There are nearly 2,000 Protestant churches in Thuringia which are registered as historic monuments and preserved with an enormous amount of public involvement. Especially since 1990, numerous churches have been safeguarded, renovated and re-appropriated for various uses. But what happens if the number of parishioners continues to shrink and church buildings can no longer be used for religious purposes due to demographic and social developments? How do we best deal with vacant buildings of cultural-historic significance?
An international, open call for ideas has been launched to find answers to these questions. A curatorial board consisting of artists, photographers and architects has helped spread the word internationally and later reviewed the submitted proposals. The results will be presented in Thuringia during the Luther commemorative year in 2017, as well as at the world exhibition of the Reformation in Luther’s city of Wittenberg. The idea competition will be accompanied by other artistic works which address the same issue. Following the conclusion of the project, outstanding proposals for converting and reutilising the buildings will be implemented as part of the IBA Thüringen from 2018 to 2023.
Artistic directors: Sonja Beeck, Detlef Weitz / chezweitz
Curatorial board: Architecture: Barbara Holzer, Landscape design: Marc Pouzoul, Communication design: Tom Unverzagt, Journalism: Florian Heilmeyer, Photography: Anne Schönharting, Performing arts: Jürg Montalta, Applied Arts: Barbara Steiner, EKM / Theology: Christian Fuhrmann
Artist: Carsten Nicolai
Cooperating partners: IBA Thüringen, IBA Parkstadt / Netherlands, IBA Heidelberg, IBA Basel / cross-border tri-national collaboration
Limburg (NL) and Heidelberg: 13 May – 19 Nov. 2017; village and city churches of Thuringia: 14 May – 22 Oct. 2017; Kaufmannskirche Erfurt: three IBA Salons: 14 Jun. – 18 Oct. 2017.