Exhibition from August 23rd, 2020 - January 30th, 2021
Opening on August 23rd, 2020, 10:00-9:00 pm
Works by Sigrun Drapatz/Tanja Lenuweit, Ina Geißler, Eva Kietzmann, Thomas Kilpper, Ulrike Kuschel, Fabian Lippert, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, Hartmut Staake, Daniele Tognozzi, Ina Wudtke
The artistic positions of the exhibition move between taking stock, analysing the political, economic and social aspects and possible future scenarios of public and private space, often in direct relation to the settlement area in the Berlin district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, which is considered the largest contiguous single house settlement in Germany.
Since the beginning of industrialisation and the associated urbanisation, the question of the distribution of living and usage spaces in the city has been raised. Originally, suburban settlements were an alternative to the catastrophic living conditions of the metropolises, especially for the lower classes of the population. They enabled people to escape from the confinement of the inner cities and to live healthily on the outskirts of the city. The gardens served as a cultivation area, they were help for self-help and at the same time compensation and supplement to the work in the city. In the meantime, the land has become speculative capital, the result is exploding land prices. Today, the expansion and densification of the single house settlement is regarded as a secure capital investment.
The artists use different media and formats to deal with usage scenarios and strategies of public and private space, present and future. Against the background of a rapidly growing city, the effects of climate change, also with regard to the role of suburban settlements, and growing socio-economic injustice, the question of land ownership in relation to the tension between the needs of the individual and those of the community is becoming increasingly urgent. Is the autonomy of individuals actually realised through (residential) property? What models are conceivable for a city worth living in this area of conflict?
Exhibition idea and concept by Sigrun Drapatz and Ina Geißler, collaboration: Tanja Lenuweit and Fabian Lippert, project management: Karin Scheel
September 3rd 2020, 6:00 pm "Ausfallstraße Ost // Eastern arterial road"
The musicians Zappi Werner Diermaier (Faust), Elke Drapatz, Dirk Dresselhaus and N. U. Unruh (Einstürzende Neubauten) react to the B1 main road passing the palace and communicate with the traffic sound. The experimental ensemble plays on the south terrace of Schloss Biesdorf for the guests in the park. (Event in the context of the KGB art week from August 28th, 2020 - September 6th, 2020)
Artists of the exhibition
Sigrun Drapatz and Tanja Lenuweit
"The Plaice in the Sea of Houses - on the nature of small suburban settlements".
A study of the emergence of suburban housing estates for the unemployed in the early 1930s. The artists' search for traces in the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf leads to five settlements that were built between 1932 and 1934. They map the settlements in a sea of houses, circle the historical setting, follow their development on the basis of historical documents and collect the stories and memories of the inhabitants*.
Sigrun Drapatz (*1963), lives and works in Berlin and Kiel. After completing her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts in 1998, she worked as a freelance visual artist and participated in projects and exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Together with Tanja Lenuweit she is doing research on the nature of the allotment garden.
Tanja Lenuweit is a cultural scientist and works in the field of historical-political education. Her research interests include migration and the culture of memory. Together with Sigrun Drapatz, she curates 2020 Block 57, an open archive on life and work in Berlin-Kreuzberg, which deals with a changing urban neighbourhood shaped by external and internal influences.
Painting series (30 pieces) with cut out and 6 body fences made of black foam
The painted portrait series "Gated Unities" outlines the variety of motivations for owning your own home - financial freedom, independence from the favour of a landlord, self-determination through alternative forms of living or creative self-realisation are contrasted with pure possessive thinking, prestige and an overemphasis on security and independence. Ina Geißler has photographed a series of individually designed garden fences in Biesdorf. She developed body fences from these motifs and assigned them to fictitious owners. Various references between private and public are expressed. In addition, fences cut out of foam can be tried on by visitors. They offer the possibility of physically recreating "life behind the garden fence".
Ina Geißler, born 1970, lives and works in Berlin. In 2011 she realised the permanent sound installation Unterton at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, together with the architect Fabian Lippert. Since then she has increasingly turned to interdisciplinary projects for public interior and exterior spaces, in addition to her large-format paintings and cut-outs. Ina Geißler deals with real spatial as well as socio-psychological factors that shape the exchange between private and public space.
video installation, 2020
In her current video installation Eva Kietzmann deals with the construction of public space in a German single-family house settlement. She guides the audience with the camera through the place where they live and invites them to study its arrangement and architecture. At the same time the observer* does not remain unobserved. In this video the artist takes up a real experience in Biesdorf and transfers it to the place where she herself grew up. In her artistic work, Eva Kietzmann has been dealing with the privatisation of urban space and the associated aesthetic and social effects for many years. In doing so, she is always concerned with a reflection on the construction of public space and the power relations produced within it.
Eva Kietzmann, (*1977), uses different media and formats such as video, installation, drawings for her works. She studied audiovisual media, artistic work in public space and information science in Offenbach and Berlin. From 2009 to 2016 she worked with Petra Kübert as a duo on the staging of public spaces and image production of the city. She regularly takes part in exhibitions in Germany and abroad and has received various grants.
