Judith Siegmund :: Visual Art, Conceptual Art, Philosophy

Conversations at the Stahlhaus

(Bauhaus Dessau) 1995

Over the course of four weeks in 1995, the Berlin artist Judith Siegmund held open "office hours" at the Stahlhaus (Steel House) in Dessau. (...) Located at the outskirts of the city, the Stahlhaus is situated in the immediate vicinity of the Gropius housing development in south Dessau, and vis-à-vis to a typical GDR, prefabricated concrete apartment building. (...) Within the context of this area of conflict, and utilizing questions arising from it, Judith Siegmund developed her installation in the storefront window of the Stahlhaus. (...) Siegmund exhibited terms and expressions in the space – or, as the case may be, in the landscape – to provoke both questions and communication.(...) Those who visited during office hours included tourists of the local Bauhaus architecture, as well as neighborhood inhabitants, and construction workers from the city's center. (...) Divergent opinions (of varied credentials) on art and architectural history collide in the discussions, energized by the subjective views of local inhabitants who, coincidentally passing by, are attracted by the light installation in the window. In the pursuit of their completely personal understanding of individuality they fight with garden dwarves and frill curtains against the purity of the form recently imposed upon them, for example, through the designation of the Gropius Houses as historic and protected. Siegmund presents these opinions and attitudes without added defamatory commentary. Thus, she confronts the artistic utopia with the reality as experienced by those whom have rented or bought this utopia in the form of houses and, therefore, experience it differently as those whom measure the utopia through their understanding of art.

Michaela Nolte, 1996