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Announcement
August 2, 2021

Eisenhüttenstadt—Between Model and Museum II

Kunstverein im Kloster Neuzelle

Katharina Jahnke, vorwärts,rückwärts,seitwärts (forward, backward, sideways), 2021. Collage.

 

With contributions by Sonia D'Alto, Lisa Andreani, Lisa Andergassen/Jan-Henning Raff, Julian Day, Diana Artus/Stefanie Gaus/Volker Sattel, Samantha Fox, Michael Hofstetter, Katharina Jahnke, Pater Kilian OCist, Julia Kröpelin, Paul Landon, Sabine Sanio, Victor Munoz Sanz, Matthias Warkus, Ralf Werner, Piotr Zamojski and with an installation of the curators.

Concept/Organisation: Niklas Nitschke

Curated by Niklas Nitschke and Armin Hartenstein

Mediation Project: Natalie Obert with citizens of Eisenhüttenstadt

Eisenhüttenstadt is the former "first socialist city of Germany". The core of the city was planned and built in the 1950s. Today, this core is protected as the largest area monument in Germany and has been almost completely reconstructed.

The impulse of the cities founding, the attempt to form a community organized—in terms of urban layout and architecture—in the best way possible, becomes evident and palpable on a walk through the city. But with socialism the city lost the idea that gave rise to this impulse, without a new one having taken its place.

By preserving the city as a monument, the image of a past future preserved almost inevitably evokes speculation about how such an urban design would be conceived today, on what foundations, for what future. This impulse is powerful, but any conception must remain speculation because of the status of the city being listed.

The artistic, scientific, philosophical projects presented unfold this as stimulating as contradictory state of a past but preserved promise of the times ahead.

Where e.g. an artists project questions the design character of the city in the historical context of large-scale concepts of urban planning such as Le Corbusier's Ville Radieuse or the linear city in soviet Russia, a research project on the other hand investigates the effects and scope of the EU Green Deal for urban development today, which might allow Eisenhüttenstadt to rethink its model character on the basis of green aspects of its early design.

A range of projects adress the planned character of the city to focus, in contrast, the individual, how it appears in the public space of the city today, in historic but also recent imagery depiciting the city and the life in it; or beyond the language formulas targeting public space in the socialist past and today.

Two theoretical projects discuss the model character of the city as a possible vantage point for the conception of, on the one hand, art infrastructure today, and on the other of a museum presenting a realized utopia. The emptying public space of the shrinking city drives several projects which adress the conception of a new social liability.

Called "first socialist city of the GDR", the "ideal city" of Eisenhüttenstadt was a prominent sign, the meaning of which derived and derives from its use by the citizens. So did the ideal city in fact ever exist? Where a philosopher questions the aspiration of the model character, a monk of the nearby priory in Neuzelle presents the project of a new monastery, which the cistercian order will build not far from Eisenhüttenstadt. As an image of the heavenly city of Jerusalem on earth, the monastery is as such the example of an ideal city.

The artists projects will be presented at several locations throughout the city. A symposium at the Friedrich-Wolf-Theatre will assemble all contributions in a discussion.

Where those present speak in the city that embodies a past model of society, the discussion also recalls the city as a space of encounter and negotiation where a social will is formed.

The question is what what this space of negotiation looks like today, where it can be found; and whether a model city provides such a space.

Locations
Weekday nursery, Erich-Weinert-Allee 4; Friedrich Wolf Theatre, Lindenallee 23; and various places in public space, Eisenhüttenstadt

Registration for the attendance of the symposium by email to kvneuzelle [​at​] kvneuzelle.de requested.

The symposium will be streamed. Please visit on Facebook.

For further information, map and guide please visit www.kvneuzelle.de.

With the generous support of:

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