Exhibition "Shrinking Cities - International research"

September 4, to November 7, 2004
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin-Mitte

The first exhibition presented an international analysis of the phenomenon to a broad public. Processes of shrinking were illustrated in the examples of four urban regions - Detroit (USA), Manchester/Liverpool (Britain), Ivanovo (Russia), and Halle/Leipzig (Germany). Artists, architects, filmmakers, journalists, cultural researchers, and social scientists depicted the changed reality of these regions in contributions to the exhibition. The themes ranged from neglect and the appropriation of spaces through changed practices in everyday life, survival strategies, and new forms of work to the development of innovative subcultures and criticism of existing planning cultures.

At the Berlin exhibition, 60 works were shown on five storeys covering a total of 1,500 square meters. A wide variety of artistic and scientific formats were included; maps, diagrams, photos, installations, videos, and paintings were shown. The works approached the theme on both the micro- and the macro-level: interviews with people affected by the problem, tools and utensils from everyday life, and works of art from the affected regions had their place beside world-spanning statistical studies. A total of 18,000 visitors saw the exhibition or took part in the approximately 40 events in the accompanying program.

The exhibition also attracted much international interest. Press reports appeared in the USA, France, Britain, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland (New York Times, Newsweek, L'espresso, etc.).

The exhibition was curated by Philipp Oswalt (Chief Curator) and the curatorial team of Nikolaus Kuhnert (from the magazine archplus in Berlin), Kyong Park (International Center for Urban Ecology, Detroit), Walter Prigge (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau), Barbara Steiner (Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst [gallery for contemporary art], Leipzig) and eight local curators.
Exhibition design: Meyer Voggenreiter Projekte, Köln with Sebastian Hauser and Claudia Hoffmann; Graphic Exhibition: 1kilo, Berlin; Graphic: Stephan Müller and Tanja Wesse, Berlin.

Fotos: Rainer Jordan

Downloads /// General information about the exhibition (pdf)
Short Guide (pdf)