17m2, cozy, short-term
Habitation is a basic human need, but increasingly affiliated to fear: the lack of housing, precarious living conditions, as well as the loss of one's own home make living space a topic of conflict. The group exhibition HABITAT HAPPY featuring international artists and activists will be dedicated to these and related challenges and will be on display at the gallery neurotitan, from December 15, 2018, onwards.
HABITAT HAPPY will combine artistic as well as activist perspectives on human living space within the exhibition space. In a society in which rent increases, crowding out and evictions are causes of ever-increasing fears affecting a cross-section of the population, art unfolds its immediate potential for action and agency. The works developed and selected for HABITAT HAPPY depict this and approach the subject of housing, living space and living culture individually: Loudly and using the aesthetics of protest culture, but also sublimely and poetically - conceiving the living space as something holistic, touching our deepest human needs.
HABITAT HAPPY shows international perspectives on housing, eviction, and urban poverty. At the same time, the exhibited works present the topic as a current issue in contemporary art and while also documenting strategies of creative protest. For example, the Pixação painters from Sao Paulo, use graffiti to protest against socio-spatial segregation in São Paulo, Brazil, and occupy public space where exclusion and the separation between the rich and the poor is most apparent on the facades of houses; the Kollektiv Peng, working between Berlin and Leipzig, launched a media-effective movement against ruthless landlords with their campaign "Haunted Landlord"; Rocco und seine Brüder use provocative actions in public spaces to address the precarious situation of the Berlin housing market; with a sculpture produced specifically for the exhibition and its installation in urban space, the Mexican artist Amauta Garcia moves beyond the exhibition space - her protest sculptures question the dream of owning a home and also allow conclusions to be drawn referring to our own individual fears and wishes about living space.
Background Information: When Ulay stole the artwork "The Poor Poet" from the Neue Nationalgalerie in 1976 and temporarily installed it in the flat of a Turkish guest worker, he wanted to criticize the discrimination against Turkish immigrants, but at the same time created a space for associations between private housing and its marginalized residents, as well as between public institutions and the role of art. Spitzweg, who created the painting in 1839, certainly never had to live in such a poor attic room as he portrays it in his most famous work. And yet he illustrates, albeit in a romantic way, the precarious living conditions of a broad section of the population of his time. In Berlin, the draftsman Heinrich Zille documents the "Berlin slums" a few years later and shapes the image of run-down and overcrowded tenements at the beginning of the 20th century.
From Zille's "Milljöh" to the "Habitat" in the Schwarzenberg House, the group exhibition puts contemporary issues and challenges around the topic of housing in the emerging continuity of lacking housing facilities and precarious living conditions.
International artists, some of whom are producing work specifically for this exhibition, direct the visitor’s gaze to contexts such as luxury housing construction and the aesthetic unification of intimate spaces, as designs resemble one another. Further, our (childhood) dream homes and the social development in which people increasingly fear for the loss of their living space are examined.
Thus, the works also address the inequality within our societies, which is illustrated by the example of the conflict over housing and seems to be subject to the same causes and systems across borders. The exhibited works counteract this conflict-laden relationship between humans and space with artistic action strategies, which are negotiated on the side of civil society actors and in part also combine social protest with humor and irony.
Further information on the installation of the sculpture Amautas Garcias, as well as the mediation program which will take place between 6 January 2019 and 13 January 2019 will be announced shortly.