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Elbe Islands Creative Quarter

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Elbe Islands Creative Quarter

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Elbe Islands Creative Quarter

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The Arts Platform of IBA Hamburg



The Arts Platform of IBA Hamburg has devoted itself to the intersection of urban development, art and daily life since 2008. The residents and their living environments themselves are the focal point of the artistic projects.


What is the Arts Platform?

Since its establishment in 2008 and its implementation with the experimental concepts “Kultur | Natur” [“Culture | Nature”] (2008) and “Akademie einer anderen Stadt” [“Academy of Another City”] (2009/2010), the character of the Arts Platform has become more focused and concrete. Since then, an arts platform has developed which:

•   views art as an important component of sustainable urban development processes,
•   uses visual arts to address and critically investigate key issues of urban development and enable previously unknown perspectives on IBA Hamburg’s existing issues,
•   also uses visual arts to address issues that are pressing on the Elbe islands,, but are also of importance outside this area, and to create and strengthen correspondence with the other side of the Elbe as well as with other cities,
•   promotes a dialogue between visual arts, the city and its residents by finding inspiration for its artistic questions in the local population, its concerns, conflicts and living environments,
•   enables residents of the Elbe islands to experience multifaceted encounters with and be included in visual art
•   and thereby initiates an artistic event at unusual public and institutional locations that consciously brings together local, regional and international artists with the residents of the Elbe islands and guests from all over the world – an exchange whose effect reaches far beyond the Elbe islands.

Culture | Nature 2008

The Arts Platform was first held in 2008 by the independent curator team of Anke Haarmann and Harald Lemke using the slogan “Kultur | Natur” [“Culture | Nature”]. Using the example of the relationship between “urban culture” and “threatened nature”, the curators presented cooperative planning processes, artistic interventions and philosophical reflections on the key IBA topic of the “city in climate change”. All the project outcomes were presented between 16 August and 14 September 2008.

The “Strip - Plakatstrecke” was a project calling on people to produce posters with motifs addressing the issue of “How does climate change affect the city?” In the port area, more than 100 entries were exhibited as large posters along a route between Wilhelmsburg and the Elbe Tunnel, aimed at publicizing the desire for a cycle track. This gallery in the public arena made the wish for a cycle track, which was finally opened in 2012, highly visible and symbolic.

Works by Ton Matton, Joseph Beuys, Elisabeth Richnow, Dan Peterman, Malte Willms, Lili Fischer, the Gallery for Landscape Art, Nana Petzet and Kathrin Milan were presented in the “Archive of the Arts”, which occupied space in the “Tonne” on Vering Canal, that had previously stood empty and now houses a bar. In the past, all these artists had worked on the topics of climate, nature and sustainability. Other works were shown in different locations as part of the “art projects” process.

Apart from international artists such as Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Ala Plastica or the Critical Art Ensemble, local cultural initiatives were invited to participate in Culture | Nature and develop projects for the specific localities. The Culture | Nature programme was complemented by the “Thought Excursions” which were held at the Archive of the Arts every Sunday during the four week period, inviting people to start journeys of discovery with well-known theoreticians and local experts.

The full Culture | Nature programme is available in the German catalogue “Kultur | Natur - Kunst und Philosophie im Kontext der Stadtentwicklung” (arts and philosophy in the urban development context) published in 2009 by jovis Verlag.

Akademie einer anderen Stadt Academy of Another City 2009-2011

In January of 2009, Ute Vorkoeper was selected as the curator who would also plan the Arts Platform in 2010 together with her co-curator Andrea Knobloch using the slogan “Akademie einer anderen Stadt” [“Academy of Another City”].

The “Akademie einer anderen Stadt” [“Academy of Another City”] is to be understood as an artistic project and educational concept at the same time. It supports a free yet long-lasting artistic analysis of the contemporary city. In a dialogue with the Bildungsoffensive Elbinseln [Elbe Islands Education Campaign], it has taken the cultural knowledge and cultural practices of local people as the inspiration for comprehensive cultural learning since its foundation on 1 April 2009.

In 2009, the Akademie einer anderen Stadt [Academy of Another City] developed a plethora of formats to address the socially and culturally diverse public using the slogan “Zeichen von Respekt” [“Signs of Respect”]. International art in dialogue with prominent art projects from Hamburg schools and districts was able to be experienced in a large exhibition space of 2,000 square meters in the Veringhöfe arts centre. The exhibition tour, which was particularly geared toward schools and integration courses, excited people of different ages with diverse cultural backgrounds about this exhibition. In addition, the “Wandernde Akademiebüro” [“Wandering Academy Office”], the “Akademie vor Ort” [“On-Site Academy”] and the “Über Glaubenskulturen” [“On Cultures of Faith”] film programme motivated people in the municipal district to get to know the special knowledge and skills as well as the religion of their neighbours at special locations.


Kunstparcours [Arts Tour] 2010: Aussicht auf Veränderungen           [Outlook on Changes]

With the title “Aussicht auf Veränderungen” [Outlook on Changes], the Academy focused on studying and experiencing the respective other side of the Elbe and thereby on the exchange between the Elbe Islands and the other urban districts of Hamburg. In the autumn of 2010, it invited guests to an arts tour through Hamburg using railway line S3 as the exhibition shuttle. Those who took the tour were able to experience past as well as upcoming changes, listen to the languages of the city, encounter hidden knowledge and last but not least experience urban culture in transformation.

