Especially in turbulent, even disturbing times, art can show reveal new pathways, change perspectives and even give hope. The project series "sinn.vor.ort" (“sense on the spot”) in Pinneberg last autumn, sponsored by the Art Foundation of the Hamburg Commercial Bank, showed how much fresh meaning art can create. The impressive folder documenting this project has now been published.
The Hamburg Commercial Bank Art Foundation has been supporting contemporary and above all young art in northern Germany for around 30 years. "The question of the meaning of art is a very fundamental and a very philosophical one," says Ulrik Lackschewitz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the HCOB Art Foundation for Schleswig-Holstein. He continues: "Not everything that doesn’t immediately make sense has to be nonsense. Conversely, not everything that seems well known and familiar to us has to make sense on a deeper level."
The art project "sinn.vor.ort" in October in Pinneberg near Hamburg was based precisely on this idea. Lackschewitz: "It is precisely such fresh impulses that Germany needs now for a new social, economic and cultural start." Public space needs to be rediscovered and revitalized – especially after the long and gloomy weeks, months, years of the pandemic. This was the central idea behind the project "sinn.vor.Ort", which took place over three weekends in October in the northern German city of 43,000 inhabitants.
The Pinneberg Museum and the art group "feine menschen" wanted to capture and revitalize the public space of Pinneberg around Drosteiplatz with their art. "Both the specific local history and the contemporary developments in our society were given expression through the project’s activities, and their respective relevance was examined," says Ina Duggen-Below, Director of the Pinneberg Museum. "Pinneberg – a small town in the shadow of the big city of Hamburg – is often mocked, dismissed as a commuter town, perceived superficially," says Duggen-Below. The art campaign vividly showed that this image is wrong and that Pinneberg is very vital and colorful beneath these superficial observations.
The project was supported by the Art Foundation of the Hamburg Commercial Bank. HCOB promotes contemporary visual art and culture in Schleswig-Holstein through its Art Foundation that was established by LB Kiel in 1992. The foundation enables a curator to develop and implement an art program in line with the Foundation's mission.
The promotion of young, talented artists is at the heart of this mission, especially when they are getting started in this profession, which is as fulfilling as it is fraught with uncertainties and which requires courage, together with a strong, supportive hand.
Performing artist Sabrina Schuppelius, who earned her master's degree at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel in 2019, is one such young talent who was artistically active in Pinneberg. In her opening performance, "An bei," Schuppelius used "choreographic walking" to re-experience the movements and flows of urban space. Space that many have taken too much for granted in recent years, often regarded as being of little relevance, and which now needs to be opened up again for the community.
The four artists from "feine menschen" also wanted to do their part. The art group’s work is known for subtly questioning the self-evidence of public space and addressing its social relevance in a straightforward way.
"The exciting thing about this project was the encouragement of physical engagement with art and space. It was about people's own position in space, which activates perception and elicits an immediate response from the viewers," say Angela Kryzowksi and Nicole Neumann from the HCOB Art Foundation's Board of Directors.
In total, almost 30 artists were involved in the overall performance over the three weekends, including the creative writing group "Der Schnipsel" and the sculptor Oskar Schroeder.
The comprehensive folder documenting "sinn.vor.ort" has now been published. Here, you can download the volume as a PDF file for free: