This exhibition highlighted the literary figure of the flâneur, as described by Charles Baudelaire, an individual who feels at home “in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite.” The flâneur served as a starting point for investigating how leisurely observation could create authentic images of the city and its inhabitants. Yet the flâneur is more than an abstract figure of 19th-century literature; he is a reference to a modern form of perception. Back and forth, he crosses the threshold between the inner and outer world, between active participation and passive observation, between the past and the present. As an ethnologist of urban space, the flâneur is a contemporary figure who tells us something about how urban images are created and how perception defines reality. The exhibition in Bonn drew attention to the artistically formed images of urban space through the eyes of the modern flâneur. The preferred medium of photography offered an objectified view of metropolitan cities. The performance formats, on the other hand, emphasised physically active moments which explore and define urban structures. Accompanied by an extensive educational programme and catalogue, the exhibition accentuated the various phases of artistic examination of this subject throughout history to the present day.
Artistic director: Volker Adolphs
Artists: Franz Ackermann, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, August Macke, Peter Piller, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Beat Streuli (CH), Thomas Struth, Corinne Wasmuht