ON THE CURRENTS OF THE CITY, Foto: Museum Abteiberg

With Baltensperger + Siepert ∙ David Bernstein ∙ Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr ∙ Isabella Fürnkäs and Lukas von der Gracht ∙ Taisiya Ivanova ∙ Felix Kalmenson ∙ Tomas Kleiner and Marco Biermann ∙ Stephan Machac ∙ Rhein Verlag ∙ Arne Schmitt ∙ Seira’s ∙ Fari Shams ∙ Pola Sieverding ∙ Studio for Propositional Cinema ∙ Britta Thie ∙ Palina Vetter ∙ Alex Wissel and Jan Bonny ∙ Anna Witt ∙ international artist films

An exhibition at Museum Abteiberg with performances, discussions and films
curated by Markus Ambach and Susanne Titz
realized in cooperation with MAP as part of the long-term project AN INNOCENT DREAM OF A PARK

At a time when art has become omnipresent in public space, becoming more important for cities and society, the exhibition ON THE CURRENTS OF THE CITY seeks to examine the current state of publicness. Deliberately located inside the museum, it questions the public in itself and current forms of public life. What are its current formats, how does it look today? What conditions or requirements are implied in the word “public”? How has the democratic idea of the public changed in the current context of a strictly economically organized society? Does the public still consist in its common space or are members of this society driven by (self-)disclosure alone? Where can we find opposition, spaces of rest or the counter bearing of intimacy given the totality of public life in social media, networks and data archives? How can we picture public segments, parallel societies and professional discourses that question this totality, perforate or transform it?

The exhibition raises these questions in conversation with a young generation of artists under 35. It offers a look into a future that – like the collective idea of the public – also appears pressured by the ever-present avant-garde archive, backwards glances and repeated modernist discourses. The notion that young artists might perceive and reflect the importance of the public under completely different circumstances than those of the currently dominant generations also evokes the idea of intervals of renewal and “updating” within society. The question as to what hand this new generation will have in designing the future in which they will live has logical relevance for the 50+ generation, and to acollective understanding of society in particular.
Parallel projects in 2016 include the realization of other concepts around Museum Abteiberg that are many years in the making: Alex Morrison’s TRAUMSTRASSE (2013) is soon to be permanently installed in AN INNOCENT DREAM OF A PARK. September 2016 will see the opening of the new Sonnenhausplatz with the installation DONKEY’S WAY by Rita McBride and the rerouting of Abteistraße, the road leading to the museum. From May to September 2016, Josef and Hilde Wilberz Foundation fellow Niels Coppens and other local creatives are working on OBERSTADT (see the separate program: www.projectoberstadt.com) at the former Hotel Oberstadt.

Summer 2016 also brings guided tours to plantings by Tanja Goethe (2013 – ongoing) and Antje Majewski (2015 – ongoing) as well as other outdoor artists’ projects from recent years and their open questions of the future.


3 July 2016
12 pm “Anlieger” (Residents), performance by Tomas Kleiner and Marco Biermann (ongoing)
1 pm Curator-led tour with artists featured in the exhibition
3 pm “The Best Answer You Can Give Is Symmetry,” Episode VI, performance by Lina Hermsdorf with Andrew Hardwidge
4 pm Tour of An Innocent Dream of a Park , Hans Jonas-Park
5 pm Visit & drinks: project OBERSTADT by Niels Coppens, Hindenburgstraße 20

12 July 2016, 7 pm
Movie night in the auditorium featuring all the films in the film program, cinema format screening
1 “Speculations on India“ by Harkeerat Mangat (29:00 min)
2 “Stories from the Debris” by Jennifer Rainsford, Ausschnitt (07:00 min)
3 “A House of Skin“ by Felix Kalmenson (16:39 min)
4 “Included – Excluded” by Steven Paulinger (22:39 min)

28 August, 4 pm
Discussion with experts
Instead of a fixed symposium, the artists themselves will invite two prominent guests to discuss the exhibition with them, their work and the current state of the “public” theme. Audience members willnot know the names of the guests until the evening.

10 September 2016
Screening „Single“ followed by a tour of the Mönchengladbach nightlife
Artist Alex Wissel and filmmaker Jan Bonny contributed to ON THE CURRENTS OF THE CITY with a new episode in their film project “Rheingold.” This is an evening screening of their film “Single.” The screening concludes with a very unique glimpse into the Mönchengladbach nightlife.
6 pm “Single” by Alex Wissel and Jan Bonny
7.30 pm Tour of the history of nightlife in Mönchengladbach, organized by Alex Wiesel

18 September 2016, 2 pm, Sonnhausplatz
The permanent sculpture DONKEY’S WAY by Rita McBride will be inaugurated this September as part of the larger, long-term project AN INNOCENT DREAM OF A PARK. Installed on the new Sonnenhausplatz in Mönchengladbach, the public sculpture was realized at the initiative of MAP and Museum Abteiberg and funded with support from mfi Management für Immobilien AG for the City of Mönchengladbach. It opens with a comprehensive program that will culminate in a vertical concertfrom the School of Music Mönchengladbach, to be held by the Sonnenhaus façade.

25 September 2016, 4 pm
Performance day with contributions by Tomas Kleiner and Marco Biermann, Isabella Fürnkäs and Lukas von der Gracht and others

23 October 2016, 4 pm

The project VON DEN STRÖMEN DER STADT – ON THE CURRENTS OF THE CITY is made possible by the generous support of the Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the NRW Art Foundation and the Hans Fries Foundation.

Download the exhibition magazine (German) here: