Biennale für Freiburg (BfF) is a new platform for the presentation, development and mediation of contemporary art in Freiburg, Germany. It dedicates itself to artistically approaching urgent socio-political matters through means of varying thematic and conceptual frameworks. The aim is to establish a continuous connection to Freiburg and to provide a lasting contribution to the cultural and artistic life of the city. The Biennale envisions itself as a beneficial addition to Freiburg’s artistic landscape, juxtaposing an in-depth examination of local modus operandi with external perspectives, which are taken up by the participants. The choice for the commonplace acronym BFF and its meaning in popular culture, are quite intentional: a connection based on support and intimacy, conversation and honesty, combined with the genuine desire to never let this commitment end – Best Friends Forever.

The inaugural edition of the Biennale für Freiburg is overseen by Artistic Director Leon Hösl. The committee of the association Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V., that executes the Biennale, commissioned Hösl for the conception and realization of its first iteration. Learn more about the first edition, BfF#1, here.

Contact

Dreisamstr. 21
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany

info@biennalefuerfreiburg.de
0151 – 64194680

Team

Leon Hösl / Artistic Director
lhoesl@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Catherin Schöberl / Project Assistant
cschoeberl@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Aziza Harmel, Christoph Chwatal, Fanny Hauser, Fritz Laszlo Weber and Magdalena Stöger / Curatorial Advisory Board

Imprint

The Biennale für Freiburg is organized by Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V.

Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V.
Dreisamstr. 21
79098 Freiburg
verein@perspektivenfuerkunst.de

Committee:
Heinrich Dietz, Chairperson
Julia Galandi-Pascual, Vice Chairperson
Yvonne Ziegler, Treasurer
Ben Hübsch

Registration court: Amtsgericht Freiburg
Registration number: VR 702810

Responsible for contents according to § 10 paragraph 3 MDStv: Leon Hösl (Director, address see above)

Graphic design: Ronja Andersen and Marius Schwarz
Programming: François Girard-Meunier
Typeface: Difficult Times

Support

The association and Biennale für Freiburg are supported by Stadt Freiburg, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, the LBBW-Stiftung, the Sparkasse Freiburg Nördlicher-Breisgau and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture.

Media Partner:

Copyright

Texts, images, graphics and the design of this website are subject to copyright. Reproduction or any other use of these pages or parts thereof in other electronic or printed publications is only allowed with our permission.
© Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V., artists, photographers, authors, 2020

Disclaimer: Despite careful content control we are not liable for externally linked contents. The contents, design or caused damage of linked websites are the exclusive responsibility of their operators.

Privacy policy

A PDF with our privacy policy can be found here.

Bust Talk–Illumina


Stadtgarten


23.07 – 24.07


Performance by Thomas Geiger. In collaboration with Sévérine Kpoti (HereandBlack), Birgit Heidtke (Feminist history-werkstatt), Dieter Roeschmann (Comission Art in public Space) and Oliver Matthes (FREIeBÜRGER).

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Bust Talk–Illumina

23.07.2021 – 24.07.2021 / Stadtgarten

Till Peter Otto: Illumina, 2000, © Thomas Geiger

BUST TALK–ILLUMINA
Thomas Geiger
Performance

Date: Fr, 23 and Sa, 24 July, 5 p.m.
Location: Rosegarden in the Stadtgarten Freiburg

In the Stadtgarten Freiburg stands the statue "Illumina" by sculptor Till Peter Otto, a marble stele designed as a sundial with a female body. According to Otto, the work’s intention is to represent the diversity of the city's society; an anonymous Freiburg woman of Eritrean origin stood portrait for the head of the statue. In 2014, the statue was damaged by unknown persons and remains in this condition today. Since then, the statue has been missing its head; the "Illumina" has become ‘the decapitated’.

As part of the Biennale für Freiburg, Thomas Geiger will lead a Bust Talk with the statue. The artist’s line of questioning aims to discursively fill the void of the missing head and to give voice to the different perspectives on this figure. In preparation for the discussion, possible answers of the statue to the artist's questions were found in collaboration with representatives of different Freiburg institutions and initiatives. These will now be expressed in the conversation between Thomas Geiger as ‘host’ and Illumina as ‘guest. During the approx. 30-minute performance, the statue will share its views and the perspectives with the audience in a frank negotiation of concepts such as (in)visibility, corporeality and the public in general.

In collaboration with Birgit Heidtke (Feminist history-werkstatt), Sévérine Kpoti (HereandBlack), Oliver Matthes (FREIeBÜRGER) and Dieter Roeschmann (Municipal Comission Art in public Space).

Thomas Geiger, born 1983 in Germany, is an interdisciplinary artist living in Vienna. In his artistic practice he uses performance, sculpture, and language in diverse combinations to create fragmentary stage-situations and playful scenarios. In recent years he has realized individual projects with Kunsthalle Wien, Wiener Festwochen, steirischer herbst, Ausstellungsraum Klingental (Basel), Kunstverein Langenhagen, Dehli Projects / Museum Tinguely (Basel), Despacio (San José, Costa Rica), Fondation d'entreprise Ricard (Paris) among others.

Thomas Geiger during his Bust Talk
Thomas Geiger during his Bust Talk
Thomas Geiger during his Bust Talk

Cracking Dis/Parities


Bandstand, Rieselfeld


18.07 / 11:00


Workshop with Fritz Laszlo Weber.

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Cracking Dis/Parities

18.07.2021 / 11:00 / Bandstand, Rieselfeld

Workshop
Sunday, July 18th, 11 a.m.
Location: Bandstand at Rieselfeld

Duration: about 2 hours.
Please register here.
Free of charge.

Beginning with the Key of Bremen—featured prominently in the city’s coat of arms—this workshop is dedicated to the history of keys and movements of un/locking. It connects the coat of arms with the keys needed to enter a newly built real estate project in Freiburg Rieselfeld or in the future district of Dietenbach.

Keys and locks serve a symbolic purpose and as instruments of power, operating at a central, axiomatic point in a tale of societal security. Through a series of sound and listening exercises, the participants of the workshop explore the insecurities of these apparatuses. ‘Cracking‘ as a verb already indicates the acoustic dimension of this activity (‘to crack a lock’). Lock-picking, the final exercise in the workshop, attempts to imitate the movements that the key produces inside the lock. This creates an acoustic dialogue between the body and lock. Both the picking of locks and the unlocking of hegemonic narratives, necessitate careful listening.

Fritz Laszlo Weber studied at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. Today he works interdisciplinary on his own and collective projects in artistic and filmic contexts. He was collectively involved in the tribunal "NSU-Kompelx auflösen" 2017 at Schauspiel Köln, and the "Society of Friends of Halit" at documenta 14 in Kassel. Currently, he is involved in the mobile exhibition project "Offener Prozess", among others, and is a member of the Curatorial Advisory Board of the Biennale für Freiburg.

Fritz Laszlo Weber duruing his Workshop CRACKING DIS/PARITIES
Photo: Marc Doradzillo
Photo: Marc Doradzillo
Photo: Marc Doradzillo

Nest-Works and Wander-Lines


DELPHI_space


15.07 / 20:00


Presentation and film screening by Rahima Gambo and conversation with Aziza Harmel. Event in English.

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Nest-Works and Wander-Lines

15.07.2021 / 20:00 / DELPHI_space

Rahima Gambo: Nest-works and wander-lines, 2021, Filmstill

Film screening and discussion between Rahima Gambo and Aziza Harmel

Date: Thursday, July 15, 8:00 p.m.
Place: DELPHI_space, Emmendinger Str. 21
Admission free, event in English
Limited seating capacity due to the weather situation. For physical attendance please register register here.

The event also takes place online via the following Zoom-link:
us02web.zoom.us/j/88194869876

In advance of her work for the Biennale for Freiburg “Nest-works and wander-lines” we will show a new film by Rahima Gambo. Afterwards, the artist will talk with the curator and writer Aziza Harmel, member of the Curatorial Advisory Board of BfF #1, about her film as well as about her participatory project that will be realized in Freiburg in September. Afterwards, interested people can directly ask questions to Rahima Gambo and register for the collaborative workshop in September.

“Nest-works and wander-lines” explores the architectures of the non-verbal and non-linear story by mimicking the process of “wandering” and “bricolage” mirrored in the moving paths and nest making activities of birds, cow herds and termites, their nests, habitats and moving pathways. Non-verbal communication such as movement, symbols, signs, gesturing, tracing and silence are expressed in the work as a liberatory mode of being, seeing, speaking and writing. The work ponders on the origins of language and what it means to “see” spatially, and communicate collectively as part of a larger ecological system to weave together a moving psycho-spiritual-geographic narrative that is both interior, exterior and specific to the spaces Gambo and participants “walk” through.

