“In most stage plays, the dialog is based on the false assumption that people let each other talk. Where is that in life?” The Austrian writer Alfred Polgar asked himself this question.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time: don’t we usually surround ourselves with people who think very similarly? Where do we get involved with completely different opinions? Where do we take opportunities to enter into dialogue with each other and with unfamiliar ideas?
How appropriate that for an article of our blog Lübeck ZWISCHENZEILEN I was invited to the preview of the new exhibition “Hello Lübeck – Dialogues with the Kunsthalle St. Annen“. With this first exhibition curated by her, Kunsthalle director Nora Dirani wants to open up the Kunsthalle as an institution and break down barriers to art. I was very curious as to how I would experience this motivation for more experimental work on site at St. Annen-Straße 15 in Lübeck.
Andreas Angelidakis and “The Beach”
Andreas Angelidakiswho is known to the wider public for his work at documenta 14, has developed the participatory installation “The Beach” for the foyer of the Kunsthalle, which will remain in Lübeck permanently as a new acquisition. 68 foam and vinyl seat modules can be combined to create a variety of seating configurations. This creates a barrier-free and freely accessible “open space”. Angelidakis sees this welcome scene as a place of transition from the street – the public space – to the art space. You get time to arrive and take a deep breath.
In preparation, the artist experienced Lübeck as a waterfront location and chose the colours of plastic toys and surfing equipment. He was also inspired by the block world of Minecraft. At best, you enter into a dialogue with Angelidakis’ objects with the people you visit the exhibition with. But with a time delay, you will also come across the ideas of those who have previously arranged the modules in the room. From now on, the foyer is constantly changing.
Taking a closer look
On the first floor, selected exhibits from the collections of Lübeck’s museums are placed in relation to each other across genres and epochs. The focus here is not on the art-historical approach, but on the subject. In this room, you are invited to look attentively for the connecting element.
The work “Appointed Curators” by conceptual artist Ahmet Öğüt, also on display on the first floor immediately arouses my interest. It shows a series of portraits of nominated curators, all standing with their arms folded. Not open to dialogue, comes to mind spontaneously. I see the defensiveness. Or are the people portrayed protecting themselves from criticism? Who decides what art is and what is shown in a museum? For Nora Dirani, the work suggests that museum directors need to question what they are doing and create transparency.
We can live together as humans or die together as fools.Martin Luther King
Fuse – Connect yourself
The dynamic light and sound installation “Fuse” by artist Tatjana Busch awaits you in two rooms in the basement. Here, spherical sounds in relatively dark surroundings offer you a sensual approach to art and the space and peace to enter into a dialogue with yourself. The three-dimensional objects hang from thin cords. The shimmering light is reflected from the walls, thus always highlighting a different aspect of the work. It is almost as if the lightweight acrylic and aluminium objects are constantly reinventing themselves.
Kneaded city – me as a barrier against stupid sayings
Together with pupils from Lübeck schools in grades 4 – 7, the well-known German concept artist Christian Jankowski worked for the Kunsthalle. He invited the young people to discuss their wishes for the city of tomorrow and to become creatively and artistically active themselves. The pupils used their visions to create small figurative sculptures out of modeling clay.
The clay figures clearly show the fears and hopes that young people are confronted with today. The titles of the plasticine objects can be read on the walls. The Kunsthalle’s new focus on multiple perspectives and participation is particularly evident here. It’s great fun to explore the ideas of creative young people. A cabinet for stupid sayings is something we could all really use!
You can view three exhibits on the second floor by jumping on trampolines as you approach them. This is also a contribution from Ahmet Öğüt . On the one hand, the focus here is on the joy of movement, because experiencing art and museums should be fun. Here too: a new perspective on works of art. In the jump, you reach the right height for a fraction of a second to take a closer look at the work. It only reveals itself to you in parts. Some things remain closed. And you have to make an effort. All of this fits in wonderfully with the exhibition theme of sharing views and dialogue.
KiKU – Children’s Kunsthalle
A special highlight of the exhibition is the Children’s Kunsthalle, which opens its doors to the youngest museum guests on the 2nd floor for the first time and will be a permanent feature of all exhibitions in the Kunsthalle St. Annen in future. The artistsStephanie Lüning and Benjamin Butter transform the exhibition spaces into walk-in and participatory works of art and enable playful approaches to contemporary art. The room with the title “It is what it is” is currently still completely white. If you’ve always wanted to create art: this is your chance! Make your creative contribution to the design of the spatial experience.
These are just a few glimpses that we hope will whet your appetite for the exhibition. “Hello Lübeck – Dialogues with the Kunsthalle St. Annen” opens its doors on December 3 and will remain with us until July 28, 2024. It promises a varied accompanying programme with, for example, creative workshops, yoga and an art dinner
And a small side note: for me, there is another reason to keep going back to the Kunsthalle. From the window on the 2nd floor, you have a view of a piece of Lübeck that you won’t find anywhere else.
By the way: For the current edition of our podcast Lübeck ZWISCHENTÖNE we were also recently on site. Listen to the interview here.