The children’s republic of Gaudiopolis (“City of Joy”), founded in Budapest after World War II, is the inspiration and central metaphor for a collaborative project between the Leipzig Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK) and the OFF Biennale in Budapest. The “City of Joy” existed for six years and provided shelter to hundreds of orphaned children regardless of their religious affiliation, social class or nationality. The goal of the Gaudiopolis community was to relearn democracy and raise “independent, self-confident, practically trained and theoretically educated people”. In view of today’s dysfunctional civil societies, authoritarian governments and political radicalisation, Gaudiopolis represents a strong, solidarity-based community. This project aims to present works and offer educational events which exemplify and explore the idea of democratic coexistence. The central questions of the project are: What can we do to help children and young people gain a better understanding of democracy? What role can art and art education play in this? Are there parallels between artistic work and exploratory learning methods used by children?
The project kicks off with an international symposium in Leipzig which investigates the interplay of artistic practice, art education and reform-pedagogical approaches. The symposium will serve as the basis for new works by international artists which make reference to the urban communities of Leipzig and Budapest, presented alongside existing works. Artists, children and young people will be invited to participate in art pedagogical activities in a “Museum of Ideas” spanning both cities, which will be offered at educational institutions and artistic organisations at a later time.
Artistic directors: Hajnalka Somogyi (HU), Franciska Zólyom
Artists: Gabo Camnitzer, Uta Eisenreich, Alia Farid (KW, PR), Finger, Binelde Hyrcan, Bernd Krauß, Manuel Pelmus (RO), Christoph Ruckhäberle, Javier Tellez, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Architecture Uncomfortable, Anna Vovan, Anna Witt
OFF-Biennale, Budapest: 29 Sep. – 29 Oct. 2017