In the 5 day Walk workshop to take place in Freiburg in September, Rahima Gambo wants to invite 7 participants to join her for a series of disparate morning strolls through the city. During the workshop participants will be engaged in picking up found things. This could be a rock, a leaf, sound, video, images, objects, texts. All of these materials will become a part of the “Nest-works and Wander-lines” installation that also contains a jointly created video work as well as musical elements. For that DELPHI_space will become “A Walk Space” Gambo’s open studio and presentation space where discussions, screenings, assembling and editing will take place.

Rahima Gambo was born in London, United Kingdom, in 1986. She lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria and London, United Kingdom. Gambo completed an MSc in Gender and Social Policy and in Journalism. She developed her artistic practice by working independently on long form trans media documentary projects. Gambo was named a Foam Talent for 2020 and was among the awardees of the CAP prize – The Contemporary African Photography Prize 2020.

The event took place in a hybrid format
Rahima Gambo, Leon Hösl and Aziza Harmel (clock-wise) during the screening and conversation at DELPHI_space.

Symposion
“A Commonplace is Not a Cliché”


Basler Hof


10.07 / 
10:30 – 17:30


Perspectives on Public Spheres, Asynchronous Commonplaces, and Infrastructural Intimacies. Conception: Christoph Chwatal and Lisa Stuckey.

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Symposion
“A Commonplace is Not a Cliché”

10.07.2021 / 10:30 – 17:30 / Basler Hof

Date: Saturday, July 10, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Basler Hof, Kaiser-Joseph-Str. 167
The event is free of charge
Due to limited seating capacity, participation is only possible after registration: Registration here

As part of the symposion 3 workshops will be held on July 9, further information here.

In the wake of the anti-establishment movements of 1968, spatial production became increasingly associated with public bodily co-presence. On the one hand, this resonated with radical democratic theories, which challenged consensus-oriented notions of public spheres, as well as with related forms of artistic activism. On the other hand, this association was accompanied by an abandonment of the artist’s studio in favor of new workplaces and modes of production, such as those in social contexts or scientific settings, for example.

Conceptions of asynchronous temporalities and other genealogies are therefore of interest to the symposium, for instance via narrative montages and emancipative ways of referencing. Commonplaces are analyzed as the literal communal goods in addition to rhetorical places to which arguments refer. For, as Barbara Cassin states: "A commonplace is not a cliché, it is a bank, a stock, a tank of available arguments and a place in which to seek, find and invent arguments." Frequenting, standardizing, appropriating et cetera — which procedures and methodologies are grouped around commonplaces?

The figuration Best Friends Forever, which shares the acronym 'BFF' with the Biennale für Freiburg, may also appear as a cliché. "Friendship," Jacques Derrida wrote in the 1980s, "resembles an appeal because it makes a sign toward the future: be my friends." Insofar as this appeal currently bears a renewed urgency, it necessitates awareness of transforming commonplaces. Taking this idea further, the symposium illuminates present and future manifestations of infrastructural intimacies. The understanding of both practical and imaginary 'critical infrastructures' will be negotiated and recontextualized.

Download the complete program (link: https://www.biennalefuerfreiburg.de/media/pages/programm/a-commonplace-is-not-a-cliche/65c5a44ff6-1625049886/bff_symposion_25-06-21-final.pdf text: here. target: _blank)

Speakers: Mirela Baciak, Christoph Chwatal, Elke Krasny, Sven Lütticken, Viktor Neumann, Karina Nimmerfall, Lisa Stuckey, Simon Strick, Karen van den Berg

Convened by Christoph Chwatal and Lisa Stuckey

Scenography: Diane Hillebrand

Film screening: Michel Auder, May ´68 in ´78 (1978/2019) EDITED BY Michael Stickrod

In cooperation with Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design

Scenography by Diane Hillebrand
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel
May ’68 in ’78 (1978/2019), Film by Michel Auder, Installation: Michael Stickrod 
Untitled (Bleacher 1), 2019, Reconstruction of the installation: Julius Martin-Humpert
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Elke Krasny, Lisa Stuckes, Mirela Baciak, Christoph Chwatal und Leon Hösl (f.l.t.r.)
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Lecturer Simon Strick
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Lecturer Karen van den Berg
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Lecturer Sven Lütticken
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Lecturer Viktor Neumann talking with Elke Krasny and Mirela Baciak. (f.l.t.r)
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Lecturer Karina Nimmerfall
Foto: Karolina Sobel

Workshops
“A Commonplace is Not a Cliché”


BfF #1


09.07


Three workshops will expand the symposion July 10 to include practical artistic, curatorial and feminist perspectives.

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Workshops
“A Commonplace is Not a Cliché”

09.07.2021 / BfF #1

Date: Friday, July 9, 2021
The workshops will take place all day, exact times to be communicated.
Please register by July 06: here

Three workshops expand the symposion with practical artistic, curatorial and feminist perspectives. They offer students the opportunity to engage and discuss already the day before the symposion. Connectingly, the workshops are dedicated to different forms of remembering as well as to the production of emancipatory narratives and signs.

The exploration of public spaces and the creation of new narratives around "infrastructural intimacies" will take place on a small scale on an applied as well as reflexive-theoretical level. No explanations or even keys to the symposion program will be offered, but rather spaces of encounter and experimentation will be designed together.

WORKSHOP I - (ENGLISH)
COLLECT AND EXHAUST: FREIBURG SPECIMENS
Ronja Andersen and Marius Schwarz invite you to go in search of traces in urban space. With a sharpened eye on the structure and nature of the environment, graphic designs will be developed.

Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel

WORKSHOP II
TUNNEL OF TIME: VON ERINNERUNGSRÄUMEN UND ZEITKAPSELN
With Lou von der Heyde and Daniel Vollmer, the neighborhood around the DELPHI_space will come into focus. Together and based on fictional and collective forms of memory, a temporary exhibition will be curated.

Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel

WORKSHOP III
BETWEEN US, IN ALL OF OUR DIFFERING EMBODIMENTS
Hanne König and Claudia Barth take lines of tradition of feminist practices as a starting point to test forms of confiding in each other through shared narration and local references.

Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel
Foto: Karolina Sobel

Detailed information about the workshops is available here.

Following the workshops, the symposion "A Commonplace is Not a Cliché" Perspectives on Public Spheres, Asynchronous Commonplaces and Infrastructural Intimacies will take place on July 10 at the Basler Hof.

A Day’s Work:
Minerva and the miscarriage of the brain by Johanna Hedva


Kommunales Kino


02.07 / 20:00


Reading and video screening followed by Q&A with Johanna Hedva and Jackie Grassmann.

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A Day’s Work:
Minerva and the miscarriage of the brain by Johanna Hedva

02.07.2021 / 20:00 / Kommunales Kino

Sarah Lehnerer, A Day‘s Work, 2021, glazed ceramic, ca 30 x 30 cm

Reading and video screening followed by Q&A

Date: Friday, July 2, 8 p.m.
Location: Kommunales Kino, Urachstraße 40
Event in English with German translation.
Free entry, limited seating capacity.
Registration here

As part of A DAY’S WORK artist Johanna Hedva will read from their new book Minerva: The Miscarriage of the Brain. The reading will be streamed parallel to recordings of a live underwater camera and Jackie Grassmann will read her German translation of the text afterwards. For the subsequent conversation and Q&A Johanna Hedva will be joining live via video. Johanna Hedva will talk to us about how permeability, mysticism, processes of artistic work, biographical and encounters with friends and strangers relate to their texts and art. What influence do political, familial, physical and psychological conditions have on our creative work, and how do we deal with them?

A DAY’S WORK is a project conceived by Sarah Lehnerer, in collaboration with Jackie Grassmann and Inka Meißner for Biennale für Freiburg. The project consists out of two workshops and subsequent guest readings as part of the Biennale’s studio program. The workshops interrogate forms of initially non-purposeful, intimate writing: drawing on research in the German diary archive in Emmendingen, the workshops examine (one‘s own) writing on the threshold between everyday notation and artistic production. Sometimes in the stoicism of writing down or drawing everyday life at the table in the evening, transforming what has been experienced into something that can endure, lies that peripheral act from which artistic work also emerges. The workshops will be accompanied by a site-specific installation by Sarah Lehnerer – a painted setting of room dividers and utilitarian objects, ceramic furniture and writing equipment. The spatial installation A DAY’S WORK will then make the installative elements as well as text fragments from the workshops accessible to the public during the exhibition of the Biennale. The workshops will be framed by two guest lectures as a subsequent evening program, for which Keren Cytter (18.6. Literaturhaus Freiburg) and Johanna Hedva (2.7. Kommunales Kino) will each stage a reading.

