The Wilhelm-Hack-Museum is a cultural institution located in Ludwigshafen, a city shaped by industry and a large immigrant population. Consequently, its artistic research activities focus on themes which reflect on societal and social issues of relevance. With this fellowship, the museum developed a programme which explored how the city’s living environment can be shaped and used by its residents. The project examined the significance of such issues as urban development, integration, participation and subsistence.
Approximately 30 percent of all foreigners living in Ludwigshafen are Turkish citizens. The fellow from Turkey Öykü Özsoy worked as the intermediary between the museum and the city’s residents. She was able to apply her language skills and cultural background, an interest in immigration and transcultural exchange and good connections to the art scene from her home country. She worked closely with the other departments at the museum and was responsible for developing a programme which used public space in the city as an exhibition and performance venue.
Follow-up exhibition “Are you talking to me?”
Cities are not merely conglomerations of various structures and building materials. Often they are built upon a foundation of ideas and visions. This exhibition explored the design-oriented potential of these ideas and placed the city’s residents in the limelight. Its focus was not so much directed at the history, but rather the future of the city. Ludwigshafen underwent enormous transformation in the 20th century. Today 40 percent of the residents of this industrial city are of non-German descent. For many of them, contemporary art is a “closed book”. According to the fellow Öykü Özsoy, a museum’s task is to provide access to art by reaching out to the people in the city. Together with artists, she tried to encourage the inhabitants of Ludwigshafen to envision the future of their city. The people’s wishes and ideas were collected from the various city quarters and brought back to the museum. The project’s participants used these as inspiration for combining their individual artistic concepts with the goals of the community.
Artists: Bik van der Pol, Johanna Billing, Banu Cennetoglu and Yasemin Özcan, Etcetera, Maider Lopez, Ahmet Öğüt, Sophia Tabatadze, Katarina Zdjelar