Over a period of three months, contemporary artists and residents of every age from different Hamburg districts reflected their life in the city and the changes to the city. They invested their experiences, expectations and desires into installations, sculptures, video projections, special activities and performances which could be experienced from 9 September to 3 October 2010 around the S-Bahn railway stations of Altona, Landungsbrücken, Veddel, Wilhelmsburg and Harburg. Investigative tours with urban planners, ethnographers and historians who presented the familiar urban areas from unusual perspectives topped off the programme.

On the arts tour through the city, visitors and guests encountered performances from the mezzanine, films of the city in Chinese restaurants, the fully illustrated Alter Elbtunnel [Old Elbe Tunnel or St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel], short films in the S-Bahn urban railway station, drawings on large advertising spaces, disco balls floating in the port, a church full of houses, a dwelling focused on flood and migration, a bus shelter as a kaleidoscope, an airy loggia on a parking garage – and many other new perspectives on Hamburg.

Participating artists in 2010 included: Nevin Aladag - the residents of the Elbe islands and Altona - Dorothea Carl - Esra Ersen - Geelke Gaycken - Ólafur Gíslason - Christian Hasucha - Andrea Knobloch - Thomas Köner - KurzFilmSchule - Daniela Lehmann Carrasco - Christine Lemke - Katharina Lüdicke - Katrin Ströbel - Sonja Vordermaier - Thomas Wiczak - Gundi Wiemer -Moira Zoitl - students and teachers from the Hamburg districts of Altona, Kirchdorf, Mitte [the city centre], Veddel and Wilhelmsburg.


2011: Reflection and IBA LABORATORY "Kunst in der Stadt"               [“Arts in the City”]

After four intensive years of artistic analysis on Hamburg’s Elbe islands, the efforts of the “Kreatives Quartier Elbinseln” [“Creative Quarter Elbe Islands”] is to be productively re-evaluated for the future of the Elbe Islands. In March of 2011, IBA Hamburg invited representatives from institutions and initiatives of the Elbe Islands involving the arts, culture and education to reflect on the continuation beyond 2014 of the arts initiatives that have begun.

A working group was developed out of this discussion which further reflected on these considerations and, in long discussions, developed the idea of a “Stadt-Kunst-Netz” [“City-Arts-Network”] for Hamburg’s Elbe islands. The “Stadt-Kunst-Netz” [“City-Arts-Network”] (working title) is intended to be supported by a broad association of different institutions and to provide projects as impulses for continuous local artistic work.

In the IBA LABORATORY “Sharing different perspectives - Arts in the city”, current considerations are presented in a large theoretical discourse framework and the projects tested locally are compared with artistic projects started in other locations. The objective is to sound out the intersections and boundaries between urban district culture and the fine arts and to determine how their unique aspects affect the further artistic and cultural development of the Elbe islands up to and in particular beyond 2013.

Sharing different perspectives - Arts in the city
11/12 November 2011

On 11 and 12 November, Wilhelmsburg was the site of a discussion on contemporary art’s growing interest in the city. More and more artists find it only natural to find sites for their work in the middle of the city and thereby enable unexpected aesthetic experiences at the most varied of urban locations.

In cooperation with HafenCity University Hamburg and HfbK Hamburg [University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany], Akademie einer anderen Stadt [Academy of Another City] invited artists, architects, curators and art researchers from Germany, Cameroon, Venezuela, Switzerland and Austria to Wilhelmsburg to present their approaches and projects at three different locations in Wilhelmsburg: in the Haus der Jugend Kirchdorf [Kirchdorf Youth Home], in the Universität der Nachbarschaften [University of Neighbourhoods] (HafenCity University) and in the Bürgerhaus Wilhelmsburg [City Hall Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg]. Movement through the urban area was a part of the programme which also included special activities, screenings, tours, a presentation with project documentation and a book release party. The event concluded with a podium discussion on the opportunities for arts in the city, changes to educational situations and specific options for linking the Ministries of Culture, Science and Education with the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment.

Speakers and panel participants included:
Katja Aßmann (Essen)/ Gabriela Christen / Nika Spalinger (Lucerne), Didier Schaub (Douala, Cameroon), feld72 (Vienna), Angela Hellenbach (Bezirksamt Mitte, Hamburg [District Authority of Hamburg-Mitte]), Uli Hellweg (IBA Hamburg), Knowbotiq / Christian Hübler and Yvonne Wilhelm (Zurich), Bettina Kiehn (Bürgerhaus Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg [City Hall Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg]), Martin Köttering (HfbK Hamburg [University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany]), Andrea Knobloch (Düsseldorf), Clemencia Labin (Hamburg), Seraphina Lenz (Berlin), Michaela Ott (HfbK Hamburg [University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany]), Helga Rake and Susanne Schreck (Plankontor), Silke Riechert (Berlin), Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum / Markus Lohmann and Harry Sachs (Hamburg, Berlin), Mustafa Tazeoglu and Christine Bleks (Duisburg), Ute Vorkoeper (Hamburg), Inga Wellmann (Kulturbehörde Hamburg [Hamburg Ministry of Culture]), Gesa Ziemer (HCU Hamburg) and others.

IBA LABOR [IBA LABORATORY] was curated by Akademie einer anderen Stadt [Academy of Another City] in cooperation with HafenCity Universtät Hamburg [HafenCity Universtiy Hamburg] and HfbK Hamburg [University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany].

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Artistic platform 2008: Kultur | Natur [“Culture | Nature”]curated by Anke Haarmann and Harald Lemke

Artistic platform 2009/2010:Akademie einer anderen Stadt [“Academy of Another City”]curated by Ute Vorkoeper and Andrea Knobloch

The IBA laboratory “Art of Another City” 2011
was curated by the Academy of Another City in cooperation with HafenCity University.