Johanna Hedva (they/them) is a Korean-American writer, artist, musician, and astrologer, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives between LA and Berlin. Hedva is the author of Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain (Sming Sming/Wolfman 2020), and the novel On Hell (Sator/Two Dollar Radio 2018). They have released the albums Black Moon Lilith in Pisces in the 4th House (2021), and The Sun and the Moon (2019).

The reading is preceded by a workshop by Jackie Grassmann and Sarah Lehnerer: ECHOES AS RESPONSE

The event is partially barrier-free, for more information please contact:
info@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Johanna Hedva (Screen) during her reading

A Day's Work: Echoes as Response


Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten


02.07 / 
11:00 – 15:00


Workshop by Jackie Grassmann and Sarah Lehnerer

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A Day's Work: Echoes as Response

02.07.2021 / 11:00 – 15:00 / Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten

Sarah Lehnerer, A Day‘s Work, 2021, glazed ceramic, ca 30 x 30 cm

To whom, for whom, and with whom do we actually write when we write? In the workshop we will explore what it means to refer to others, to appropriate, to dialogue, to repeat, to collect and to exchange. How does it feel to write when we become aware that we as writers are never alone, but are always already involved in a political and social fabric, describing it and being described by it? Using selected text fragments, we will try to read out which forces, echoes, objects or other elements beyond the author‘s ego are the driving force of writing. In small writing exercises we will experiment with the forms that emerge when we give these forces their own voice.

The workshop reflections have their origin in the collaborative project „Fireflies in the Dark. A Reading on Ambiguities“ by the two artists.

With: Jackie Grassmann and Sarah Lehnerer

As part of the Biennale für Freiburg, artist Sarah Lehnerer, in collaboration with Jackie Grassmann and Inka Meißner, will realize the project A DAY’S WORK and hold two workshops as part of the studio program. They interrogate forms of initially non-purposeful, intimate writing: drawing on research in the German diary archive in Emmendingen, the workshops examine (one‘s own) writing on the threshold between everyday notation and artistic production. Sometimes in the stoicism of writing down or drawing everyday life at the table in the evening, transforming what has been experienced into something that can endure, lies that peripheral act from which artistic work also emerges. The workshops will be framed by two guest lectures as a subsequent evening program, for which Keren Cytter and Johanna Hedva will each stage a reading.

The workshops will be accompanied by a site-specific installation by Sarah Lehnerer – a painted setting of room dividers and utilitarian objects, ceramic furniture and writing equipment. The spatial installation A DAY’S WORK at the Kunstverein Freiburg in
September will then make the installative elements as well as text fragments from the workshops accessible to the public.

After the workshop the performative reading MINERVA AND THE MISCARRIAGE OF THE BRAIN will be given by Johanna Hedva.

Date: July 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Musikpavillon at Stadtgarten
Free entry, Limited seating capacity,
Registration required:
Registration here

The event is partially barrier-free, for more information please contact:
info@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Foto: Jennifer Rohrbacher
Foto: Jennifer Rohrbacher
Foto: Jennifer Rohrbacher

Between the pavement, the beach! A slow walk for a green (Freiburg)


Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten


26.06 / 
11:00 – 17:00


Greencollecting-walk with Andreas von Ow in the entire Freiburg urban area.

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Between the pavement, the beach! A slow walk for a green (Freiburg)

26.06.2021 / 11:00 – 17:00 / Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten

„Zwischen dem Pflaster liegt der Strand, a slow walk for a green (Freiburg)“, Workingprocess, 2021, © Andreas von Ow

We are happy to invite you for a special walk, where green becomes the red thread until the city map turns black! We will find a rich source: the green glass in all its nuances, the coveted raw material for what will ultimately become a color painting.

Starting from the meeting point at the Musikpavillon, participants will be sent to one area of Freiburg. Equipped with a citymap, a black pen (to blacken searched places), tweezers and plastic bags, we will all spread out in pairs.

The valuable blanks for the green pigments are taken from the surrounding area. The collected material is processed by Andreas von Ow to pigment in different grain sizes, enriched with binder and condensed on a picture carrier in several layers to a color painting, from the green in all its facets. The color receives a body, the green becomes “flesh”. Later on, this work will be presented as part of the exhibition of the Biennale that opens in September.

While walking and simultaneously removing the green from the cityscape, questions arise: How does one's own perspective on the land- and cityscape change when one focuses on "green"? What stories do the traces of green glass tell us about the place? What happens to our color vision and to our perception of the environment, before, during, and after walking? And finally, what does it mean to advocate for art in a society?

The found objects and (color) impressions will be brought together at 5 p.m. during a drink in the Stadtgarten, where conversations may take place and common reflections can be shared.

We would be happy to meet and walk with you on June 26! Already two days earlier, Andreas von Ow will talk about his artistic practice – for more information please visit: here.

With best regards and in great anticipation,
Andreas von Ow and the team of the Biennale für Freiburg

Date: June 26, Start: 11 a.m. at Musikpavillon inside the Stadtgarten.
Final color collection from 5 p.m. ibid.
The event is free of charge
Please register at: Registration here

Foto: Andrea Mihaljevic
Foto: Andrea Mihaljevic

Open Studio #2


Online


24.06 / 19:30


Second iteration of the OPEN STUDIO in which artist Andreas von Ow and cultural anthropologist and architect Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe share insights into their practice.

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Open Studio #2

24.06.2021 / 19:30 / Online

With artist Andreas von Ow and cultural anthropologist and architect Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe.

The OPEN STUDIO is intended as an invitation to collective reflection on artistic processes — it focuses on the unfinished and the processual. The 'opening' of the studio is not understood primarily as the physical opening of a private workspace, but rather as the unlocking of a space of thought that facilitates an exchange about artistic modes of production.

Every last Thursday of the month, from May to September, the OPEN STUDIOS take place. Invited artists, curators, thoerists and writers will give fragmentary insights into their artistic practice during the event series. Be it loose thoughts, specific objects and their stories or conceptual reflections on works — the OPEN STUDIOS invite to continue thinking together in ‘intimate public’, to associate, to talk about processes and to reflect on conditions of production.

Date: June 24, 7:30 p.m.
The event will take place online via Zoom due to bad weather conditions, a link will be sent after registration.
The event is free of charge, Registration required: Registration here

Screenshot of OPEN STUDIO #2

A Day’s Work: Business Class
by Keren Cytter


Literaturhaus Freiburg


18.06 / 19:30


Performative reading by Keren Cytter, with Inka Meißner and Laurie Mlodzik.

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A Day’s Work: Business Class
by Keren Cytter

18.06.2021 / 19:30 / Literaturhaus Freiburg

Sarah Lehnerer, A Day‘s Work, 2021, glazed ceramic, ca 30 x 30 cm

Performative Reading

For A DAY'S WORK, concept by Sarah Lehnerer in collaboration with Jackie Grassmann and Inka Meißner, artist Keren Cytter will stage a simulation of a rehearsal of her currently developing performance Business Class at the Literaturhaus Freiburg. In the process, Cytter will rehearse a specific excerpt from the performance with two non-professional actresses and follow the process of memorising and physically interpreting the written word until a reading emerges. Finally, the relevant section is presented as a recording of the original performance.

Woman: Once when I was in Paris I went to buy earrings for Isabelle, my then sister in law. It was a huge department store high ceilings and escalators. As I was walking and looking at the jewels, I see this cool-looking young woman, walking around the store. I smiled at her and she smiles back. She seemed so nice and friendly. I had to introduce my self to her. So I’m walking to her with my hand like that, and I bump my head in the mirror.... I ran away from the store. That was the last time I saw me.

In cooperation with German Diary Archive and Literaturhaus Freiburg.

