Urban Transformations

Exhibition at Artfoyer Cavigelli: 16 September - 7 October 2011

Artists: Işıl Eğrikavuk, Monika Kapfer, Ioana Marinescu, Cora Piantoni, Irina Birger with Maria Pomiansky, Vadim Hodakov, Roni Izhak, Liron Lupu, Mordehai Yifrach and Ruti Sela, Cannelle Tanc 


Talks and screenings at White Space - Office for Curating / Art / Theory: 21 September 2011, 4pm 

Lecturers: Anne Brandl, The Atmosphere of Shrinking Cities in Eastern Germany - Some Thoughts on Theories of Perception, Christiane Forstnig, Urban Waters -Greetings from the Ditch, Ioana Marinescu, Off the Map. Bucharest.



The project Urban Transformations focuses on changes taking place in contemporary cities around the globe, in relation to globalization, deindustrialization, migration and urban redesign. The city is seen first as a place for social drama (taking into account its political and ideological dimension) and second as a physical, built structure. Urban Transformations investigates how the spatial and social worlds of a city interact. What happens with the social cohesion of a city, when factories become museums, bakeries become casinos and shopping malls and financial districts multiply? How do we live in decentered cities like contemporary ones, where suburb life takes the place of an often deserted or missing downtown? Does a city change within a day? Is the present fragmented urban landscape a mirror of our identity patterns? What role does art play in city life today?

Was macht eine Stadt aus? Wie beeinflussen sich die räumlichen und sozialen Welten darin? Die Ausstellung Urban Transformations richtet ihren Blick auf eine sich verändernde Architektur und ihre Auswirkungen auf das Leben des Menschen. Die Stadt soll vorerst als soziales Drama wahrgenommen werden (darin eingeschlossen die politische und ideologische Dimension) und danach als physische, gebaute Struktur. Was passiert, wenn Fabriken Museen werden, Bäckereien Casinos und sich Shoppingmalls und Finanzdistrikte ausbreiten? Wie leben wir in den zeitgenössischen dezentralisierten Städten von heute, wo das Leben in der Vorstadt den Platz eines verlassenen oder nicht vorhandenen Stadtzentrums einnimmt? Ist die zeitgenössische fragmentierte Stadtlandschaft ein Spiegel unserer Identitätsmuster? Welche Rolle spielt die Kunst in der heutigen Stadt?

Işıl Eğrikavuk's video Memory Museum (2010) deals with the results of the collapsing coal mining industry in Germany’s Ruhr area. In her installation  Monika Kapfer works with the theme of urban transformations in an abstract and reductionist way. The main piece of Ioana Marinescu's installation is the video Off the Map. Bucharest, made in collaboration with Robert Fearns (2006), about the story of the part of Bucharest where the People's Palace was built in 1984. Cora Piantoni's Musterhouse/ Model House presents the architectural and sociological history of the Baba Werkbund estate in Prague, taking the Herain House and its inhabitants as an example of Czech society's changing situation from the 30s untill now. The video compilation about Jerusalem put together by Irina Birger in collaboration with Maria Pomiansky, Vadim Hodakov, Roni Izhak, Liron Lupu, Mordehai Yifrach and Ruti Sela was a response to the City One Minutes initiative that showcases online more than a hundred cities around the globe, divided into 24 one minute portraits, each depicting one hour of the day (www.cityoneminutes.org). The French artist Cannelle Tanc created a cabinet of curiosities of the city, with various elements like “volume cities” and cut maps.