped in history and of powerful nature. His ancestors were millers working in the “Berndlmühle” upstream in Aigen-Schlägl. Through generations the family obtained power and energy from the river “Große Mühl”. At first the energy was used to grind grain in the mills, after that for generating power in the power station. In 1902 the great grandfather erected the first hydroelectric power station at the river “Große Mühl” to “bring light to town”, as he said.
Joachim Eckl was born and brought up in 1962 in Haslach at the river “Große Mühl”. The relation to his country and culture as well as the local particularities became really important for Eckl after his returning from an annual study visit in New York in 1989. His commitment and work is based on the conviction and knowledge that the achievements of the 20th century entailed progress but also an immoderate carelessness: For Eckl time has come to return something to the river and the region. He works as freelance artist under the label HEIM.ART® in “Der Station - Neufelden” as well as international projects.
After his studies of psychology in Austria and New York Eckl has been working over 20 years in various positions and roles in the art world. In parallel to the realization of over 100 of his own projects he was part of the implementation of the large-scale projects of Tony Cragg, Jeff Koons, Christo & Jean Claude and Klaus Rinke.
“Die Station – Neufelden”, the former warehouse at the river „Große Mühl“ is now being used as an art location for over 10 years. Joachim Eckl’s work is based on an extended understanding of art which is substantially inspired by Joseph Beuys’ term of a social sculpture. Eckl generates impulses for social sculptures through creating jointly experiences. He regards himself as a „social engineer“. Water plays a central role in this work: Eckl understands and uses it as basic element of human interaction. His “river to river-project” currently brings together rivers and people from all over the world: This generates social warmth. In the years 2008/2009 he realised projects in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
von Kriechenbauer Petra