On 13 July an exhibition on Krishnamurti and his teachings opened at the Museum der Landschaft Saanen, open six afternoons each week until 22 September.
There are 25 large posters, all in English, German and French, and four video monitors showing extracts of talks with German and French subtitles, plus books, leaflets and even a bronze bust of K.
The posters introduce the man, the Saanen Talks – and of course the teachings, via many short and a few longer quotes. There are also posters on the foundations and especially Brockwood’s schools and adult study centre. Many of the posters include photos, for example of K in Saanen, the tents where he spoke, the region where he loved to walk, and K in conversation with others.
Although there were 25 years of talks in Saanen, each summer from 1961 to 1985, it seemed as though K had been forgotten there. So it was a happy surprise to learn at the opening of the exhibition that of the approximately 50 local people attending, almost half of them had been to one or more of the Talks, most commonly with their parents. Others spoke fondly of housing visitors to the region who were attending the talks, and one woman even offered us some decorated planks from Chalet Tannegg, which she lived beside when K was staying there for so many years.
With thousands of people from many parts of the world coming to the talks each year, it made quite an impact on the region. Tourism wasn’t the huge business then that it is now; the roads remained small and there was still some silence in the valley. But despite that impact, visible traces of K and the Saanen talks had been diminishing to almost nothing. When people turned up seeking to learn more about that time and intensity, there was nothing to see – though perhaps something to feel.
But now, at least for a while, there is something. And on the second day of the exhibition, a couple came from Italy specifically for K. When they entered the exhibition and realised it had just opened, they were amazed. And then rather shocked to learn that it would be dismantled in just over two months’ time.
Other people were very interested in the schools and we are sure that at least some of them will also visit the study centre.
The advantage of this region is that is very international, people from all over the world come here. We had visitors from England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and even Morocco.
K spoke of the eagle, whose flight leaves no trace. This is what ‘K in Saanen’ appears to be. Although perhaps we can leave the short quotes behind, scattered throughout the valley. But the question remains if Krishnamurti would approve this.
Friedrich Grohe and Claudia Herr