2 March – 28 April, 2007, 22 places in Cologne
Within the Framework of “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne”, twenty-one artists show their designs for a new exhibition hall at both extraordinary and ordinary cultural sites in downtown Cologne. The sketches, planes, and models produced especially for this exhibition by international artists deal with two themes: the architecture for the new exhibition space and concepts for its possible use. Artists’ pragmatic approaches are shown alongside works with utopian potential.
During the phase of its foundation, the European Kunsthalle does not have its own exhibition space. For Models for Tomorrow: Cologne, the institution uses the urban space with its range of publicly accessible sites. For the exhibition, a ring-shaped parcours has been set up in downtown Cologne that invites the art audience to walk along its path. The exhibition venues offer various spatial concepts with varying opening times, represent commercial or public interests, and are highly popular or exist on the city’s periphery. They show that answers to the question regarding the future profile of the European Kunsthalle might already be there in one of the city’s resources: its spaces. Moving toward the end of this two-year founding stage, the European Kunsthalle uses this exhibition to direct special attention to its specific location and starting point.
Curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, Vanessa Joan Müller, Julia Hoener. Spatial concept by Nikolaus Hirsch, Markus Miessen, Philipp Misselwitz, Matthias Görlich (Spaces of Production).
Lawrence Weiner: _+_Put Wheresoever, 2007
subway stop Dom/Hbf, Mon–Sun 0 am–12 pm
Lawrence Weiner (*1942) is considered to be one of the most important conceptual artists of today. Language and text are his forms of expression, and he uses them to create works that exist beyond their material manifestations, regarding the mental concept of the work as being equal to its transformation into the object-state. In Weiner’s logo-like design for “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne,” two white rectangles represent a spatial vacuum of no specified size, which can be placed “wheresoever.” According to this concept, the Kunsthalle is attached to no particular space, but exists instead wherever the art is on display: the art defines the institution. Weiner also gives his artistic design the flexibility he prescribes for
the Kunsthalle. The artist has not determined the exact execution, materials, or size of his work, but rather, these things are to be dictated by the situation into which his proposal will be integrated.
Pia Rønicke: Model for Cinema, 2007
Hilton Cologne, Marzellenstrasse 13–17 , Mon–Sun 0 am–12 pm
Pia Rønicke (*1974) built a miniature cinema in the lobby of the Hotel Hilton Cologne, where she shows three of her films that reflect upon the utopian potential of modern architecture. How do social visions change during the process of realization? How are utopian designs made to fit social realities? Conversations with architects about a zone that was planned for industry but has been transformed into a residential area and urban space as a “multi-compatible system in constant change” (“Zones,” 2005) are shown next to a story edited together out of documentary photographs about the Schindler House in Los Angeles, a home famous in the 1920s and ’30s as an example of alternative, utopian residential architecture (“The Life of Schindler House,” 2002), and an animated film about a modular residential complex originating in the spirit of self-regulated systems (“Cell City – A System of Errors,” 2003). What all of the films have in com mon is the way they reflect upon the beauty of the utopian (in terms of both content and aesthe-tics), its antagonistic relationship to real life, and the tense relationship between vision and a sense of estrangement.
Vito Acconci / Acconci Studio: Interiors. Buildings. Parks. 2004 (Film by Julia Loktev)
Tele Café Köln – Am Dom, An den Dominikanern 3, Mon–Sun 9am–11 pm
Vito Acconci (*1940) first became known for his performance and video art in the 1970s. Since then his work has developed in the direction of audio-visual installations. The nature of public space and the situation of art institutions inside their urban architectural environment comprise the current theme of his architectonic designs. In “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne” Acconci will show a selection of computer-animated models of public squares, interiors, and especially architectural structures, which are not only attractive jewels in urban structure, but also deal with the theme of the space in which the individual visitor acts. The DVD can be seen on a monitor reserved especially for the purpose in a commercial Internet café, the „Tele Café Köln–Am Dom.“ As a phenomenon, the Internet café is a typical post-public hybrid of private telecommunications and collective consumption of the same. Here, Acconci’s virtual work meets a post-public audience, parts of which are only present through the various communications channels in Cologne.