"Commune of B(iesdorf)"
Woodcut in multiplex birch, printing ink, 2020
In his woodcut Kommune B(iesdorf) Thomas Kilpper gathers a wide variety of protagonists of revolutionary or alternative forms of life and work from the last 200 years. Emancipatory movements and ideas repeatedly collide with ossified structures of society. Experiments to change ways of life are thrown back, fail or remain minoritarian. And yet: change is permanent. The way we live today will not remain the same: The social development process will continue.
The birchwood panels used by Kilpper are recycled material from his floor work Spuren des Krieges (Traces of War) for the exhibition VERMISST Der Turm der blauen Pferde (Missing the Tower of the Blue Horses), which took place in Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne in spring 2017 and which focused on the lost painting by Franz Marc, once stigmatised as "degenerate". Kilpper had a modern 60-tonne Leopard II tank of the German armed forces driven over the wood, so that its chain pattern was imprinted in it, which contrasted with war glorifying quotations from Marc's field letters. For Kommune B(iesdorf), Kilpper turned the plates over and reworked them, but the reverse side is visible as a fragment and included in the new work.
Thomas Kilpper, (*1956), is an artist and has lived in Berlin since 2003. He is represented by the Galerie Nagel Draxler. His works can be found in public collections in London, Frankfurt/M., Oslo and Nuremberg. Since 2014 he is professor for art at the university in Bergen, Norway. Together with Ina Wudtke he runs after the butcher, an exhibition space in Berlin for contemporary art and social issues.
"A house is being built in Biesdorf-South"
2 channel video, 6:35 min, 2020
The artist's sister and her husband have purchased a plot of land one kilometre south of Schloss Biesdorf in order to build a second row house there. The plot of land directly adjoins the property of the artist's parents, who also built a house there 25 years ago. In the first video, excerpts from conversations around the coffee table and interviews with the people involved are edited together with photographs of the construction project. In addition to construction details, concerns related to debt are also addressed. The description of a self-drawn floor plan by the 6-year-old daughter makes it clear how much the children are also involved in the construction process. The second video shows in fast motion the changes on the property since autumn 2019.
Ulrike Kuschel, born 1972 in Berlin, studied fine arts at the Berlin University of the Arts. Context-related research and a conceptual approach are characteristic of her artistic method, which encompasses various media. She received several scholarships, including a scholarship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (2014), a scholarship from the Villa Massimo in Rome (2010), a scholarship from the Kunstfonds Bonn Foundation (2007), a scholarship from the Senate Department for Science, Research and Culture, Berlin (2006) and won the GASAG Art Prize in 2006. Numerous exhibitions and participation in exhibitions at home and abroad.
"biesdorf city limits"
Urban design models, 2020
Biesdorf is part of one of the largest contiguous single-family home areas in Europe. The population density is very low. Although Biesdorf and its surroundings are green, the streets are mostly deserted. Here people are exclusively "lived in". The public space seems inanimate. It is missing: Gastronomy, local supply, commerce, a lively mix of uses. The car is the number one means of transport.
The exhibition juxtaposes various urban development models of densification. In doing so, valid norms are playfully overcome.
More density can contribute to a better mix and liveliness, from which the residents as well as the entire urban society benefit.
Fabian Lippert (*1972), lives and works in Berlin.
He graduated in architecture in 1999 from the Berlin University of the Arts and has been working as a freelance architect since 2002. In 2009 he founded the architectural office LKA-Berlin together with Sandra Kavelly. Together with Ina Geißler, he won 1st prize in the 2011 competition Kunst am Bau des Martin-Gropius-Baus with the sound installation Unterton. Further joint works will be created. His projects include architecture, art in construction and furniture design.
REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (CLEANING COMPANY)
Performative traffic light phase measurements
Multimedia installation, 2020
The project group REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT carries out a performative time measurement of traffic light phases on the heavily trafficked B1. The B1 is an important traffic artery connecting the centre of Berlin with the eastern districts. According to the BUND, the crossing of the B1 / B5 Alt-Biesdorf is one of the most pedestrian-hostile places in Berlin. The traffic axis is characterised by a high level of commuting. At the same time, the B1 cuts through the old centre of Biesdorf and isolates the districts on both sides of the road from each other. With this project, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT raises the question of what cities and traffic will look like in the future. Will we still be able to provide motorised transport with the high degree of public space and time it requires? What would happen if Biesdorf, as a model project, decided to deduct 5 seconds of the signal time (traffic light time?) of road traffic on the B1 every year and add it to the pedestrian time? Will the ratio of pedestrian and road traffic possibly have reversed in 5 years? There will be an answer to this question in 2025, when Biesdorf celebrates its 650th birthday. Then the performance will be repeated and it will become clear whether and how mobility concepts in public transport have developed by then. In the exhibition the results of the performance will be presented as a video and photo series.
The project group REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT consists of the visual artists Martin Keil (*1968) and Henrik Mayer (*1971). Both studied at the HfBK Dresden, live and work in Berlin. The projects of the RG are participatory and relate to public space. Contemporary art has the role to reflect social life and to contribute to changes.
