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30 May 2016

RASTER - BETON : International Festival in Leipzig / Germany

Laurent Kronental, Souvenirs d'un Futur

RASTER : BETON International festival for art and architecture


From June 17th to Juli 31st, 2016
Opening : Exhibition : June 17th : French and German artists will explore the legacy of modernity.
Opening: Festival: June 18th and 19th : International artist show the work they created in Grünau.
Symposium : June 24th and 25th : International Speakers put the slab into context.

Juliane Richter : Hannah Sieben

Stuttgarter Allee 4
04209 Leipzig

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International festival for art and architecture

Art at, in between, and within the Platte / Slab: Grünau is everywhere!
From June 17th to Juli 31st, 2016, the international multidisciplinary RASTER : BETON festival will take place in Leipzig. The programme, comprising of an exhibition, a symposium, and various art projects within the public space, invites to explore, question, and newly discover large-scale housing settlements.
A golf club within large-scale residential estates, commonly called Plattenbauten, and a mobile cinema, which turns the view on tower blocks upside down? A façade artistically formed from wax right in between occupied housing units? – These are only example of what is going to happen in the context of the interdisciplinary festival RASTER : BETON. The festival, which is organized by the D21 Kunstraum (D21 art space) Leipzig e.V., looks at large-scale residential structures from the perspective of contemporary art. It takes place in the 'slab' district Leipzig Grünau, which was constructed in the former GDR and is one of the largest of its kind next to Berlin-Marzahn. Until today it is the largest Plattenbau residential area in the federal state Saxony.

RASTER : BETON will be launched with an art show at the D21 Kunstraum, Demmeringstraße 21, 04177 Leipzig /Lindenau, on June 16th at 7 pm. French and German artists will explore the legacy of modernity: the urban narrative of an architecture for the masses and the individual, personal histories of residents are contrasted by Laurent Kronental (FR) - here the colossal architecture appears as a monumental panorama with a mystical atmosphere. Ginan Seidl and Ray Peter Maletzki (DE) make the urban district Halle-Silberhöhe subject of an environmental exploration as well as the object of appropriation through living as a practice. The exterior of Le Corbusier's Unités d'Habitation in Berlin and Marseille is abstracted by Margret Hoppe (DE) as she focuses on the inherent values of their colours and materials. Andrea Pichl's (DE) art installation on Leipzig-Grünau, too, exposes material features along with fissures within the architectural structure. Anne-Valérie Gasc (FR) in contrast documents the destruction of French tower blocks as she stages violence towards architecture in an almost childlike euphoria. All projects appear against the background of a lingering question towards the utopian concept that manifests itself in this architecture, and whether it is suitable for the challenges of today; thus they wonder about the origins of an international modernity and inquire about our present perspectives to it.

From beginning of May, five artists and artist groups are going to live and work for one and a half months in the so called Werkstatt Grünau (Workshop Grünau) to involve local residents in the realization of their projects. Bruit du Frigo (FR), a group of artists from France, is known for their temporary constructions, which are specifically designed and built for each particular place they visit. In the context of RASTER : BETON they are going to construct a mobile mini cinema employing the principle of the camera obscura so that viewers in pairs are going to experience a real-time cinematic projection which offers a new perspective upon apparently well-known places. The Berlin based architecture group zukunftsgeräusche (DE) observed life in Chinese large housing estates and probe the question whether here, too, dancing in public spaces can be a possible form of expression. Together with residents from Grünau, German artist Folke Köbberling (DE) is going to create a contemporary interpretation of the slab's front aesthetic using elements from oriental ornamental art and working with wax. Whereas Julischka Stengele (DE) invites Grünau's residents for performative walks through the district to deal with the question of which places in their home district could be considered sights to be seen and visited by tourists. Between slab and the Allee-Center Daniel Theiler (DE) is going to set up the 'Grünau Golf Ressort', a golf club exclusively created for local residents; this project will be associated to his research about golf sports in the GDR.

The symposium at June 24th/25th with speakers from Germany, Austria, France and England is – with Grünau as a local example – is dedicated to various themes such as evaluating from an international comparative angle the potential for development of large-scale residential estates, the aesthetics of the slab as an architectural style, societal and economic valorization assessment and valuation of large-scale housing complexes, as well as the possibilities and limits of artistic agency within a specific architectural environment. Next to academic presentations and discussions, at June 24th with the symposium's opening there will be opportunity to join tours to visit and explore the outcomes of Werkstatt Grünau (the Workshop in Grünau) together with the artists and residents who were involved. Among others, the speakers will be: Wolfgang Kil (writer and architecture critic, Berlin); Ines Weizman (Assistant Professor for Architectural Theory, Bauhaus University, Weimar); Simone Hain (Professor of Urban and Architectural History, Graz University); Annie Fourcaut (Professor of Contemporary History, L'Université Paris 1); Dieter Hassenpflug (professor, Duisburg-Essen University/Bauhaus University Weimar); Stefan Rettich (Professor for Urban Development, Kassel University, KARO* architekten); David Crowley (curator, Professor for Critical Writing, Royal College of Art, London) and Patrick Primavesi (Professor for Theater Studies, Leipzig University).

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