In each of the cities, about 20 works dealing with the existing urban space

and specific architectural or historical given will be shown in public space. Of

these, 15 works are to be created on site especially for the exhibition;

existing works will be adapted to the given urban situation. Along with the

urban space, public and semi-public interiors such as churches, synagogues,

passageways, the Historical Museum or abandoned buildings, will be

incorporated in the route of the installations. In accordance with the theme,

the majority of the site-specific works will be architecturally-related

interventions, sculptural works, and installations. In Zamość, the works will be

installed primarily on the central square (Rynek Wielki) and in the

surrounding buildings; in Potsdam, the route will extend across the area of

the first and second Baroque extensions of the city.

Among the existing works that we want to use “site-specifically” are media

works including Dan Graham’s Homes for America, which, as originally

intended by Graham, will be shown as a slide projection, and photo works that

Craigie Horsfield created in Zamość in the 1970s.

Along with the site-specific works that form the heart of the project, there will

also be an exhibition in several sections around essential aspects of the

theme. Here, we do not aim to functionalize the selected works and artists as

evidence for our own hypotheses, but yet to lend the exhibition an essayistic

character. Nevertheless the individual parts of the exhibition shall not be

presented like coherent chapters following one after the other. Works

belonging to different ‘chapters’ will be presented jointly in order to achieve

mutual elucidation. Like the artists’ interventions in public space, the

exhibition is to take place in several venues, all in short walking distance

from another.

Along with artistic works standing outside of actual city-planning and

architectural projects, we have chosen for the exhibition three architects who

created designs for ideal cities or utopian projects– Le Corbusier, Oskar

Niemeyer, and Oskar Hansen.

- The first part of the exhibition is explicitly devoted to the Ideal City. In

contrast to the ideal cities of Zamość and Potsdam that form the backdrop for

our project, the exhibition will show three plannings of ideal cities that arose

from the spirit of modernity in the 1950ies and 60ies: Le Corbusier’s

Chandigarh, Oskar Niemeyer’s Brasilia and plannings for Lublin by Oskar

Hansen will be shown as photo documentation. The documentation shall be

presented in the framework of an installation by Berlin artist Tilman

Wendland. In addition, the Brasilia film Vacancy by Matthias Müller will be

screened.

- The next part of the exhibition is devoted to the invisible cities. Whereas

the first part still testifies to Modernism’s unbroken belief in the perfectibility

of plans and people, here the anarchical-situationistic visions of the late

1960s – represented by works by Archigram and Constant – provide the

transition to purely artistic works that approach the theme more indirectly or

that cryptically address the phenomenon of the invisibility of cities, like Rula

Halawani’s multi-part video installation about the new wall in Jerusalem.

To this day, artists take inspiration from Italo Calvino’s book (-title) Invisible

Cities, for example Jonas Dahlberg, who defines the term completely anew

for himself. The exhibition also seeks to thematize the fascination exerted

by the idea of invisible cities.

- The concluding, third part, The Grid, is an homage ‘against all odds’ to the

grid and the right angle. In intellectual history, the tradition of constructivist

and concrete art is closely interwoven with the idea of an ideal city. We want

to trace these connections, in particular with works by artists who playfully

address the tradition of Modernism (for example Jarosław Fliciński and Gerold

Miller).

The selected artists come from a variety of cultural realms and generations.

On the one hand, we have invited older conceptually working artists like David

Tremlett and Lawrence Weiner whose work displays a certain affinity with the

theme. On the other hand, we have selected artists of the middle generation,

like Pedro Cabrita Reis and George Hadjimichalis, who have already intensely

addressed the thematic fields of the city and architecture. Artists from Central

Europe are another focus. With Brian O’Connell and Lucas Lenglet, we have

also chosen artists of the youngest generation, who are interested once again

in the forms and issues of modernity.