"Nice weekend", 1981
oil on canvas
On loan from the Beeskow Art Archive
"What leaves something to be desired", 2018 - 2020
Interactive gravitational funnel with quotations from real estate advertising texts
"North Star", 2020
How does art and cultural production relate to the complexity of barely visible ownership structures that shape our urban space? Why is it important today, in a time of excessive financialisation of land and housing, to also artistically reflect everyday life in this respect?
Daniele Tognozzi takes up these questions with two installations that are the result of an examination of the business and genesis of a number of real estate companies that operate around Schloss Biesdorf and Elsterwerdaer Platz respectively. The installation at the driveway to Schloss Biesdorf consists of a flag, the flag of the Swedish Johnson family, which was hoisted along the paved driveway of the palace. The family's business gave rise to the Nordstjernan real estate development company, now Bonava, which built 325 condominiums, the so-called Biesdorf city gardens, in front of the castle park in 2016.
In the interior of the palace, the artist exhibits a gravitational funnel. As soon as a coin falls into the dark hole in the middle, it activates a loudspeaker, which turns the object into a mouthpiece and presents advertising texts from the real estate industry.
Daniele Tognozzi (IT/DE), born in Bergamo, is a visual artist and author. He studied free art at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna and received his MA in spatial strategies at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee in 2018. He is involved in "Kunstblock & Beyond", an association of artists and cultural workers who are active in the fight against gentrification and real estate speculation as part of the Berlin 'Mietenwahnsinn-Bündnis'. As part of "Kollektiv Quotidien" he is also editor and co-author of the book "Lefebvre for Activists", which was published by ADOCS Hamburg in 2020.
"Anger" & "A palace for Berlin" (Part I+II)
In "Anger" Ina Wudtke takes up the question of land and quotes the form of the village ranger in her textile work. "Anger" or "Allmende" (in English "commons") refers to the village square used jointly as a laundry area, pasture or garden, the proceeds of which were shared. In their rage over capitalist urban politics, contemporary urban activists* transfer the image of the commons to the present day by recognising the soil as a precious resource alongside water and air and striving to restore it to community ownership. Ina Wudtke embroidered quotations from Karl Marx and the contemporary feminist Silvia Federici next to the eye-shaped Angerfläche, in which they mark the fencing (privatisation) of the medieval communal areas as the beginning of the capitalist age and the associated devaluation of women (-work and reproduction).
"A palace for Berlin" was originally a spoken word text written by Ina Wudtke for a demonstration against the Berlin City Palace for its topping-out ceremony in 2015. In 2020, in the context of a demonstration against the installation of the Reichsapfel mit Kreuz on the castle dome, together with the "Coalition of Cultural Workers Against The Humboldt Forum", Ina Wudtke read the text live on Schinkelplatz. This was followed by a textile work which re-used the text together with the outline of the palace.
Ina Wudtke, born 1968, is a conceptual artist and lives in Berlin. From 1992 to 2004 she published the queer-feminist artist* magazine NEID. Her research-based work questions hegemonic political and social discourses and intensifies counter-discourses on topics such as gender, work and city. In 2018 her book "The Fine Art of Living" about her artistic work against gentrification from 2008-2018 was published (Berlin, Archive Books).
Exhibition from 15.11.2020 to 30.01.2021
On the way by bus in Berlin and Bangkok.
Moods and stories, captured in a mixed media installation by the artist couple Christine Falk & Alfred Banze, with paintings, films, drawings, sounds and texts.
The installation on the ground floor of Schloss Biesdorf consists of a Bangkok room and a Berlin room, in which Christine Falk's architecture-related paintings and Alfred Banze's informal drawings and videos are shown alternately. In the Bangkok film, the acoustic cacophony of the big city is replaced by music. It is inspired by Thai pop music of the 1960s, with gongs and xylophones, plucked instruments, monks' songs and street noise. The Berlin film is accompanied by original sounds and texts by Christine Falk.
Public buses are a very flexible means of transport. Buses go to places that are not in the public eye, but tell a lot about the respective city. They enable mobility for the urban periphery. In the visual arts, public space has long been recognised as a commercially threatened social cultural asset and has since been considered a broad field of experimentation.
The prelude to the exhibition was shown at the Goethe-Institut Bangkok in autumn 2019. In Berlin the exhibition was planned for March 2020, but could not be realised at that time due to corona. Much has changed in the meantime and thus realities are shown that do not exist in either city at the moment. From today's perspective, the scenes of the videos, which were recently still everyday, describe scenarios of longing.
The idea for the exhibition project was born in Bangkok during a ride in an old open collecting bus. In Berlin the artist couple uses public transport and the bicycle, the car has long been abolished.
Christine Falk and Alfred Banze met 15 years ago at the Goethe-Institut in Bangkok. Since then they have realised numerous joint projects on exoticism, globalisation and intercultural dialogue, time and again in Bangkok.
Further details: www.bangkokbybusberlin.de
An event of the Department of Culture Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
More information on culture in Marzahn-Hellersdorf can be found on the Internet at www.kultur-marzahn-hellersdorf.de.