Superflex: Ebberød Bank in der Deutschen Bank, 2007
Deutsche Bank Privat- und Geschäftskunden AG, Investment- und FinanzCenter An den Dominikanern 11–27, Mon, Thu 9 am–6 pm, Tue, We 9 am–4 pm, Fri, 9 am–3:30 pm
The group of Danish artists known as Superflex (Bjørnstjerne Christiansen *1969, Jacob Fenger *1968, Rasmus Nielsen *1969) has been working on projects, actions, and installations dealing with alternative economic perspectives since the early 1990s. Guided by social demands for sustainability, participation, and self-organization, their so-called “tools” are set up as open-ended scenarios, which include their audience as an active component of the work. For the exhibtion, they use a Deutsche Bank investment and financial center as a stage, where a film called “Ebberød Bank” will be shown on a monitor in the hall. The 1943 Danish family comedy is about a small businessman who tries to revolutionize his profession by turning the loan business upside down. With this film, Superflex addresses the bank’s usual customers as well as the exhibition visitors – who are often one and the same – and thus refers to the traditional middle-class net work of economic and cultural capital as a constitutive institutional practice.
Luca Frei: Once again we have changed the means of communication But not their content, 2006–2007
Chamber of Industry and Commerce Cologne, Unter Sachsenhausen 10–26, Mon–Fri 8 am-7 pm
The installations by Swiss artist Luca Frei (*1976) explore the fine line between public and private expression and modes of action, generating their own possible spaces where the strict separation of these two spheres is productively overcome. His modular wooden system consists of different modernist, geometric objects which could function as a flight of stairs, a bookshelf, or a chair, and thus follows a line of open-ended, associative possibilities. The work’s potential indeterminacy is increased by the way the elements are casually distributed throughout the semi-public passageways of the service center at the Chamber of Commerce in Cologne: Some elements are placed in prominent positions and invite use, while others are surprising, apparently forgotten in the peripheral corners and ends of the corridors. In this way, Frei appropriates ordinary paths and activities for his interactively oriented system, which both uses and disturbs the institutional space.
Sean Snyder: Untitled, 2007
Library of the historical
archive of the archbichopric Cologne, Gereonstraße 16, Tue, Thu, Fri 9 am–4 pm
In his photographs, texts, and video works, American artist Sean Snyder (*1972) investigates the role ascribed to mass media in the construction of urban space. In doing so, he directs his attention to the mechanisms of media representation and their ideological implications. His contribution to “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne” is a set of reference text material on the typology of a new institution for contemporary art. Snyder’s loose genealogy of various institutional models is condensed into a specific proposal for a new exhibition site and ways to mediate it. The work stems just as much from personal experience as from archival image and text material on existing museum sites. The visual codes of an extremist propaganda ma-chine are also integrated into his research, while their suitability as communication tools is tested. This turns his proposal into an institutional platform that crosses the axes of time and ideological boundaries to describe an expanded sphere of action.
Haegue Yang: Series of Vulnerable Arrangements – Version Cologne, 2007
Statthaus, Steinfelder Gasse 33, 24h visible through window, access Mon 4:30–6:30 pm
, Thu 2–4 pm
For “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne,” Korean artist Haegue Yang (*1971) has set up a light installation in a foyer in an agency that offers temporary housing for its clients. The darkened lights oscillate in an inbetween space, where they are neither practical lighting for a space, nor do they remain entirely self-referential. Yang’s work, “Series of Vulnerable Arrangements – Version Cologne,” focuses the eye on light itself and its primordial significance: making things visible. At the same time, as an optical phenomenon, light draws attention to itself – it has an alluring aura, so to speak.
The illuminated phenomenon has a double meaning subtly smoldering below the surface of the visible, and in it the artist discovers an analogy to the state of communities and the invisible webs of relationships into which individuals are woven. Yang’s answer to the question of how to redefine the characteristics of a new Kunsthalle is an open field of associations that revolves around both the sensual function of light and its ability to make things visible.
Michael Beutler: Halle neben Beeten, 2007
Square in front of Vic Cocktailbar, Friesenstraße 16, Mon–Sun 0 am-12 pm
Michael Beutler’s (*1976) installations refer to extant, situative contexts. These may affect a particular piece of architecture, a state of society, or simply the needs of anyone who commissions a work. Beutler’s design for a new Kunsthalle in Cologne is not linked to any location in specific. Rather, it has to do with a universal urban situation, where there are few undeveloped pro-perties and no financial resources to realize architectural projects intended for cultural purposes. Beutler’s architectural ensemble is cubist-modernist and will be inserted into a gap between two other buildings. The Kunsthalle is conceived as a parasitical construct, which pragmatically and cost-efficiently makes use of pre-existing buildings, and functions as a flexible shell for different uses. Beutler’s contribution proposes that the solution to questions of location and financial issues lies in the specific type of architecture. Moreover, the architecture itself allows conclusions to be drawn about changing public space.