Keren Cytter was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1977. She lives and works in New York, USA since 2012. Cytter studied Fine Arts at the Avni Institute of Art in Tel Aviv. Among others, she received the Baloise Art Prize in 2006 and the Ars Viva Prize in 2008. In 2014/2015 she was appointed professor of Fine Arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

The reading is preceded by a workshop by Inka Meißner and Sarah Lehnerer: ROOM WITHOUT WALLS

Date: June 18, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Literaturhaus Freiburg, Bertoldstraße 17
Participation only with current negative Corona rapid test (or evidence of recovery, or complete vaccination)
Free entry, The event is held in English
Limited seating capacity, registration required:
Registration here

The event is partially barrier-free, for more information please contact:
info@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Inka Meißner (back), Laurie Mlodzik (front left) and Keren Cytter (right) at the performative Reading BUSINESS CLASS at Literaturhaus Freiburg.
Image: Marc Doradzillo
Laurie Mlodzik (left) and Inka Meißner (right) at the performative Reading BUSINESS CLASS at Literaturhaus Freiburg.
Foto: Marc Doradzillo
Inka Meißner, Laurie Mlodzik, Keren Cytter and Leon Hösl (v.r.n.l.) at the performative Reading BUSINESS CLASS at Literaturhaus Freiburg.
Photo: Marc Doradzillo

A Day's Work: Room without walls


Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten


18.06 / 
11:00 – 15:00


Workshop by Sarah Lehnerer and Inka Meißner

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A Day's Work: Room without walls

18.06.2021 / 11:00 – 15:00 / Musikpavillon, Stadtgarten

Sarah Lehnerer, A Day‘s Work, 2021, glazed ceramic, ca 30 x 30 cm

This workshop is about starting and creating a writing process from scratch or from the absence of purpose. We will devote ourselves to the beginnings of our own writing: Drawing on material from the German Diary Archive, beginnings by others will be read, attempted ourselves, and then shared. Repetitive sequences of looking at, writing, reading aloud. Embracing the initial uncertainty then allows for reflection on writing itself and how even immediate, undirected forms can be understood as the starting point of a practice

With: Inka Meißner and Sarah Lehnerer

As part of the Biennale für Freiburg, artist Sarah Lehnerer, in collaboration with Jackie Grassmann and Inka Meißner, will realize the project A DAY’S WORK and hold two workshops as part of the studio program. They interrogate forms of initially non-purposeful, intimate writing: drawing on research in the German diary archive in Emmendingen, the workshops examine (one‘s own) writing on the threshold between everyday notation and artistic production. Sometimes in the stoicism of writing down or drawing everyday life at the table in the evening, transforming what has been experienced into something that can endure, lies that peripheral act from which artistic work also emerges. The workshops will be framed by two guest lectures as a subsequent evening program, for which Keren Cytter and Johanna Hedva will each stage a reading.

The workshops will be accompanied by a site-specific installation by Sarah Lehnerer – a painted setting of room dividers and utilitarian objects, ceramic furniture and writing equipment. The spatial installation A DAY’S WORK at the Kunstverein Freiburg in
September will then make the installative elements as well as text fragments from the workshops accessible to the public.

Following the workshop the performative reading BUSINESS CLASS will be given by Keren Cytter.

Date: June 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Musikpavillon at Stadtgarten
Free entry, Limited seating capacity,
Registration required:
Registration here

The event is partially barrier-free, for more information please contact:
info@biennalefuerfreiburg.de

Image: Jennifer Rohrbacher
Image: Jennifer Rohrbacher
Image: Jennifer Rohrbacher

Library of Requests #6


Stadtbibliothek Freiburg


07.06 / 
16:30 – 18:30


POSTPONED: Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński in cooperation with Dear White People Festival. Read-In and presentation.

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Library of Requests #6

07.06.2021 / 16:30 – 18:30 / Stadtbibliothek Freiburg

The LIBRARY OF REQUESTS is a project by Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński and explores the formation of legitimised and marginalised knowledge and analyzes the inclusion and exclusion of certain groups. In the sixth edition of LoR, we approach the topic of colonial continuity: How to deal with the persistent re-articulations of colonial violence? How to comprehend a past, which does not seem to have stayed in the past? The act of reading together and the subsequent discussions stand in the foreground of the joint read-in for the release of the sixth edition of LoR.

As part of the Studio Program, this event draws attention to spaces that facilitate and initiate artistic processes. In addition to the public realm, such spaces also include public archives or libraries. The LIBRARY OF REQUESTS creates a framework in which the available canon of reading is expanded through the collectively selected publications. Shared readings and discussions are declared as an integral part of the reading process.

A cooperation of the Dear White People Festival and the city library of Freiburg with the Biennale für Freiburg. With the participation of the experts Akiko Rive, Andrea-Vicky Amankwaa-Birago, Alex M. Moepedi, Qùynh-nhu Nguyễn, Rufine Songue, Leonora Lorena and Valéria Fekete.

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński is a writer whose work is inspired by the visual.

"DEAR WHITE PEOPLE..." LET'S BREAK THE SILENCE! is a festival that addresses marginalized issues such as the entanglement of colonialism and racism, the connection between ecological crisis and exploitation of the Global South, and the systemic structure of (multiple) discrimination in our society through workshops, panel discussions, performances, lectures, films, exhibitions or podcasts.

The Library of Request #6 is installed and can be visited at Stadtbibliothek Freiburg:

Library of Request #6, Stadtbibliothek Freiburg.
Display: Julius Martin-Humpert
Chair: Diane Hillebrand

Presentation of the LIBRARY OF REQUESTS #6 and Read-In
POSTPONEMENT

Date: June 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m. // New date for September is going to be announced.
Location: Münsterplatz, in front of the city library (Stadtbibliothek)
The event is free of charge, Participation only with current negative Corona rapid test (or recovered, or fully vaccinated)
Due to limited seating capacity, participation is only possible after ordering tickets in advance: Tickets

The presentation of Library of Requests #6 by the artist and writer Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, taking place on Monday, June 7th, 4:30 pm, will unfortunately be postponed. This event is a collaboration between the Biennale für Freiburg and Dear White People Festival, conceived for the Freiburg Public Library.

The Library of Requests (LoR) is an ongoing project exploring inclusion and exclusion. These explorations revolve around collections of works, hand-picked by changing professionals on a chosen topic. The sixth edition of LoR is dedicated to colonial continuities. A collective selection of media has been created (books, CDs and films), which will be shared with the public through a presentation, reading and subsequent discussions.

Due to the current debates surrounding Dear White People Festival's disinvitation and reinvitation of the group "Palestine Speaks Freiburg" (who were slated to be part of the festival's own programming), this collaborative presentation cannot take place as planned. Statements related to these debates can be found here. The decisions Dear White People Festival made with regards to (dis-)inviting Palestine Speaks, necessitate a discussion that requires a different framework than the one that was jointly conceived for Library of Requests #6. Therefore, we hope that we can hold the project together at a later date. We will announce the new date on our social media and website, so stay tuned!

Open Studio #1


Online


27.05 / 19:30


OPEN STUDIO artists share insights into their artistic practice. With Diane Hillebrand and Hanakam & Schuller.

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Open Studio #1

27.05.2021 / 19:30 / Online

With scenographer Diane Hillebrand and artist duo Hanakam & Schuller.
Moderated by Leon Hösl and Catherin Schöberl.

The OPEN STUDIO is intended as an invitation to collective reflection on artistic processes — it focuses on the unfinished and the processual. The 'opening' of the studio is not understood primarily as the physical opening of a private workspace, but rather as the unlocking of a space of thought that facilitates an exchange about artistic modes of production.

Every last Thursday of the month, from May to September, the OPEN STUDIOS take place. Invited artists, curators and writers will give fragmentary insights into their artistic practice during the event series. Be it loose thoughts, specific objects and their stories or conceptual reflections on works — the OPEN STUDIOS invite to continue thinking together in ‘intimate public’, to associate, to talk about processes and to reflect on conditions of production.

Date: May 27, 7:30 p.m.
The event will take place online via Zoom
The event is free of charge
Registration required:
Registration here

Screenshot of OPEN STUDIO #1
Markus Hanakam & Roswitha Schuller, The Moist Cabinet, 2021, Production Shot / Screenshot OPEN STUDIO #1

The Moist Cabinet


Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg


08.05 / 10:00


Workshop by artist Duo Hanakam & Schuller with art students of the Macromedia Hochschule.

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The Moist Cabinet

08.05.2021 / 10:00 / Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg

Workshop at Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg with artistduo Hanakam & Schuller
Workshop at Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg with artistduo Hanakam & Schuller
Workshop at Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg with artistduo Hanakam & Schuller

Ortsbegehung


Stadtgarten


24.09


Biennale für Freiburg (BfF) invites you to its first event. During the Ortsbegehung, an on-site visit, the conceptual and thematic approach of the first edition will be presented, tested and discussed during a collective walk.

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Ortsbegehung

24.09.2020 / Stadtgarten

September 24th, 7 pm
Stadtgarten, Freiburg

The studio of an artist or a class of art students does not necessarily depend on a physical space. A studio is primarily a place for production, experiment and exchange. A studio can be envisioned as a place of production, experiment and exchange: a protective space for thoughts and the actions taking place within it. A space for things in the making. A space of regular review, where actions are presented, tested and reflected upon. A space where honest opinions can be expressed and skills can be developed and applied. A space for construction and destruction, for consideration and spontaneity. A studio is a place where suggestions are made.

Ein weißes Blatt auf dem drei Bleistiftlinien gezogen sind. Zwei davon ziehen Schwünge und Kreise, die mittlere fast gerade. Die mittlere Linie beginnt an drei Punkten, die zu einer Linie zusammenlaufen, die untereste beginnt an einem Punkt und endet in drei seperaten Linien an deren Ende Pfeile gezeichnet sind.

