The Performance

Four lecterns with microphones were set up at different points in the exhibition space in preparation for the performance. The preview was not presented by the professor or an equivalent authority; rather, the students themselves took the situation into their own hands and read a pre-prepared text aloud. The action was planned to allow four students to begin speaking with a certain lapse in time that created an interesting effect of overlapping voices in the space.

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The text for the “opening speech” was a composition, a patchwork of various text fragments and quotations that each of the students had handed in. Stefan Hurtig took over the synthesis. The texts were stacked on the lecterns following the performance, after which the space and the plans for future artwork slowly disappeared in artificial fog.

The Preview

The preview showed the emerging art works in their potentiality.  The entire exhibition space presented itself as a possibility.  On display was the space itself, the concepts, the ideas, the sketches, or the materials of exhibiting, before the moment of production.

The students opened the event with a performance in which the introductory words about the exhibition became the content of the art action.

The Exhibition Action

Joseph Beuys spoke of “permanent conference.”  What the Class for Intermedia executed during the two weeks of WERKRAUM was a “permanent exhibition action”.

The basic idea was to make “creative” processes associated with private studio space accessible to the public, to continually use the space in a new way. Hence, the public was able to participate in the development of the ideas sketched out in the preview and during class discussions. To facilitate this, the students installed the class technology and furniture in the WERKRAUM and even held class meetings there.

The Opening/Closing Event

Many institutions that work with exhibitions of contemporary art complain about the low numbers of visitors—people will only stand in line for the well-packaged consumer shows (Picasso & Co.). Exhibitions are usually visited at the openings. For WERKRAUM we decided to show the “finished” works only on the last day of the two weeks. The opening simultaneously became the closing event, and the exhibition ritual was reduced to a few hours.


Organisation: Cindy Schmiedichen, Peter Frey, Stefan Hurtig, Rolf Sommer, Nadine Neuhäuser and Pia Heinlein
Film screening on 1/27/06: Video Club, Leipzig
Concert on 1/21/06: Alula Ton Serien & Finnardgruppe 01, Orange Dot/Leipzig
Jaap Versainc Ensemble/Leipzig-Berlin
Performance text and publication editing: Stefan Hurtig
Filming of the performance: Carsten Möller
Photographic documentation: Susanne Kaiser, Stefan Hurtig, Nicolas Reichelt, Gottfried Binder and others
Publication coordination: Patrick Franke and Dagmar Varady
Editor: Wiltrud Reichelt
Thanks to: I would like to thank Nicolas Reichelt for his assistance during my temporary disability, without whose help I would not have been able to continue supervising the project.  And finally, I would like to thank the management of the Leipzig Baumwollspinnerei and Mr Bertram Schulze who made the exhibition space available to us.

Participating Artists

Binder, Gottfried Eschelor, Judith Miriam Franke, Patrick Frey, Peter Hartung, Anne Heinlein, Pia K.
Helbig, Verena Hennig, Luise Hernández Ruiz, Otto Oscar HM Kaiser, Susanne Ling, Tao    Neuhäuser, Nadine
Schmiedichen, Cindy Sommer, Rolf Ullrich, Andreas Weinert, Carolin