Erik van Lieshout: Kunsthalle Hollywood, 2006
Sportlounge Michael Janson, Im Klapperhof 33c, Mon, Thu 12 am-3 pm, Fri 4 pm- pm, So 2 pm-6 pm
With his drawings, videos, and installations, Erik van Lieshout (*1968) confronts the public in a provocative manner. Starting with himself and his environment, he designs spheres of action that not only determine the experience and setting for the figures in his images, but also for the viewer’s perception. For the exhibtion, the artist has created small drawings that will be shown in the intimate surroundings of a private gym. His theme is the Kunsthalle as social space – the “Kunsthalle Hollywood.” Van Lieshout poses questions about how things are staged and popularized within the traditional presentational context of the exhibition space. With its aesthetics of glamour, kitsch, and trash, the “Kunsthalle Hollywood” is a place that satisfies desires and creates dreams. In van Lies-hout’s work, the art space appears as a space for the staging of a society made up of short-lived identities.
Tue Greenfort: TENT, 2007
Christian Science Church Cologne, Albertusstraße 45a, Mon, Wed 4-7 pm, Tue, Thu 10 am-1 pm
Tue Greenfort’s (*1973) artistic works are often the result of specific ecological, economic, and societal analyses. What starts as research takes aesthetic shape through the information and material he collects on the theme. So Greenfort’s work for “Models for Tomorrow: Colgne” refers to the “Tanzbrunnenzelt” created in 1957 for the Bundesgartenschau in Cologne by German architect Frei Otto. It serves as a basis for Greenfort‘s ideas on alternative building methods. “TENT” is a delicate construct of various materials, including photographs of advertising billboard–Greenfort’s subjective mapping of downtown Cologne’s post-public, attention-dependent economy. Despite its formal language, borrowed from architectural models, it is more of a plea for flexible architectural structures than an actual miniature of a fictional building. Presented in the reading room of the First Church of Christ, “TENT” designates a possible point in the coordinate system of vision, knowledge, marketing, missionizing, improvisation, and institution.
Alex Morrison: Don’t let them see us, don’t show them what we are doing, 2007
Bookstore Walther König, Ehrenstraße 4, Mon–Fri 10 am-7 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm
In his works, Canadian artist Alex Morrison (*1972) takes social groups in the urban context as the starting point for an exploration of public space. He examines how far radical subcultures can be perceived as authentic in times of media commercialization. His contribution to the exhibition “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne” is a sandwich board that announces midnight bike rides in the city of Cologne. This purely fictional action is based on the politically motivated “mass rides” by bicy-clists in the USA. Yet Morrison’s tours are neither politically motivated nor planned as socially critical protest actions; they are not even organized. Only the meeting point and time are set. His concept not only implies that such a ride could be carried out in the practical sense, but it also alludes to the potential for a mass phenomenon, originating with the populace, which would occur outside the sphere of overly organized, institutionalized mega-events. Morrison confronts the passivity of the recipient in the usual institutional contexts with his call for self-determining action.
International Festival: Capitalism! BRNG IT ON, 2007
Neumarkt-Galerie, Neumarkt 2, Mon–Thu, Sat 7 am-9 pm, Fri 7 am-10 pm
International Festival (initiated in 2004 by Tor Lindstrand and Mårten Spångberg) is an open, trans-disciplinary platform for projects that make use of certain performative methods in order to involve their audience in an active process of negotiating institutional contexts. For the European Kunsthalle they have developed a work entitled “Capitalism! BRNG T ON.” It will consist of a weekly cheerleading performance in the event area of the Neumarkt Galerie shopping mall, a container featuring the European Kunsthalle symbol, set in the public space, and a free publication from leftover stock at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. In bringing together these different groups and communications media, International Festival investigates questions such as: who is a part of the post-public, and what are the practices that create its space. Their “model for tomorrow” is based on the temporary, liberating appropriation of existing structures.