Rahima Gambo, A Walk Map, 2019

Biennale für Freiburg (BfF) invites you to its first event. During the Ortsbegehung,(on-site visit) the conceptual and thematic approach of the inaugural edition will be presented, tested and discussed during a collective walk. This will be the first attempt to declare the public space as a work place and to create a temporary mobile studio. The event ends with the film “A Walk” (2019) by artist Rahima Gambo.

Participants:
Ronja Andersen and Marius Schwarz, Christoph Chwatal, Rahima Gambo, Aziza Harmel, Fanny Hauser, Leon Hösl, Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V. (Heidi Brunnschweiler, Heinrich Dietz, Julia Galandi-Pascual, Ben Hübsch), Magdalena Stöger, Fritz Laszlo Weber.

Rahima Gambo, A Walk Map, 2019

Die Autor*innen des Bust Talk–Illumina


16.07.2021 / BfF #1

Wir stellen die Autor*innen des BUST TALK–ILLUMINA vor, die gemeinsam mit Thomas Geiger den Dialog mit der Statue entwickelt haben.

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Die Autor*innen des Bust Talk–Illumina

16.07.2021 / BfF #1

Marmorstatue, die eine aufrechtstehende weibliche Figur darstellt. Der Kopf fehlt, man erkennt nur noch die Bruchstelle.

Illumina, Till Peter Otto, 2000, in beschädigtem Zustand (seit 2015).

Anfang Mai traf sich Thomas Geiger mit Oliver Matthes, Sévérine Kpoti, Dieterich Roeschmann und Birgit Heidtke, um die gemeinsame Entwicklung des Bust Talk–Illumina zu beginnen. Im Laufe von mehreren Wochen entstand durch fortwährenden Austausch zwischen den Teilnehmenden und dem Künstler ein Dialog mit der Skulptur, der aus unterschiedlichen Stimmen zusammengesetzt ist. Dieser wird am 23. und 24. Juli, jeweils um 17 Uhr im Stadtgarten Freiburg der Öffentlichkeit präsentiert. Hier stellen wir die Beteiligten mit kurzen Textausschnitten aus dem Bust Talk vor:

"Restaurieren heißt, etwas in seinen ursprünglichen Zustand zu bringen. Ich halte von dieser Idee nicht viel, denn jeder Kopf ist ein Unikat, und eine Reproduktion wird nie so gut sein wie das Original."

Oliver Matthes (Redakteur bei der Strassenzeitung FREIeBÜRGER)

"Um ehrlich zu sein, ich war schon immer kopflos! Es ist eine Charaktereigenschaft von mir, die sich in Form einer gewissen Impulsivität und sorglosen Spontanität zeigt."

Sévérine Kpoti (Fotografin und Mitglied von Here And Black)

"Ich finde, es ist ein schönes Privileg, sich den Menschen einfach in den Weg stellen zu dürfen, Raum zu verdrängen."

Dietrich Roeschmann (Journalist und Mitglied der Kunstkommission der Stadt Freiburg)

"Sieg, Freiheit, Jahreszeit: wir verkörpern und bleiben wesenlos. Unsere Schöpfer sehen uns ohne (menschliche) Eigenschaften."

Birgit Heidtke (Historikerin und Mitglied der feministischen Geschichtswerkstatt)

Illumina, Till Peter Otto, 2000, in beschädigtem Zustand (seit 2015).

Announcement of artists and cooperations


16.06.2021 / BfF #1

We are excited to announce the contributing artists and our cooperation partners.

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Announcement of artists and cooperations

16.06.2021 / BfF #1

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND CONTRIBUTORS:
Michel Auder with Michael Stickrod in collaboration with Julius Martin-Humpert, Maristella Witt, Ilja Zaharov and Franziska Rist; Patrizia Bach; Patricia Esquivias; Rahima Gambo and collaborators; Thomas Geiger in collaboration with Birgit Heidtke, Sévérine Kpoti, Oliver Matthes and Dietrich Roeschmann; Niklas Goldbach; Philipp Gufler; Markus Hanakam & Roswitha Schuller; Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński; Vika Kirchenbauer; Sarah Lehnerer with Jackie Grassmann and Inka Meißner and with guest lecturers Keren Cytter and Johanna Hedva; Luiza Margan; Kriz Olbricht; Liesl Raff; Andreas von Ow; Young Boy Dancing Group; and more...

BIENNALE FÜR FREIBURG IS COOPERATING WITH THE FOLLOWING PARTNER INSTITUTIONS:
Dear White People Festival, DELPHI_space, Deutsches Tagebucharchiv, Feministische Geschichtswerkstatt, Here & Black, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Kunstverein Freiburg, Kunstkommission der Stadt Freiburg, Literaturhaus Freiburg, Macromedia Hochschule Freiburg, Museum für Neue Kunst, Pförtnerhaus, Stadtbibliothek Freiburg, Strassenzeitung FREIeBÜRGER.

BfF #1 will unfold in two phases: a Studio Program that started in early May, lasting until the end of August and a resulting Exhibition Parcours that will be on view in Freiburg from September 10 to October 3, 2021.

Conceived as a four-month-long phase for production, discourse and mediation, the Studio Program lays the groundwork for the subsequent Exhibition Parcours. Between May and August, the contributing artists will visit Freiburg extensively, providing insights into their production processes, organize workshops, and develop new works during their stay, many of them in collaboration with other artists and local participants.

In September, the Exhibition Parcours will unfold throughout Freiburg, with a rich program of installations, video works, painting, photography and performance. Allocated at art institutions, off spaces and other venues, the parcours guides the visitors through the themes and various artistic approaches of the Studio Program and refers these ephemeral processes back to the realm of the exhibition. More than a mere presentation of final results, the exhibition functions as an insight into networks of artistic collaboration, multilayered sets of thematic reference points and offers potential points of departure for future editions of the Biennale für Freiburg.

For updates on our program please sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Image credits: [1] Till Peter Otto, Illumina, 2000. [2] Fritz Laszlo Weber, Cracking Dis/Parities, 2021. [3] Michel Auder, May ‘68 in ‘78 (still), 1978. [4] Diane Hillebrand, Modell for scenography for Biennale für Freiburg, 2021. [5] Hanakam & Schuller, The Moist Cabinet (production photo), 2021. [6] Sarah Lehnerer, A Day‘s Work, 2021.

Exhibition dates of Biennale für Freiburg #1


18.05.2021 / BfF #1

Exhibition Parcours: September 10 – October 3, 2021 / Studio Program: Early May through end of August 2021

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Exhibition dates of Biennale für Freiburg #1

18.05.2021 / BfF #1

The first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg (BfF #1) explores the various modes of artistic production, and how they manifest both inside and outside of the studio space. During BfF #1’s runtime, artistic processes and activities are transferred from the traditional setting of an artist's studio towards a number of collective contexts and situations. The public space is thereby transformed into a place of production and a subject for debate.

For its inaugural edition, the Biennale für Freiburg will take place in two phases:
Studio Program: Early May through end of August 2021
Exhibition Parcours: September 10 to October 3, 2021

Conceived as a four-month-long phase for production, discourse and mediation, the Studio Program lays the groundwork for the subsequent exhibition parcours. Between May and August, artists will visit Freiburg extensively, providing insights into their production processes, organize workshops, and develop new works during their stay. In September, the exhibition parcours will unfold throughout various locations in Freiburg, with a rich offering of installations, video works, painting and photography, amongst other things. Many of these artistic contributions directly result from the processes that were explored during the preceding Studio Program. Events and performances complete the program. The locations will be announced in the coming weeks, but the exhibition dates are already set! You are invited to visit the exhibition between September 10 and October 3, 2021.

The Biennale understands the studio as a non-fixed place—the absence of classical studio spaces is the key starting point for our considerations. Therefore, the majority of events during this first period will take place at changing locations throughout Freiburg’s environs. The merging of studio and urban space will consequently reflect and shape the content of the program. The focus is on Freiburg in particular and on the city in general; taking a look at methods through which the urban can be perceived, developed and utilized for the creation of a cityscape. There will be a chance to ruminate on the role of the surrounding Black Forest as a healing, moisture-retaining cabinet. Or to learn more about the dual nature of the public space, which can manifest in both the prominent representation of historical events or in the erasure of lesser-known stories from the collective consciousness. The program will make way for voices that skillfully and openly report on private matters, simultaneously understanding that this precious information is best protected through the obfuscation of fiction. A marble statue with missing body parts becomes the catalyst for a conversation. In addition to this, the Biennale für Freiburg invites the audience to participate in two distinct walks, exploring diary writing and the sound of key locks, respectively. The concept of the public sphere itself will be examined in a symposion that is equal parts artistic interpretation and scientific precision.

