„On behalf of art we must appeal to the power of your imagination this very day to boldly and recklessly assert the space, into which you or we have pushed us. By what right, you will surely ask now.“erlich.
Kamal Aljafari, Cezary Bodzianowski, Josef Dabernig, Halt+Boring, Sanja Ivekovic, Thomas Kilpper, Július Koller, Jiri Kovanda, Josh Müller, Roman Ondák, Anatoly Osmolovsky, rasmus knud, Hans Schabus, Werner Würtinger, Heimo Zobernig
Our first exhibition in the “Brücke”, the new domicile of the Kölnischer Kunstverein, will open on May 9th, 2003. The title of the exhibition programmatically stands for discussions in recent months in conjunction with the search for a suitable space for the Kölnischer Kunstverein.
In this context, the exhibition addresses fundamental questions that determined the protracted and controversial disputes involving the search for appropriate spaces for the Kölnischer Kunstverein; questions about the claims that art makes.
How much and what kind of space is allocated to art in times, when “real” problems and the urgent necessity of dealing with them occur? To what extent and for which reasons do conceptions of reality and relevance alternate in times of an “exceptional situation”, and which possibilities does art have for intervening in the different conceptions of reality? Which of art’s individual possibilities of impact can be deployed, and how do these, for their part, shape the power of the circumstances or leave them untouched? Which significance is attributed to imagination? Is art capable of opening up “free spaces” for insights and convictions, which we do not yet know?
The exhibition also stands for the unfinished, construction site state of the “Brücke”.
As such it is an appeal to the power of imagination to replace all that is unfinished and the scaffolding that is still standing with the image of a completely renovated “Brücke”. Current developments have shown that the will of the Kölnischer Kunstverein to return the “Brücke” to the original state planned by Wilhelm Riphahn 1949/50 and thus to make the architectonic quality of the building visible again, can only be realized in a controversial process. Both the exhibition and the state of the building mirror this process, the building site becomes a metaphor for the current cultural political situation in Cologne.
The renovation of the “Brücke” under the direction of the architect Adolf Krischanitz is defined by a radicality and straightforwardness committed to the architectonic quality and the historical context of the building. In his conception of the renovation work, Krischanitz consciously rejected any “temporariness”, in order to return to the building the materiality and identity that it had already lost. Exploring, uncovering and supplementing characterize Krischanitz’ processual renovation, which will become recognizable for the first time with the first exhibition in the “Brücke”. The focal point for this is the former reading room of the “Brücke”, which Wilhelm Riphahn already thought of as an exhibition space.
The relationship between what is shown and the appeal to imagine what cannot be shown is the red thread through the film series put together by the artists Josef Dabernig and Deimantas Narkevicius, which will be screened in the cinema of the “Brücke”. With this film series, the Kunstverein, in cooperation with various partners, begins an intensive and exclusive use of the cinema in the “Brücke” as a program cinema. The film program thus enables an in-depth exploration of the positions and themes shown in the exhibition, and includes short films and feature films by Kurt Kren, Gerard Holthuis, Daniela Kostova, John Smith, Otto Zitko, Thomas Korschil, Hans Scheugel, Peter Watkins, Algimantas Maceina, Werner Herzog, Frederick Wiseman, Sarunas Bartas, David Lamelas.