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Eight international artists present an exhibition throughout the public spaces of Sennestadt
Arne Schmitt’s photographic interest lies in urban space, specifically, the architectural urban body as an “art of possibility.”
BIELEFELD.- “Vor Ort” (On Site) presents an exhibition throughout the public spaces of Sennestadt, running till October 19th, 2014. Eight international artists were invited to create site-specific sculptures, installations and artistic interventions, through which they thematically explore the character of the city and its inhabitants. The commissions seek to link physical spaces to social and medial zones, addressing the unique history of the landscape as well as the current situation in Sennestadt: specifically, the prominent developments in architecture and urban design in this area of Bielefeld.

Sennestadt arose out of an ambitious urban development project during the 1950s, which attracted worldwide attention as an ‘Experiment Amid Green Fields.’ The original concept, developed by architect Prof. Dr. Hans Bernhard Reichow (1899-1974), aspired to be ‘organic urban architecture,’ an urban landscape which was relaxed, lush, green and appealing to the area’s residents. A sense of enhanced living was believed to be achieved through a synthesis of landscape, architecture and art. In 1965, the formal municipality, Senne 2, became a city: Sennestadt. In 1973, it was incorporated during the restructuring of the Bielefeld district. It has since undergone an continuous process of urban, social and political change. Throughout these changes, Reichow’s design, and its further development under the motto ‘Reichow for the 21st century,’ has played an important role in the redevelopment of Sennestadt’s public spaces, particularly since 2008, when landscaped common areas and the partially car-free roads surrounding the underdeveloped Bullerbach area were added.

“Vor Ort” aims to create a new status quo for the redevelopment of modern cities, using Sennestadt’s combination of artistic, urban and the public spheres as a model. The project is accompanied by an educational program, which includes guided tours, workshops, lectures and discussions. A documentation of the “Vor Ort” project will be released in the fall of 2014.

Curator: Thomas Thiel

ARTISTS
David Adamo
Untitled (Sennestadt)

David Adamo moves between sculpture, installation and performance in his three-dimensional works. His work is influenced strongly by the history of art, the organic shapes from nature, craftwork, as well as everyday objects. His works are often comprised of figurative and abstract objects, which question the relation of the piece to the human body, through enlargements and reductions. In a clearing in Bullerbachtal, Adamo presents a collection of different-sized termite mounds. Rather than adhering to the tendency to present animal sculptures in public spaces, Adamo recreates the habitat of a non-native species of termite. With its lavish traffic and ventilation systems, the termite mounds exemplify organic architecture within the animal kingdom. Though from a distance they’re deceptively real-looking, it’s clear upon closer inspection that they are an artistic mimicry made of clay. From this historically relevant material Adamo creates an ensemble, which will continuously change due to exposure to the elements.

David Adamo, born 1979 in Rochester, NY (USA). Lives and works in Berlin.

Awst & Walther
Ground to Sky

The works of the Welsh-German artist couple Awst & Walther are influenced by theatre and architecture alike. Their expansive installations, rich in metaphorical objects and stage-like settings, examine questions of human existence in terms of social standards of behaviour and common spaces. Often site-specific, their works create a particular framework of presentation through a variety of mediums. A floating boxwood hedge in the middle of Sennestadt? Awst & Walther’s “Ground to Sky” (2014) surprises both random passersby and visitors amid the meandering footpath network of the Bullerbach area. As suggested by the title, viewers see a human-sized boxwood hedge which seems to be taken from the floor and acts as a motif for illusionistic painting. The installation refers not only to the importance of the garden hedge in civil settlements, but also addresses the interplay of nature and landscape as well as the regulation and ownership of space in urban areas. In addition, an artistic symbol of transience has been created, which is subject to the passing of the seasons and, by the end of October, a slow decay.

Michael Beutler
Keilhaus-Camp for Ducks
Wedge Hut

Michael Beatler’s works respond mostly to the social and architectural structures of the places he’s exhibiting in, which serve both as production and presentation locations. He uses industrially-finished materials like paper, metal, wood and plastic, which are then formed into building elements by means of self-made tools.

The “archi-sculptures” he develops in public spaces refer to the immediate landscape and distinctive features of the environment. Michael Beutler has erected a tent-like instillation at the entrance to the Bullerbach that plays with the basic forms of architecture, archetypical house shapes and the alignment of the adjoining Reichow Pavillon. Voluminous wedges were constructed from the flat, white sheeting material Pecafil (wrapped around metal frameworks). These modules yield a multifarious artistic architecture, recalling a temporary tent city, play grounds or a small settlement. The instillation simultaneously serves as shelter for the ducks from the Sennestadt pond. Michael Beutler’s entry additionally erects a visual bridge to downtown Bielefeld, where he constructed a public pavilion, “Keilhütte,” (Wedge Hut) in the courtyard of the Kunstverein using the same number of wedged modules.

Michael Beutler, born 1976 in Oldenburg, lives and works in Berlin.

Andreas Bunte
Forms of Legitimate Domination

The cinematic works of Andreas Bunte deal with subjects that vary from landscape gardens, electric light and the generation of an artificial diamond, to the German terrorism of the 70s and the Rheinish churches of the post-war period. His installations and films examine the question of how the interplay of architecture, technology, ideology and the human body produces different physical and psychological spaces.