All program points converge in an intermediate area, where intimate situations of production and public moments of presentation meet. We will invite you to particular events, in which your active participation by writing, collecting, narrating and dancing would be met with great enthusiasm and appreciation from our side. For other events, we are happy to welcome you as audience guests. The general public will not know about certain program components until after they occurred, as there are events that will be protected by the studio. You will not miss out on anything, however: all the artistic processes find their way into the final exhibition, where they will be complemented by other artistic works.

We will provide information about the Studio Program in monthly newsletters. Due to the regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still unsure whether we can commence with a public program in May already. Regardless, we are optimistic that we will soon have the pleasure to invite you to events taking place from June onwards.

Stay healthy and see you soon!
Biennale für Freiburg #1

Shaping the relationship between ‘Biennale,’ ‘for’ and ‘Freiburg.’


12.04.2021 / Curatorial Advisory Board of BfF #1

For the first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg we were invited to form the Curatorial Advisory Board. We are Aziza Harmel, Christoph Chwatal, Fanny Hauser, Fritz Laszlo Weber, and Magdalena Stöger.

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Shaping the relationship between ‘Biennale,’ ‘for’ and ‘Freiburg.’

12.04.2021 / Curatorial Advisory Board of BfF #1

Christoph Chwatal, Leon Hösl, Aziza Harmel (upper row from left to right)
Fritz Laszlo Weber, Fanny Hauser, Magdalena Stöger (lower row from left to right)

This text is based on a transcript of the presentation of the Curatorial Advisory Board, which took place in hybrid form during the event “Ortsbegehung” on September 24, 2020.

For the first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg we were invited to form the Curatorial Advisory Board. We are Aziza Harmel, Christoph Chwatal, Fanny Hauser, Fritz Laszlo Weber, and Magdalena Stöger.

As artists, curators, and cultural scientists, we have worked in institutions, realized our own projects, founded collectives and project spaces, published texts, interned, and worked at numerous counters and cash registers to maintain ourselves (as well as our far-too-often precarious activities).

As a group, we form a space of resonance for curatorial, artistic, and scientific questions. In this space, our expertise, interests, and perspectives constitute a mosaic. The Advisory Board thus accompanies the development and process of the Biennale and provides advice and support to its artistic director Leon Hösl. Our fragmentary realities are joint through conversations in physical and digital space.

Leon Hösl, Fritz Lazlo Weber, Christoph Chwatal (upper row from left to right)
Magdalena Stöger, Fanny Hauser, Aziza Harmel (lower row from left to right)

In its form and structure, the Advisory Board assembles differently situated perspectives on the development of a Biennale für Freiburg. Similar to the word ‘at,’ the word ‘für’ (‘for’) is a preposition, a relational word. It anticipates an actual expression—just like we anticipate the actual event, the Biennale für Freiburg. Prepositions may carry local, temporal or causal meanings or serve to mark grammatical relations. As a Curatorial Advisory Board, we are committed to accompany the Biennale in shaping the relationship between ‘Biennale,’ ‘for’ and ‘Freiburg.’

Relationships are often of unsteady nature. They change. They update, renew, and evolve. In turn, relationships are usually based on what has been already. Our conversations and processes accompanying the biennale are tools to forge new relationships and relations. In this way, we accompany and reflect on the processual and site-specific working structures of the Biennale. Fragments of our exchanges are ultimately taking shape in Freiburg.

Brushed by Hand, Polished by Foot


21.12.2020 / Marius Schwarz

Paving has been a part of Freiburg since the 19th century. Stone by stone, its squares, streets and sidewalks were laid out, in structured or wild patterns, partially decorated or lined with ornaments.

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Brushed by Hand, Polished by Foot

21.12.2020 / Marius Schwarz

In 2012, the city of Freiburg invested in a fleet of hybrid electronic sweepers, all in the name of modernisation. Soon after their introduction, it turned out that in addition to trash and dirt, these sweepers also sucked up much of the sand from the grout joints of the city’s historical pavement. Consequentially, the department of civil engineering had to re-fill the streets with sand up to five à six times a year, which amounted in enormous annual expenditures. As usual when progress and history clash, a compromise had to be made. In the end, the city cleaners were asked to turn off their brand new sweepers on historic pavements and go back to using the hand broom instead.

Road workers are paving a road with natural pebble, Freiburg ca. 1945 to 1955

Paving has been a part of Freiburg since the 19th century. Stone by stone, its squares, streets and sidewalks were laid out, in structured or wild patterns, partially decorated or lined with ornaments. The pebble for paving used to be harvested during low tide at the river banks of the Rhine near Breisach from where they were carried over to Freiburg ever since. Travelling from the Alps of Switzerland, through Lake Constance and down the Rhine, these pebbles were ground into the characteristic flat ellipses. Due to their differing minerals, they came in a variety of colour shades, which made them a perfect material for complex designs.

Workers collect stones at the river, © Stadt Freiburg, Garten- und Tiefbauamt

Next to streets and squares, the pavers were asked to lay out mosaics, highlighting certain landmarks in the city. Some of them showed coats of arms in front of official buildings or icons and logos in front of businesses, others referred to the date of their construction or were purely ornamental. Allegedly, the first paver to make these signs in stone was Alois Krems (1825-1881), who is said to have picked up the technique during his wandering years in Southern France. The oldest preserved example is the “1899” inscription in Gerbergasse. It is also the only mosaic officially listed and protected as a monument. Since its beginning, paving was officially considered as architecture nor art. Up until today it remains a grey area and its design and execution stays the responsibility of each paver.

Working on a mosaic for a tailorshop, © Stadt Freiburg, Garten- und Tiefbauamt

When Freiburg was bombed by the Royal Air Force in 1944, the paving tradition came to a sudden halt. Eighty percent of the cities buildings was destroyed, as were 38km of its streets. Fortunately, much of the wreckage got preserved and stored. While other destructed cities decided to rebuild their streets with cheaper concrete or asphalt in the years after the war, Freiburg revived its costly tradition, reusing much of the old material.

Stone storgage at Bauhof Freiburg, Andreas Schwarzkopf, 2014, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today, street maintenance falls under the jurisdiction of the department of civil engineering and its employees. At their premises – just outside of the town – all sorts of stones are stored, sorted by colour and size, with some still dating back to the war. Since the pebble stocks of the Rhine river banks are almost exhausted, they are especially precious. The department categorizes them in three sizes with their very own stencil unit. The sizes relate to the amount of square meter a paver is expected to lay in a work day. Stones of size three equal about three square meters a day, stones of size one equal one square meter. Based on this unit, the department matter-of-factly calculates the costs of the pavement and the wage of the paver.

Sorting pebble by size, „Faszination Freiburg“, © SWR 2020

While the mosaics used to be paved directly into a bed of sand in the streets, today, they are prepared in the workshop during the winter months. In day-to-day business, the work on mosaics mainly concerns renovations. Every now and then new mosaics are commissioned by business owners, who want to advertise their new stores. Other times, the commission will come from the city, as part of the inauguration ceremony of new twin cities, for example. If there already is a pre-existing design, the pavers develop detailed plans to set them in stone. If there is none, they are free to develop and draw their own designs based on ideas that came up in talking to the clients. With the aid of wooden stencils, the mosaics are assembled inside big steel pans. Layer by layer, the stencil parts are removed and filled with stones. In the end, the mosaics are laid into the street in one piece.

Renovating a mosaic in the workshop, „Faszination Freiburg“, © SWR 2020

When the work on a mosaic is done, the wooden stencils are put into storage. The new mosaic in the street will be hand-brushed by city cleaners to make sure moss can settle in the joints and harden the sand. Over the years, the shoes of thousands of Freiburg's pedestrians will polish the stones and give them their characteristic matt shine.

Storage space of wooden stencils, Andreas Schwarzkopf, 2014, CC BY-SA 3.0

Most people will walk on the pavements without giving them much thought. Once in a while, however, someone will briefly stop and note the subtle execution or wonder about the origin of their design. Bit by bit, they could uncover more of their story: the long journey of the pebble; the destruction of the war and the efforts of reconstruction; the unforeseen compromises from maintaining tradition in modern times; the devotion, craftsmanship and the creativity of the anonymous paver.

Mosaic in front of “Penny” supermarket, Andreas Schwarzkopf, 2012, CC BY-SA 3.0

Marius Schwarz and Ronja Andersen have been developing the graphic design for the Biennale für Freiburg #1. In this process, the historic pavements of Freiburg as well as graffiti and tags covering the city walls were an important point of reference.

