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OUT OF SPACE: DÜSSELDORF VARIATION: An intervention of art in public spaces
Guerrilla Girls, It’s Even Worse in Europe, 1986, digital poster, dimensions variabel. Courtesy of the artists and mfc-michèle didier, Paris. Rendering of the building facade of La Tête/MG Handelsblatt Media Group GmbH & Co KG, Düsseldorf.



DUSSELDORF.- OUT OF SPACE: DÜSSELDORF VARIATION is a five-day intervention of art in public spaces across Düsseldorf. Curated by Junni Chen and Sophia Scherer, the 2021–22 fellows of the Curatorial & Research Residency Program, time-based media art abandons the conventional framework of an exhibition venue during the event, bringing works by artists into dialogue with specific sites in the city of Düsseldorf.

OUT OF SPACE presents more than twenty works from the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION, including ones by Heike Baranowsky, Hannah Black, Tracey Emin, Cyprien Gaillard, Ana Mendieta, Tony Oursler, and Kandis Williams, at public sites including the Bilker Bunker, the Walther König Bookstore, Dreischeibenhaus, La Tête/the HMG Handelsblatt Media Group GmbH & Co KG, HafenKunstKino, Haus der Geschichte Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf, and the Ando Future Studios, as well as the building that houses the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION.

The decentralized exhibition explores questions of how urban topologies are perceived, used, and shared with others. How can public spaces be made more accessible to a wider cross-section of society, and how is it that certain groups are excluded from public life? The works being presented reflect a wide range of approaches, encompassing the vantage points of feminists and migrants as well as the perspective of Black communities. The identifying and reevaluating of communal needs will make it possible to address the dynamics of power and the resulting social mechanisms of exclusion.

Many of the selected works are being exhibited in Düsseldorf for the first time: the two-channel video installation Eurydice (2018) by Kandis Williams, which explores the social invisibility of Black bodies, is presented at the site of the Ando Future Studios, which is currently the largest temporary-use project in Germany and will subsequently become a major construction project by architect Tadao Ando. The video work Untitled (The Wave) (2020) by Anne Imhof, outlining a melancholy relationship between humans, nature, and a dynamic of violence, is presented at the Bilker Bunker, which was constructed as an air-raid shelter over eighty-five years ago and now functions as a nonprofit cultural institution. At the “post-Futuristic” Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf, another space presents Bodybuilding (2015) by Hannah Black, a work that examines the relationship between the cult of the body and the commodification of cities. The video work KOE (2015) by Cyprien Gaillard can be seen on the façade of the Haus der Geschichte Nordrhein-Westfalen. Filmed on Düsseldorf’s Königsallee employing state-of-the-art technology, the work documents the daily flight of ring-necked parakeets along the shopping strip at dusk. Like much of Gaillard’s work, it highlights the ambivalent relationship between nature and urbanism together with issues of migration and assimilation. His video work Ocean II Ocean (2019), which also explores issues arising from shared habitats, can be experienced in Düsseldorf for the first time as part of an open-air screening at HafenKunstKino during the evenings.

The subtitle “Dusseldorf Variation” makes reference to Sixth (Dusseldorf variation), a site-specific, three-part video projection by Tony Oursler, which the artist conceived for the façade of JSC Düsseldorf in 2007. The work challenges the conventional boundaries between interior and exterior, the private and the public. The video Gentlemen (2003) by Oliver Payne & Nick Relph will be screened concurrently in the cinema space at JSC Düsseldorf. Featuring an eclectic selection of imagery and audio conceived in the spirit of Dada, it traces the alienated lives of youths in the London metropolis.

In addition, during the run of OUT OF SPACE, a series of interventionist works will occupy parts of the city’s existing information and advertising infrastructure. Short video and audio works can be seen and heard on billboards, LED screens, and other transmission systems that at first glance seem to be part of everyday urban life. Works by the feminist collective Guerrilla Girls and a commissioned work by artist Nora Turato, which is being presented for the first time, will be visible on billboards and in advertising spaces at highly frequented locations in the city center. The interventionist approach of these works subverts the language of commercial marketing and its ubiquity, creating opportunities to pause and contemplate the constant visual stimulation and information overload pervading urban life.










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