Jesko Fezer & Axel John Wieder: Unititled (div. Planungstheorien), 2007
Central Library Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Hof 1, Tue, Thu 10 am-8 pm, Wed, Fri 10 am-6 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm
In their work, which is presented as an archive in the main library, Jesko Fezer (*1970) and Axel John Wieder (*1971) examine different theories of planning. How do theory and praxis relate to urban planning and development in reality, and how do the former interpret the latter? Planning theories evoke an (urban) reality, where they intervene in the space. Pragmatic demands, flexible decision-making, democratic legitimation, and project orientation play a role, as do the conditions of a post-industrialized society struggling with globalization and fragmentation. Established in the 1970s as its own discipline, planning theory reflects the development from late modernist visions to our present day, and is marked by economic concepts. In this setting planning, designing, and building seem to be instruments involved in a transformation of social and ideological perspectives into factual architecture.
Bik van der Pol: Untitled, 2007
Aral gas station, Cäcilienstraße 32, Mon–Sun 0 am-12 pm
Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have been working collaboratively as Bik van der Pol since 1995. Their works invite the audience to think about places, their architecture, and history. At the same time they explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge, as well as to create communicative situations. At a gas station across from the site where the Josef-Haubrich-Kunst-halle once stood (the demolition of which led to the formation of the European Kunsthalle), Bik van der Pol have installed an evocative aphorism. It says, “Ideas you believe are absurd ultimately lead to success.” The text triggers thoughts about the site across the street, its past and possible future. It visualizes the notion that spaces can be created where nothing actually exists, and that these spaces are more than just temporary, imaginary buildings. Using light, the artists create a stage for the work, which also makes it clear that every idea, regardless of how fragile it is, can take on a solid form with help from mediation and communications tools.
Silke Schatz: Orakel 2007
Jesuit Church Sankt Peter, Jabachstraße 1, Tue–Sat 11 am-5 pm, Sun 1 pm-5 pm
The search for the ideal museum of the future took Cologne artist Silke Schatz (*1967) back into history. Her collage of painting, drawing, and photocopies is an old map of Cologne that stands outside historical fact, as it features excavations and contemporary clumsy expressions, recollections of the ancient origins of the city, and disturbing archaeological effects. Tracing the past directs the eye forward, although the future seems to be uncertain. Presented in St.Peter’s, itself a sacred site for contemporary art, Schatz’s “Oracle 2007” seems like a preview of the future via the knowledge of history, which has become a relict. Ancient rituals, cults, and festivals, however, also form the backdrop for a work that uses the political, expressive form of collage, generating out of the apparently apodictic “Future? No thanks” its own potential rejection of conventional models in favor of alternative ideas and patterns of action.
Tobias Rehberger: Untitled, 2007
Galeria Kaufhof, Dinea Restaurant, Hohe Straße 41–53, Mon–Thu 9:30 am-8 pm, Fri–Sat 9:30 am-9 pm
Tobias Rehberger (*1966) often works in functional and communicative contexts, which he transposes to an aesthetic dimension. For this exhibition, he has design-ed three pavilions of different proportions. However, his pastel colored, geometrical structures do not betray their purpose. Rehberger’s contribution is an allusion to prestigious museum buildings by famous architects, where talk is more concerned with the exteriors of the buildings than with the programs featured inside them. The title of the designs – “small,” “big,” and “very big cinema” – reflect the populist phrases of the advertising world, which attempts to turn museum buildings into profitable destinations for “event culture.” The accompanying text, in verse form, places his designs in relation to the situation of the European Kunsthalle. Descriptions of situations, a selection of opposite pairs, and grammatical stumbling blocks create analogies to the founding stage of the institution, which is currently weighing various options in terms of its future activities and architecture.
Andreas Fogarasi: Kultur und Freizeit, 2006
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Obenmarspforten, Tue 10 am-8 pm, Wed–Fri 10 am-6 pm, Sat–Sun 11 am-6 pm
In his videos, installations, and objects, Andreas Fogarasi (*1977) works with specific cultural practices and forms of institutional representation. For the duration of the exhibition, he will present a video installation titled “Culture and Leisure Time” in the foyer of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. It deals with an accessible black box, a miniature cinema, where Fogarasi’s film on cultural centers in Budapest will be shown. The sculptural quality of the cube, its practical function, and its narrative content – three important props for institutional settings – permit a number of ways to receive “Culture and Leisure Time.” The video works themselves are about the intriguing field of representative Socialist architecture as one of Hungary’s cultural legacies, and the redefined purposes of today’s cultural club. Fogarasi thus refers to various historical and social levels of the public and its divergent understandings of culture.