Difficult Times


21.12.2020 / Aziza Harmel

When Leon Hoesl, artistic director of the Biennale für Freiburg, told me about the new graphic identity for the biennale and mentioned the use of the typeface Difficult Times, we were in lock down, dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

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Difficult Times

21.12.2020 / Aziza Harmel

“You’re difficult to read.”, Jungmyung Lee, 2020.

When Leon Hoesl, artistic director of the Biennale für Freiburg, told me about the new graphic identity for the biennale and mentioned the use of the typeface Difficult Times, we were in lock down, dealing with a worldwide pandemic. The title of the typeface resonated and yet I first wondered, when in difficult times, do we have time to make typefaces? When in difficult times, do we open a new Biennale? The answer to these questions is probably no… or if we do so it means that times are not difficult enough. Nevertheless, if the world was in this never-ending slow-motion apocalypse, we have decided to make the time for all of these things. Don’t we all need to find ways to make the waiting more bearable? Whatever we do today, it will bear witness to our difficult and strange times.

Whether it was the right moment to make Difficult Times or not is not our main issue here. As it turns out the typeface was designed back in 2012 and the name just gained new meaning in the present context. I was intrigued by this typeface for different reasons, beyond its title. There is something almost amusing about the fact that it was based on Times New Roman, which is considered one of the most readable typefaces. The designer has slightly shifted the shapes and effectively disturbed the order of what is supposed to be the perfectly balanced letter shapes.

The predominant use of certain serif typefaces during more than a half millennium in printed matters could be the reason why we affirm that they are the most readable ones, but scientifically we have still not demonstrated that certain shapes are more legible and readable than others. In other words, the idea of the perfect letter is a construction made out of our conditioning to perceive harmony within the western canon.

The unease one could feel while going through a text typed in Difficult Times is related to how habits and aesthetics in the use of typography influence the reading process. It is the cognitive aspect of typography in the reading activity. It is precisely this cognitive aspect that the designer is tempted to tease. I use the verb tease because it is always with subtlety that the designers have distorted things. The cannon is still there, latent. Yet something has shifted and because shape is ideology and rhythm, even if we would go back to Times New Roman, we would never end up in the same place. It is all a question of time.

The sunrise of 2021. Jungmyung Lee, 2020.

Difficult Times was drawn by Ronja Andersen in 2012. The visual identity of the first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg (BfF #1) is designed by Ronja Andersen and Marius Schwarz.

Aziza Harmel is part of the curatorial board of BfF #1.

Excerpts from “A Walk” by Rahima Gambo


05.11.2020 / BfF #1

“Can we walk as a response to this?” This is one of the first questions that Rahima Gambo asks in her video A Walk.

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Excerpts from “A Walk” by Rahima Gambo

05.11.2020 / BfF #1

Introduction by Aziza Harmel

Can we walk as a response to this?
This is one of the first questions that Rahima Gambo asks in her film “A Walk”. Gambo understands walking as a narrative mechanism and collects objects during her strolls that she integrates in her drawings and installations. The artist came to ideate her practice of walking when she was researching the rising incidents of suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria. Not knowing how to face this horror, she starts to follow a path where she collects information found below the surface of what she can perceive with her own eyes. When the road becomes a site for memory and knowledge, the focus shifts and perceptions merge. The walk recognizes different spatial and temporal knowledge systems and is an attempt to heal, by putting things together like the artist does in her collages and assemblages. Just like in her photographs and video stills, there is something new and disjointed about these collages that differs from what it once was: “Not a woman, not a plant, not a picture, not a drawing, not a body, not a landscape, not a photograph, not a sculpture, not stillness and not movement.”

If information is control,
what is its opposite?

The two lines read like a riddle.
In the deep silences, the deeper contemplations,
in the deep end.
Where sound muffles and sight blurs.
Can we make sense of this?
Can we wander with no destination?
No known outcome or perceived end?
Can we walk as a response to this?

This
‘This is where she detonated her device’, a man said.
I looked down and notice a few bits of torn material,
mixed up with the earth and broken sticks.
And I looked further away towards where the reddish brown land met the sky.

How does one wrap language around the unexplainable, the unknown and the horrific. When we are exposed to the incomprehensible language stutters in fears. The tools of meaning-making of witnessing and documenting become inadequate. In these moments, instead of making sentences perhaps we should meet the incoherent with the incoherent, the negative with the negative.

I have this memory, it is not my own. It is my mother’s. She is eight and walking from her village ‘Wurode’ to school. She is a small child, smaller than the other children. As she walks, she kicks up the sand around her feet. Her feet are cracked. The tiny rocks cut at the soft parts, which at this point are numb from walking for so long so far.

As I walk I think about how I can mend a rupture,
stitch a gash and put the pieces back together of something
fragmented and exploded in the landscape.

A walk
A walk is about this land.
A walk
A walk is about the bodies of those unknown and unidentified
women who merged with the land.
A walk is transition.
A walk is resistance.
A walk
A walk is freedom.

Escape
A scape
Es-cape
Escapes
Escape from the confined limitations of
a certain location or environment.
Escape from suffering wounding and trauma.
Trauma keeps us frozen and unmoving.
Trauma makes us quickly grasp at language
to create a thick layer of ice over the void of unknowing,
someone once said.
To break through the ice means to find two-dimensionality.

I had to move.
I had to walk.
With each step leaning on what at first I thought was nothingness.
But upon closer inspection was a thick and writhing space of information,
not information that I could easily recognize.
But something that was below the surface
of what I could perceive with my eyes.

While walking I learned that one should not approach the wound directly. One should wander, wander around it for a time, double back and walk away from it, go outside for a time, then pivot and go in.

Inside is where true healing lies.
In the interior world, and the interior landscape.
What is healing, but putting back together things. Yes, walk in a straight line. And after a time, go off on a tangent, and then go off on another tangent. Walk until you break apart and shatter the boundaries between inside and outside.

Come apart at the edges a little and scatter into a pile of neatly cut lawn grass. Then slowly start to put the pieces back together. But this time, they will come together where they fit, far from where they used to be.

Disjointed and uncomfortable and incoherent.
Yes, it comes back together.
But not as it once was.
Not a woman, not a plant, not a picture, not a drawing,
not a body, not a landscape, not a photograph,
not a sculpture, not stillness, and not movement.

While walking I learned that one should not approach the wound directly. One should wander, wander around it for a time, double back and walk away from it, go outside for a time, then pivot and go in.

Inside is where true healing lies.
In the interior world, and the interior landscape.
What is healing, but putting back together things. Yes, walk in a straight line. And after a time, go off on a tangent, and then go off on another tangent. Walk until you break apart and shatter the boundaries between inside and outside.

Come apart at the edges a little and scatter into a pile of neatly cut lawn grass. Then slowly start to put the pieces back together. But this time, they will come together where they fit, far from where they used to be.

Disjointed and uncomfortable and incoherent.
Yes, it comes back together.
But not as it once was.
Not a woman, not a plant, not a picture, not a drawing,
not a body, not a landscape, not a photograph,
not a sculpture, not stillness, and not movement.


Rahima Gambo is an artist based in Abuja, Nigeria.

The text excerpts are transcripts of the voice over for the video A Walk, accompanied by images from “A Walk Series”. Both works are part of the ongoing project A Walk Space that the artist started in 2018. Rahima Gambo will participate in the first edition of Biennale für Freiburg in 2021.

Thanks to Maristella Witt for the transcription and German translation and Martha Martin-Humpert for editing the German translation. All images belong to A Walk Series (2018) by Rahima Gambo, courtesy the artist.

Ortsbegehung


24.09.2020 / BfF #1

On-site tour and first public announcement of Biennale für Freiburg #1.

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Ortsbegehung

24.09.2020 / BfF #1

On-site tour and first public announcement of Biennale für Freiburg #1.

During the on-site tour at Stadtgarten the newly conceived Biennale für Freiburg, as well as the concept of its inaugural edition were presented for the first time – a light kick-off for BfF #1, which will take place next year in two phases: the first between May and July 2021 with the Studio Program, and a second one in September 2021 with a public exhibition at various locations throughout Freiburg, accompanied by a rich program of events. We are grateful to everyone who came to Stadtgarten on the 24th of September despite the difficult weather conditions on that day!

Announcement of Biennale für Freiburg in the Musikpavillon at Stadtgarten. Photograph: Marc Doradzillo.

