Annett Zinsmeister: Urban Shelter?
30.09.16 – 26.02.17
While the previous exhibition “Im Raum mit_” dealt with the artistic occupation of space itself, the solo exhibition of German artist Annett Zinsmeister places the history, significance and transience of spaces of shelter at the center of focus. With installations, projections and interventions, the artist reveals core aspects and traces of the past and present of the bunker, linking this all with a question of utmost contemporary relevance: What does shelter look like today?
Questions concerning the protection of civilians in urban space are now more topical than ever. While the first dwellings and city foundations were also built as a defense against attacks, the city and architecture can scarcely meet this fundamental task due to the technological and virtual developments of the 20th-21st century. Divestiture, privatization and conversion of former protective bunkers is a response to their lost, original function.
The building that houses BNKR, a ‘hochbunker’ or above-ground bunker on Munich’s Ungererstrasse built in 1943, is predestined to illuminate the question of protection and spaces of shelter from different sides. Here, a sense of protection exists within the sheer mass of the building, able to be experienced, but at the same time the building stands for a past concept of protection. In the contemporary transformation of the bunker, with its new use and its orientation as an art space, a field of tension is set up that oscillates between memory and forgetting, between the past and the future.
Via installation elements, virtual space openings as well as wall and floor projections, Annett Zinsmeister divides the two floors of the exhibition space into two separate temporal zones: the lower floor deals with the bunker’s past focusing on topics such as war, threat of danger, and destruction, but also of hope and visions for the future: projections of a genealogy of cities as spaces of shelter and protection are layered with designs of ideal cities and utopian urban visions. In addition, the artist refers to the conversion of the bunker into an ABC-compatible shelter in post-war times, where also sand filters came into use. Here, sand — as the bearer of history (in layers of sediment) and as a material specifically utilized in the construction of bunkers — literally prepares the ground for the interplay of form and content. On the ground floor, the artist transitions to the present-day bunker, looking more precisely at architecture in its present appearance as transformed history. The interplay between modernization and traces of history inscribed into the built mass comes to the fore. Room-in-room installations created from details of photographs offer a new point of access to this unusual space by reflecting, mirroring and transforming the peculiar character of the bunker’s architecture, doing so analytically, aesthetically, perspectivally, and illusorily.
The exhibition becomes denser over the course of its duration. The accompanying program of events including experts from the fields of art, architecture and science will address questions about the past, present and future of spaces of shelter.
Thursday, November 10, 2016 / Artist Talk
Annett Zinsmeister and Christine Haupt-Stummer
Thursday, December 8, 2016 / Shelter – Space – City?
Discussion with Bernd Lemke, Karin Wilhelm and Annett Zinsmeister. Moderation: Christine Haupt-Stummer
Dr. Bernd Lemke is a German military historian. After serving in the German Air Force, from 1986 to 1993 he studied Modern and Contemporary History, Medieval history and Modern German Literature at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. After being active with the Haufe publishing house, in 2001 he began working in the Military History Research Office, which became the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces in 2013. He currently belongs to the Deployment Department in the ‘Einsatzgeschichte’ project area.
Prof. Dr. Karin Wilhelm is professor emeritus in the history and theory of architecture and city. Her teaching activities led her to the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, the Gesamthochschule Kassel, the Universität Oldenburg (as Professor of Art History from 1991 to 2001), the Technische Universität in Graz, Austria, where she served as Dean, and in 2001 to the Technische Universität in Braunschweig. Her research focuses on Architecture and 20th century urbanization processes (modernist architecture, Bauhaus, utopias, etc.; spatial design and mindset formation in internationalization discourse after 1945; the history of ideas of urbanistic peace models).
Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Space – City – Security?
Discussion with Stefan Kaufmann and Annett Zinsmeister.
Moderation: Katharina Boesch
Prof. Dr. Stefan Kaufmann teaches at the Institute of Sociology and is the director of the Center for Security and Society at the Universität Freiburg. From 2008 to 2010, he was Professor of Media Theory in the Department of Media Studies at the Universität Siegen and took over project management in security research. He is also involved in the project “Expert Dialogue on Humanities and Social Sciences in Civil Security Research” at the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). In addition to his research on civil security, he is engaged with the sociology of war and violence, as well as the sociology of culture and technology.
Opening: September 29, 2016, 7pm
Runtime: 30.09.2016 – 26.02.2017
Artist: Annett Zinsmeister, Berlin
Curators: Christine Haupt-Stummer, Katharina Boesch, section.a, Wien
Media Relations: BUREAU N, Berlin
Visual: Karl Anders, Hamburg
Production: pr.ojekte | Köttl + Wiemer GbR, München
Photography: Edward Beierle, München
BNKR: Nina Pettinato, München