In 1981 Hamburg became one of the first German cities to introduce a programme for art in public space. Curated, large-scale projects like “Jenischpark” (1986), the “Hamburg Project 1989” (1989) and “weitergehen” (1997) are examples of the innovative and experimental character of the programme. In 2013 Hamburg created the position of “City Curator” to reflect on artistic debates in an urban context and generate new ideas for the programme. The project “We Aren’t Ducks on the Pond...”, initiated by the city curator Sophie Goltz, was an attempt to provide the programme a new direction. It asked how Western-influenced public art could evolve so as to offer a global perspective. What kind of art is necessary and appropriate at a time of rising “rebellious cities” where public, democratic spaces are eroding? The title of the project “We Aren’t Ducks on the Pond…” alluded to a work by the artist Lawrence Weiner, presented at Hamburg Fish Market in 1989. The project began in May 2014 with a symposium and a survey of completed art projects in Hamburg’s public areas. Artists were invited to present and discuss their projects in hindsight together with curators. In summer 2016, a performance festival took place featuring pioneers of Latin American performance art. Further research, interventions, performances and screenings took place in 2015 and 2016. A literary-discursive essay will document the numerous artistic contributions.

Artistic director: Sophie Goltz
Artists: Georges Adéagbo (BJ), Maria Jose Arjona (CO), Nairy Baghramian (IR), Ricardo Basbaum (BR), Etctera (AR), Maria Jose Galindo (BO), Michaela Melian, Marta Minujin (AR), Ahmet Ögüt (TR), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Johannes Paul Raether, Tracey Rose (ZA), Gabriel Sierra (CO), Omer Krieger (IL) and others.

It Might Be Possible that the World Itself Is Without Meaning*

Installations June–July 2015

Opening with performances and actions
30–31 May 2015

Working with international artists, the summer program examined the question of a contemporary world society. Interventions, performances and actions took place in prominent locations in Hamburg. With new commissions by Georges Adéagbo (in cooperation with the curator Stephan Köhler, Kulturforum Süd-Nord e.V.), Ricardo Basbaum, Cevdet Erek, Etcetera, Omer Krieger, Michaela Melián, Ingo Niermann, Dan Perjovschi, Johannes Paul Raether, Juan Pablo Renzi, Martha Rosler / Miguel Robles-Durán, Horacio Zabala, et al.


Ein Initiativprojekt der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg

Stresemannstraße 218

22769 Hamburg