Heinrich Dietz, director of the Kunstverein Freiburg and chairman of the association Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V., which is responsible for the BfF. Dietz recapitulates how the conception of a new biennial came about through an initiative by Freiburg artists and cultural practitioners. This initiative started as a reaction to the closure of the Freiburg satellite campus of the Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe in 2017, which had been an important institution for art education in Freiburg since the 1950’s. The initiative developed into a program that contained several demands for the improvement of the contemporary art scene in Freiburg. These demands were included in the municipal’s budget with the support of the first mayor of Freiburg Ulrich von Kirchbach. It was agreed upon that Freiburg was in dire need for new impulses in the contemporary scene, after the closure of the public art school and that this could be generated through the format of a temporary exhibition, taking place also in public space. This measure was envisioned as a compensation, but – importantly – not a substitute for the academy. The initiative led to the formation of a smaller working group, which today for acts as the board of the association that is organizing BfF, consisting of Heidi Brunnschweiler, Heinrich Dietz, Julia Galandi-Pascual and Ben Hübsch. The next step after the formation of the board, was the appointment of Leon Hösl as Artistic Director to conceive the curatorial concept of the first edition and implement the vision of the initiative put forward by Freiburg’s cultural scene.

Heinrich Dietz, Chariperson of the associatoin Perspektiven für Kunst in Freiburg e.V., that organizes BfF. Photography: Marc Doradzillo.

Heinrich Dietz: “When I look at the coherent concept for the first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg, I am convinced that it will set off impulses with an effect both on the city and beyond. One thing is certain: the first edition of the Biennale will be a new and important step – but hopefully not the only one – towards enriching the cultural life of the city through contemporary art in a sustainable way”.

For Leon Hösl, Artistic Director, the name of the new format, Biennale für Freiburg, already hints at its programmatic orientation:
“The designation as a ‘Biennial’ stands for a continuity that, unlike other short-term projects, enables an ongoing engagement with art in the city of Freiburg. It is not a matter of seeking comparison with the largest biennials in the world, but of creating a framework for artists to react to Freiburg over and over again, but also differently every time. The preposition ‘Für’ (‘for’) in Biennale für Freiburg implies that the locality of Freiburg should determine the thematic orientation of each edition. ‘Für Freiburg’ is thus also to be understood as an opportunity to think about and react to the local context from an external perspective; to identify needs and respond to them, but also to point out problems and address them directly. This relationship between the Biennale für Freiburg and the city of Freiburg is actually already summed up in the acronym ‘BfF’ - BFF, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.”

Leon Hösl, Artistic Director of Biennale für Freiburg. Photography: Marc Doradzillo.

Christoph Chwatal and Fritz Laszlo Weber – part of the curatorial advisory board, which has been extensively involved in the conception and programming of the BfF – present the working methods of this group. The three other members, Aziza Harmel, Fanny Hauser and Magdalena Stöger, could not be present due to the current travel restrictions concerning COVID-19.

A statementput forward by the curatorial advisory board contains the following excerpt: “In its form and structure, the advisory board contributes to bringing together differently situated perspectives on the development of a Biennale für Freiburg. The word ‘for’ is a preposition, a relational word. It stands before the actual expression—just as we stand before the actual event, the Biennale für Freiburg 2021. Prepositions can carry local, temporal or causal meanings or serve to mark grammatical relations. As a Curatorial Advisory Board, we see our task in assisting the Biennial by shaping the relationship between the ‘Biennial’, ‘for’ and ‘Freiburg’. Relationships are often unsteady in nature. They change. They update, renew and change. At the same time, a relationship is always based on what has been already. It builds upon its past. We understand the process of accompanying and our conversations as tools to build and form new relationships and relations. From previously informal moments of exchange, new working structures are now developing, which we would like to reveal and reflect upon as we guide the Biennial’s focus along a process-based and site-specific way of working.“

The concept for BfF #1, conceived as a reaction to the aforementioned closure of the Freiburg branch of the Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts, takes the studio as its starting point. The aim will be to transfer processes and actions that usually take place in an artist studio to other contexts and situations. Now that the studios of the Academy of Fine Arts no longer exist, new places must be identified where art can be produced, discussed and taught. Such places can also be found in public space, and one method of accessing them is walking. Taking the work of Lucius Burckhardt as an initial loose jumping off point, walking can serve as a method of translating individual impressions into a cinematic sequence through which moving cityscapes are created that can lead to a deeper understanding of the surroundings. Or, as artist and trained journalist Rahima Gambo, describes her practice: walking as a search for other forms of reporting that do not attempt to translate the subjective experience of events into facts. Instead, walking becomes a search for another form of knowledge and how that knowledge is transmitted.

The “Ortsbegehung” took place in the Stadtpark in the northeast of Freiburg's historical center. This site formed the backdrop for a collective walk, exploring the idea of walking as a way of working in and with a public environment. It also encouraged thoughts about ways of presenting and storing collective memories in the public space. In case of the Stadtpark, it is striking how many monuments and statues are positioned in this green area – often dismantled from other places and explicitly placed here, not unlike an exhibition in a museum.

One monument commemorates the fallen soldiers of various Baden regiments in the First and Second World Wars: a gigantic column with a steel helmet on the top – called “hatstand” by the locals – an epitome of heroic masculinity. The real hero of the park is missing: the duck in the pond, which warned of air raids on the city even before the official alarm was released. His beak was damaged and is now being carefully restored. In the middle of the roses a steel in shines in pure white. A sun dial with a female body – the arms hardly recognizable, as if bound by her dress. Fragmented for some years now, she has fallen victim to vandalism at night and has lost her head, which is still missing today. Is she jealous of the drake, who is treated so caringly? Should her head also be restored, and if so how? Another gap in this park, in which so many objects of embodied memories are placed, is the memory of Rosa Luxemburg's speech. Held in 1914, she addressed a strong speech on pacifism to thousands of Freiburg man and women at this place, but there is no material form of remembrance of her – no hat stand or drake made of stone. Just a sticker on the soap dispenser of the public toilet. How can this story nevertheless become a part of this place?

Presentation of the graphic design for BfF on the walls of the Präsenzgasse, one of the most narrow streets in Freiburg. Photography: Marc Doradzillo.

The last stop took the group to what is probably the smallest street of Freiburg. Leading towards the well-known Münsterplatz, the Präsenzgasse is easily overlooked. Here the first posters announcing BfF #1 were distributed on the walls. Sign-up to our newsletter and follow this blog to learn more about the origin of the graphic design of Biennale für Freiburg and our typeface “Difficult Times”, especially conceived by graphic designers Ronja Andersen and Marius Schwarz.

All photographs by Marc Doradzillo.

Studio Program
May – August 2021

Exhibition Parcours
September 10 – October 3, 2021

The first edition of the Biennale für Freiburg (BfF #1) deals with methods of artistic production inside and outside of the artist studio. The point of departure for this examination is the recent termination of the Freiburg chapter of Karlsruhe’s Academy of Fine Arts. As the painting classes move back to the main faculty in Karlsruhe, the newly-founded Biennale für Freiburg has to deal with the loss of a cultural institution, whilst also establishing itself as a newcomer in the city’s artistic landscape.’ In order to not ignore this development, BfF #1 explores the relationship between temporary exhibitions, academic training and artistic forms of education and knowledge production. Instead of replacing one institution with another, the aim is to transfer processes and actions that usually take place in an academy studio to other contexts and situations. This begins with the assertion that a studio does not necessarily need a physical dimension. Keeping this in mind, other spaces must be found that correspond to the conditions of a studio. This search will explore what characteristics a studio needs to possess.

A studio can be envisioned as a place of production, experiment and exchange: a protective space for thoughts and the actions taking place within it. A space for things in the making. A space of regular review, where actions are presented, tested and reflected upon. A space where honest opinions can be expressed and skills can be developed and applied. A space for construction and destruction, for consideration and spontaneity. A studio is a place where suggestions are made.

By searching for other spaces for artistic production and exchange, the BfF #1 also responds to the very current feeling of isolation within one's own work or living space. For as essential as the studio is as a workplace, as soon as the physical studio is no longer a self-chosen place of retreat, but a forced shelter, freedom becomes a limitation. That is why BfF #1 seeks for ways to dissolve the studio and relate it to the public space. That is why BfF #1 seeks for ways to dissolve the studio and relate it to the public space, which thereby becomes a place of production and an subject for debate.

In 2021, the inaugural edition of the Biennale will come about in two phases. Firstly, the Studio Program will take place between May and August 2021. During this period, participating artists will be invited for residencies and research trips where they will have the opportunity to get familiar with the local modes of cultural production and conceive artistic projects in during the Studio Program. These studios can be virtual, physical or imaginary in nature, and will be formed for limited periods of time. They can take on formats such as performances, exhibitions, workshops, lectures or walks. In September 2021, these processes will be translated into an exhibition parcours and a program of events and mediation.

Biennale für Freiburg is conceived and organized by Leon Hösl together with the curatorial advisory board consisting of Christoph Chwatal, Aziza Harmel, Fanny Hauser, Magdalena Stöger and Fritz Laszlo Weber.

Participating artists will be announced throughout the next months.