Kultur und Freizeit, 2006 (videostills)
Courtesy Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna
Olaf Nicolai: St. Kolumba oder: Considering a multiplicity of appearances in light of a particular aspect of relevance, 2007
St. Kolumba, Kolumbastraße 2–4, Mon–Sun 8 am-7:30 pm
A major theme of Olaf Nicolai’s (*1962) multifaceted œuvre is the interdependence between symbolic gestures and those that create space. The unique dynamic of these types of settings underscores his work, “St. Kolumba”: an existing room within the context of an exhibition, a kind of ready-made involving space. He describes the situation as “room snatching,” and his reference here is Jack Finney’s science fiction novel, “The Body Snatchers”, in which the bodies of the inhabitants of a small American town are possessed by an alien species, which uses them to reproduce. This theme is used by Nicolai to refer to the artistic practice of employing readymades – a practice, whose presentation of found objects
in the context of art does indeed seem to make use of clear signs, but simoultanoeusly articulates the conditions under which the object is recoded and thus suggests possible multiple transit ivities. An extension of the practice is an artist’s book, which will be set out in the chapel for visitors to take with them. The pages of the book merely show colors that run together. This effect is created by the printing technique employed: rainbow printing, in which the various colored inks used randomly mix together in the machine. Through this, the claim of Nicolai’s work becomes the complex network of needs, interests, and behaviors that exist outside what is obviously articulated. An imaginary scenario, liberated from the given realities, thus opens up for the European Kunsthalle.
Liam Gillick: Revision in the Snow, 2007
City of Cologne, Customer’s Centre Laurenzplatz 1–3, Mon–Fri 7 am–7 pm
Liam Gillick’s textual work can be regarded as part of a potentially longer narrative describing a post-utopian society, the semiotic systems of public life, and the symbols that it uses and which it sometimes unwittingly subverts. In earlier texts, such as “Discussion Island: The Big Conference Room” and “Literally No Place,” Gillick marked public buildings and other urban plans as sites where the power structures and functional mechanisms of post-industrial societies are articulated. His concept for “Models for Tomorrow: Cologne” describes a potentially new institution, which,regardless of specific locale, unfolds in a setting made up of collaborative systems arising from modernist ideals and a society that nevertheless continues to function in a pragmatic sense. Here, the urban space of Cologne figures as a setting that provides commentary. Gillick subtly contrasts this with his analysis of a cultural praxis subverting existing modes of action.
An Te Liu: Being Disposed, 2007
Power Boxes RheinEnergie
, 20–Unter Goldschmied / Kleine Budengasse, 21–Am Hof, Mon–Sun 0 am-12 pm
Urban utility boxes are the medium An Te Liu uses for his text-based interventions in their functional design. His quotations of succinct phrases taken from the philosophies of Martin Heidegger involve various themes: the relationship of function and dysfunction, the concept of “Zuhanden” and “Vorhanden” (“at hand for use” and “at hand, but not necessarily with a functional purpose”), the utility value of things, or the idea of dislocating location. In condensing theoretical analyses of reality down to concise terms, a plea is made for a level of discourse in the face of the empirical reality of every-day systems of function and regulation, by questioning the presuppositions of these systems. Placed on technical tools in passing, the abstract philosophical phrases, taken out of their usual context, are like intellectual disturbances of the public life in which they are embedded.
Referring to their locations and yet alienated from them at the same time, they insist that viewers think about what appears to be simple givens.
Karl Holmqvist: One of Many, 2007
Deutsche Bank self service centre Köln Am Dom, Bahnhofsvorplatz 1/Trankgasse, Mon–Sun 6:30 am-11 pm
Appropriation and seemingly minimal interventions are some of the characteristics of the work by artist Karl Holmqvist (*1964), which often deals with invisibility and things such as memory function or the collective subconscious. His contribution to the “Models of Tomorrow: Cologne” exhibition is “One of Many” – a one Euro coin placed in a vitrine at a 24-hour Deutsche Bank cash point. The work could be said to be doubly site-specific: it accentuates the monetary cycle, from which it is removed and which the bank represents. At the same time, through its stamp of a miniature map of Europe, it opens up an imaginary space whose references lie beyond the specific place, so that Europe itself is visualized as the possible sphere of action for the European Kunst-halle. As “One of Many,” the coin represents capital, the accumulation of which is the foundation for all of the future activities of the European Kunsthalle.