For “Vor Ort,” Bunte has produced a series of short films that were designed to be viewed by Sennestadt’s inhabitants throughout the city, as they can by streamed anywhere by scanning QR codes on posters throughout the city. The clips do not tell concrete stories, but show human interactions with everyday objects, which he staged in a laboratory-like space for the recordings. The movements therefore appear motivated both by the objects themselves and the presence of the camera. Many of the objects in each film can be found in the immediate vicinity of the location of each respective poster. The perception of the objects in the film and in the public space is therefore extended to random events which can not be controlled by the artist. The interaction of real and medial spaces thus creates a different cinematic experience for each viewer.

Andreas Bunte, born 1970 in Mettman, lives and works in Berlin. For technical information and information on the equipment loaned for his project, see the Sennestadt or visit www.vor - ort.org

Christian Falsnaes
Front

The relationship between art and audience plays a central role in the work of Christian Falsnaes. Through performance, painting, music and dance, he creates theatrical, absurdist situations that actively involve the audience in the production of the piece. The pieces often explore themes such as social conventions, power relations, gender roles and the artistic potential of every individual.

The collective human body, however, is the most important subject of his surprising, often unannounced performances, which are documented through film. The artist takes on the role of a director, who, through his instructions to the interactive viewers, dissolves the aesthetic boundary between the stage and the audience.

A white cube and black frame forms the starting point of Falsnaes’ project in Sennestadt. Together with a group of local residents, the setting will be changed and reworked throughout the exhibition. Only through the act of performance will the piece be completed according to the artist’s vision. The resulting project is a collective piece, which remains at its place of origin as a document, also living on through the personal narratives of participants and spectators.

Christian Falsnaes, born 1980 in Copenhagen (DK). Lives and works in Berlin.

Manfred Pernice
carawane

Manfred Persnice devotes his work to explorations of the relationship of designed interiors and exterior spaces, and their significance as symbols of social development. Working as a classical sculptor, his pieces take special care in the organisation, shape and texture of the objects and materials used. The resting sculptural objects, which also include objects trouvés, often develop their own independent, functional character.

Pernice’s project in Sennestadt deals with the role of art in public spaces, occupying the intersection of art in architecture, autonomous sculpture and monument. More specifically, the thematic starting point of his three-part, figurative, abstract sculpture is the exchange between known and unknown parties linked closely to both the city and each other; for example, Hans- Bernhard Reichow (architect), Bernhard Heiliger (sculptor) and Adolf Reichwein (progressive educator) as well as the emigrants and refugees that have largely inhabited Sennestadt since its completion in the 50s/60s. In these urban, resonant spaces, the artist had used three different yet similar concrete bases, which are activated at different times and occupied by a sculptural figure. Through this installation, Pernice questions the role of art in public spaces and that which is associated thereto, specifically, ideologically charged expectations of the spaces. At the same time, the sculptor explores the object as a medium for the conveyance of information, artistic intent and local positioning, as well as its relationship to the residents of Sennestadt.

Manfred Pernice, born 1963 in Hildesheim . Lives and works in Berlin.

Arne Schmitt
The car-oriented city (return trip)

Arne Schmitt’s photographic interest lies in urban space, specifically, the architectural urban body as an “art of possibility.” Through the pictorial medium, he examines the ideological content of urban reconstruction in the postwar period, the structural organisation of new urban habitats and the present situation of West German architecture. His own photographs are often juxtaposed against historical documents like rough sketches and designs, as well records of projects which
have been realised.

In his contribution to “Vor Ort,” the artist has addressed the concept of a ‘car-friendly city’ and the consequent prototypical urban plan for Sennestadt, which ensures, among other things, a perfect symbiosis of car and pedestrian traffic. Schmitt’s photographs, chosen texts and image references stand in contrast to this concept. The artist’s individual motifs will be presented on twelve large- format billboards, which are arranged in four crystal-like triangular shapes on “the green meadow” of Reichow’s plan for the city. With his archaeological-photographic pieces, and through a recourse of urban forms of communication, the artist explores different views of Sennestadt, highlighting the pedestrian perspective of the spirit of the foundational years of the city, as well as the situation you see there now.

Arne Schmitt, born in 1984 in Mayen. Lives and works in Cologne.

Kateřina Šedá
Three hills, three tress, two roses

Through her projects, Kateřina Šedá addresses personal family histories, traditional habits and everyday routines, as well as the desires of a community or particular group. With her social actions, she activates entire villages and communities in an often playful manner. Her artistic programme seeks to strengthen not only a now-lost sense of community, but also impetus for change. The pieces suggest a new approach to seemingly familiar places that one encounters on a daily basis.

Under the motto “Three hills, three trees, two roses” (a literal translation of the Sennestadt coat of arms), Kateřina Šedá has planned a one-day treasure hunt with over 500 participants of all ages, to take place in conjunction with the district’s festival, “Sennestädter Herbst.” Through the summer months, the artist will develop a themed party game, which will link together the different groups, generations and offer a history of Sennestadt. A vacant space will operate as an organisation and information hub from May through to September, which will serve the preparation, development and actualisation of the project. Those interested can register as a participant of Šedá’s treasure hunt through HYPERLINK “mailto:info@vor-ort.org” info@vor-ort.org

Kateřina Šedá, born 1977 in Brno (CZ). Lives and works in Brno and Prague (CZ).





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