Stadtmuseum Oldenburg Mounts “Neue Konturen” Outside – As Art Arrives in the Street

“Literally, the art had to leave the museum and come out into the street, as art in public spaces is the only art on display during these strange times,” says photographer Nika Kramer about this new program at the Stadtmuseum Oldenburg here in northern Germany.

We concur of course because we have seen that the exhibitions mounted on the streets of cities everywhere since last March have superseded the impact of most formal openings.

Renke Harms and Sebastian Zeberg painting the façade of the Oldenburg City Museum for the mural “Neue Etikette (New etiquette)”. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Covid-19, the Coronavirus has changed everything.

And that is the main point of “Neue Konturen” (New Contours), a temporary outside installation during January and February by the artist collective “The Hidden Art Project” and the muralists “die Jungs”. As a public interaction that is meant to engage people in the public sphere, a total of twelve artists and cultural workers will present seven artworks – including installations, performances, and video installations – all of which deal with the Corona pandemic.

Renke Harms sprays hands on the façade of the Oldenburg City Museum for the mural “Neue Etikette” (New Etiquette) (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Corona and its effects are perceived differently by people. Our works address and interpret the experiences,” says Sven Müller, founder of The Hidden Art Project. “In this way, we hold up a mirror to the viewers and invite them to reflect on themselves and their own actions.”

Most museums have been struggling to get their doors open after many government restrictions closed them. Oldenburg City Museum will be closed when this exhibition closes for new construction as well as the renovation of the historic villas. But this has been a welcome program to say goodbye to the old and look forward to a new, positive future.

Sebastian von Zeberg sprays hands on the façade of the Oldenburg City Museum for the mural “Neue Etikette” (New Etiquette) (photo © Nika Kramer)

Dr. Steffen Wiegmann, director of the Oldenburg, says: “With the ‘New Contours’ program, we are bidding a temporary farewell to our location and offering artists the opportunity to use the museum building as a place and space for their art.”

We thank the artists for their dedication during the many challenges that are brought to creative endeavors these days. We also thank Ms. Kramer for sharing her shots of their work and preparations here with BSA readers.

The construction of the installation “Vortex”, which in its finished state shows an anaglyph of Real News & Fake News. Hauke Beck and Georgios Kolios attach battens for the wooden spiral, which are placed in alignment. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“I’d like to give a shout-out to the Stadtmuseum for giving those young artists a platform to play,” says Nika.

“And props go to everybody working on this great project out in the very challenging cold weather and for being so flexible and making it happen – even though you completely had to change your concepts! Congrats! You rock! And thanks for having me! I had a blast.”

Hemant Godara, Katharina Shakina, Nicholas Tamagna and Felipe Dias rehearsing their performance piece inside the “Vortex” installation. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Sven Müller works on the sculpture “Trashbox”, which shows consumer goods falling out of an oversized shipping box. In the middle, the original sculpture by Waldemar Otto “Mann aus der Enge heraustretend”. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Close up of the new interpretation of the sculpture „Mann aus der enge tretend“ by Waldemar Otto. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Renke Harms paints the wooden walls to transform them into an oversized shipping box. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Renke Harms paints the wooden walls to transform them into an oversized shipping box. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Sven Müller, who foils the installation Notausgang (Emergency Exit), which addresses positive aspects of the lock-down.(photo © Nika Kramer)
Detail of the 6m-high mirror installation “Fragmentation”, which depicts the splitting and multi-perspective nature of society in the pandemic. (photo © Nika Kramer)
On view is the mirror installation “Fragmentation” on the left and the colorful installation “Emergency Exit”. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Technical set-up of the video art installation. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Keep your distance folks! (photo © Nika Kramer)
Obey! (photo © Nika Kramer)
The complete mural “New Etiquette” that calls on us to be helpful and to symbolically join hands, even if not physically. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Overall view of the outdoor exhibition “New Contours“ (photo © Nika Kramer)
The organizers Sebastian von Zeberg, Hauke Beck, Renke Harms. and Sven Müller with the Director of the museum on the center Steffen Wiegmann. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Participants: back row: Angelique Huxol, Sebastian von Zeberg, Linda Bäppler, Hauke Beck, Felipe Dias, Renke Harms, Georgios Kolios
Front row: Lena Withot, Sven Müller, Katharina Shakina. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Night-time shot of the outdoor exhibition “New Contours“. (photo © Nika Kramer)