Potsdam – “Bauzaun V” is a brief audio title for a painting by Barbara Reich in the current exhibition at the Potsdam Museum. You can see a site fence and proposed window facade on a dark background. The fence glows red like a beacon and corresponds to the image of Achim Mogi, which also shows a red fence for the site. This is hung in front of the ruined building of the former Potsdam University of Applied Sciences.
Anna Pettner notes that “photos of the city and its history have affected the lives of citizens the most.” She participated in the organization of the exhibition “One Group – Many Views”. Art in Dialogue from 1900 to the Present.” The picture by Raetsch is a new addition, purchased only a short time ago with the help of the Museum’s Art Society and previously stored in the warehouse.
There were 275 images to choose from
It’s not the only photo that catches the public’s attention for the first time in the special exhibition that opens Friday. As part of the “Demokuratie” project, citizens were able to take a stand on a selection of 275 works from around 2,000 works via the Potsdam Museum’s website last year. In the end, 60 works by 41 artists entered the gallery – divided into themed rooms.
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However, the online jury’s comments reveal the emotions that art can evoke, especially when looking at history. “For me, this painting symbolizes the lowest point of the German partition,” said gallery owner Angelica Ochner, describing her feelings in the face of a bleak scenario with barbed wire and a border wall depicting Peter Rohn’s work “The Wall in November 1988.” Another anonymous participant chose a picture. Achim Mogi, which shows the now demolished building of the former technical college. “Because it shows a previous culture,” he explains.
Director Götzmann: Art is often a seismometer for urban development
Potsdam, the city in transition, where the new shape of the center has been in dispute for decades, has another unresolved construction site with the buried canal. This is dedicated to Otto Heinrich with his picture “Fischmarkt in Potsdam am Stadtkanal am Wilhelmplatz” from 1925. “The shape, color and living memory of a Potsdam landmark that is actually buried to this day and awaits excavation and revival.” Know the TV presenter Günther Jauch in the photo. “Art is often a seismometer for urban development,” notes museum director Gotta Gutzman.
It seems that the dialogue with the audience, which was aimed at the project, was successful. The original plan was to set up workshops in the museum’s repository, thus making other parts of the collection accessible to the public, says Anna Pettner. However, due to Corona’s condition, this was not possible, so the internet was used instead. There was a direct collaboration with the Hannah-Arndt Gymnasium. Their students have designed some boxes in which an imaginary gallery comment can be seen.
An image appears to have been lost again
Conservation status, subject matter and assumed public interest – these were criteria by which the images offered for selection were previously shown. There were also some surprises for the artists. Artist Christa Panzner, for example, postulated that the “Female Portrait of Bettina von Arnim” she painted for the Bettina von Arnim School in Hohensiefeld, which no longer exists, has been lost. But it has now appeared again in the museum’s repository and is now on display.
The gallery displays a wide range of Potsdam art, ranging from figurative subjects to abstract leanings. In the “Nature” category, Magda Langenstraß-Uhlig’s “Herbstwald II” from 1918 stands out. It subtly swings between expressive and natural colors. On the other hand, Squaw Hildegard Rose makes the horizon disappear into the dark in a mixed style on paper from 2003 – and it should capture the current mood well.
The special exhibition can be viewed from April 22 to October 2 at the Potsdam Museum