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  The Project Rupprecht Matthies Bertram Weisshaar Joanna Rajkowska ABOVE GROUND_07 Press Imprint/Directions  

ÜBER TAGE_08 art projects for the Lusatian Lake District

with artistic contributions by Rupprecht Matthies (Hamburg), Joanna Rajkowska (Warsaw) and Bertram Weisshaar (Leipzig)

ÜBER TAGE made its debut in 2007 and continues in 2008. Its aim is the careful integration of contemporary art into the Lusatian Lake District. Landscape is understood here as resulting from the interplay of the natural, cultural and social spheres.

The projects featured in ÜBER TAGE are less about autonomous artistic statements in the sense of classic Land Art (although this may be a source of inspiration), and more about a mix of temporary and more long-term comments on a setting that is subject to a process of constant change. Tourist aspects and the network of cycle paths will be creatively tied in with the planning.

In the long-term, the aim is to achieve local acceptance of and identification with the planned art projects, sensitizing residents to the potential of contemporary art and the permanent development of an art space. These factors have played a decisive role in the choice of artists to date: their site-specific approach ensures active involvement of the visible and invisible transformations currently taking place in the region, and of local groups and initiatives. Viewers become co-creative users.

The topography of the planned landscape park is dominated by the Bärwalder See. On the bed of this lake lie villages evacuated to make way for opencast lignite mining. At the same time, Uhyst and Boxberg are becoming "harbour towns". Traumatization coexists with revitalization, the burden of the past with the opportunity of the future. Where such symptoms intersect, there are interesting possibilities for artists to realize work that contribute to regional integration while operating on the level of international contemporary art. A significant role is played by the involvement of artists from the two neighbouring EU countries, Poland and the Czech Republic, a regional strength that is taken into account when planning ÜBER TAGE.

Rupprecht Matthies "EX SORABIA"
Location: cycle path between Findlingspark Nochten and Boxberger Ufer along Bärwalder See.

With his project Ex Sorabia, Hamburg artist Rupprecht Matthies has marked the cycle path between Findlingspark Nochten and the Boxberger Ufer lakeside site with word pillars, creating something akin to a walk-in dictionary of the Upper Sorbian language spoken in this part of Lusatia. Grouped into themes such as everyday life, landscape, youth language and nature, the pillars offer insights into Sorbian life and culture and show the language as a living part of the region. Ex Sorabia was created as an integrative project in cooperation with Boxberg YMCA youth club and the countrywomen of Nochten.

Location: Uhyst, Dannenberghaus (beside the church)

The Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska refocuses attention on the "Adelspädagogium", an empty former boarding school in Uhyst. Major figures of the 19th century, including Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, were educated here under the guidance of a mission of the Moravian Church. With her Uhyst Refugee Asylum, Joanna Rajkowska projects a vision of the future that can be discussed in controversial terms. What purpose could the region's many vacant buildings serve - in the context of global developments whose impact does not leave the Lusatia region unaffected?

Bertram Weisshaar "WAITING AND WALKING"
Guided walk, 12 & 13 July 2008, 1 pm, and 30 August 2008, 3 pm., meeting point: Uhyst, Dannenberghaus (beside the church), length: approx. 2 hours

Bertram Weisshaar describes himself as a strollologist. For all those interested in local history, he offers tours of discovery to mysterious and characteristic places in and around Uhyst, shedding light on the landscape left behind by decades of opencast lignite mining. Under the title waiting and walking, he presents a round walk in which local residents and visitors can actively participate. He is even planning an exhibition of pictures loaned from Uhyst households.


Pictures of the opening
Saturday, 12 July 2008:


ab 12. Juli 2008 (die Arbeit von Rupprecht Matthies
ist permanent zu besichtigen, die Arbeit von Joanna
Rajkowska voraussichtlich bis 2009)

Susanne Altmann

Reinhardt v. Bergen-Wedemeyer

Organizing body:
"Landschaftspark Bärwalder See"

Commissioned by:

"Landschaftspark Bärwalder See"