Some short resumee
Frankfurt, Germany, had been a beautiful medieval city before being completely destroyed by bombs in WWII. After reconstruction it became a major financial center and still is.
on recent developments
of Frankfurt art scene
As thought as a lifeless agglomeration of banking and business headquarters during the economic boom period of the 80s huge amounts of money were poured into cultural affairs.
But while the slogan was "Culture for everybody", - most of the money was spent on building up new museums. Art, artists and galleries were imported from everywhere. For a short period of time Frankfurt became a major attraction.
While nearly 10% of the cities budget was spent on cultural affairs an unnatural and artificial climate prevailed, because nothing had been done to support the ground for a local art scene.
This became apparent at the beginning of the 90s, when suddenly the economic bubble bursted and money had to be spent on social welfare to cover the costs of sudden unemployment.
In the early 90s local artists realized that they could not get any support whatsoever. Galleries which had been artificially raised in the 80s had closed. There was no way for artists to work in a "normal way", from studio to gallery.
So, there started a movement of activities of taken places previously not connected to art, empty shopping malls, gas stations, parkin lots, underground passges, office space etc.
With beeing freed from the art marked artists concentrated on providing for the needs of their own scene. This was the beginning of getting the club scene (very strong through Frankfurt techno) into art scene.
Sometimes art and party was synonymous (the same thing), not necessarily to the benefit of each others. But it became the possibility of a fruitful mix of people not belonging together before. Communication, before that merely a side effect of art, suddenly became the mein thing. People started all kinds of projects to improve communication among each other, like an outdoor swimming pool in an industrial area.
At the present moment there is a mixture of some 15-20 different locations, from living-room gallery, to conventionspace in a former Pakistan Restaurant, to video club in a former bicycle hall.
Time and names.
Group "Muttertag" (Mothers day, after a famous horror movie) is formed, empty gas station is squatted and transformed in an event space.
Muttertag moves to an other location, a former underwear-clothes shop: "Gartners". First employment of real life objects in gallery space: Postoffice, Golf course, Saloon.
Group "Arosa2000" from Offenbach openes 13sqm space in the center of Frankfurt. Art exhibitions and events every fortnight.
In neighbortown Offenbach space "Fahrradhalle" (bicycle hall) is installed with weekly exhibitions and house music club
Gartners is closed, group splits up. Member Annette Gloser pioneers east harbour area and opens Gallery Fruchtig. Member Dirk Paschke opens "Hafenbar" (Harbour bar), a replication of a car wash center of a Brooklyn street corner, in the same area.
First major street parade of people against the city's policy of suppressing illegal parties. (Nachttanzdemo)
Dirk Paschke and other people open installation "Hafenbad" (harbour bath), an outdoor swimming pool.
A former parking lot, Parkhaus, is rented by Thomas Erdelmeier. Exhibitions and parties are held.
"Peak Club" is regular at Fahrradhalle (bicycle hall). City of Offenbach is suddenly regarded as art worthy.
Arosa is closed
Dirk Paschke and others form group "Phantombureau" and move into the parking lot of Thomas Erdelmeier.
Third street parade is clubbed down by police.
Artspace multi.trudi opens.
Gallery Fruchtig is closed.
Fahrradhalle opens another space called "c/o"
First Offenbach "Kunstansichten"
"c/o" is closed.
Parkhaus (parking lot) is closed.
Phantombureau moves into fromer Pakistan restaurant.
Galerie Morgen opens.
Phantombureau moves out of the venue.
Galerie Fruchtig temporarily located at Kaiserstr. 74
Oskar von Millerstr.16 - artist collective
Lola Montez, a mixture between art space and club opens. Irregular events.
multi.trudi Franziusstr. is closed.
Pony, a temporary space by SaasFee (former Arosa2002)
Licht, a temporary space by Unfriendly Takeover and friends
trudi.sozial. new space Oppenheimer and later Allerheiligen Strasse
Pavillon am Main
multi.trudi new space Hohenstaufenstr. 13-25
Curmbox - space for electronic music (April - September)
Osakar von Millerstr.16 closed
It's all about real estate. Artist go for places who are no more in use, but have a future value for development. Before things are torn down art is the last flower which blossoms out of the waste.
* * * This is thought as an addendum and acknowledgement of the homeless project of David Goldenberg, London.
For David Goldenbergs work at multi.trudi artspaces in 03/2000 see arts future requirements * * *
More to read about Frankfurt Art