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Artist in Residence Siegen
New Artists’ Programme

Beginning 2022/2023

The University of Siegen and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen (MGKSiegen) are launching the joint artists’ programme “Artist in Residence Siegen” under the patronage of Minister of Culture Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen. The Berlin based artist duo FORT will receive the first artist residency in 2022/2023. An international external advisory board and a local expert jury nominated and selected the artists for the programme. The artists Alberta Niemann (born 1982 in Bremen) and Jenny Kropp (born 1978 in Frankfurt/Main) would like to address the concerns of Siegen residents over the course of the year. Among other things, they will enter into contact with the public via advertisements in various media and a location created especially for the project. Together with students and academics from the University of Siegen, they would like to develop an “artistic archive of concerns”, which will form the basis for a work of art in public space.

“Artist in Residence Siegen” continues the long-term cooperation between the University and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen. By means of this close collaboration, the cooperation partners would like to open up to the city even more, and so address additional audiences. The specific reason for the initiative is the 50th anniversary of the University of Siegen this year. The purpose of the programme “Artist in Residence Siegen” (AIR Siegen) is to underline the links between the fields of science and art, and the public. Under the motto “Siegen. Knowledge Connects”, it will accompany the expansion of the university's inner-city campus and the associated urban development process over the coming years. Every year, an artist or group of artists will be invited to develop an art project in public space in Siegen. The resultant dialogue between science and art is then to be carried into urban society employing various formats.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Holger Burckhart, explains: “Artist in Residence Siegen is a very exciting project, one that again emphasises particularly the very positive and profitable relationship between the citizens of the region and 'their' university. To tackle the city’s development together at the heart of the city and to do so with culture in mind is a further step in the progress of recent years, which will trigger interest far beyond the region's borders. Ultimately, what genuinely belongs together is coming together: culture and science at the heart of lived society.”

“Artist in Residence Siegen will create a unique connection between the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, the university, and the public. The artists’ programme will promote interchange between art and science. Also involving urban society, it will develop a contemporary perspective on Siegen, which I am looking forward to very much,” says the director of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Thomas Thiel.

Minister of Culture Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, patron of the programme, says: “The new residency programme can serve as a model for keen emulators throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. Urban life, art and science will dovetail very profitably here and enter into an intensive exchange. This is a promising development, especially against the backdrop of the planned expansion of the inner-city campus, which will bring the University into the heart of the city, in the vicinity of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen.”

“Artist in Residence Siegen” is aimed at established artists and collectives, especially from the fields of visual arts, film, performance, literature and architecture. Prerequisites are a proven interest in public space, social discourse and transdisciplinary exchange between art and science. In addition to their respective artistic project of work, the selected artists will take on one teaching assignment per semester at the University of Siegen. Their work will also be accompanied by public events such as lectures or panel discussions. By occupying the interface between culture, university and urban planning, “Artist in Residence Siegen” will be making an important and sustainable contribution to the city of Siegen’s cultural development plan. The artists will be nominated and selected for the programme by an external international advisory board and a local jury of experts.

For the first year of residence 2022/23, the experts have selected the artist duo FORT, founded in 2008: artists Alberta Niemann (born 1982 in Bremen) and Jenny Kropp (born 1978 in Frankfurt/Main) have already been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships. Their work incorporates sculpture, installation, performance, video and photography and has been shown at Kunstverein Hamburg, KW Institute of Contemporary Art Berlin, and MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, among others. The artists live and work in Berlin. The way that FORT deal with things of everyday life convinced the jury of experts, according to their statement: “Architectural elements and objects in urban space serve as the means for their subtle and humorous interventions, which make the seemingly familiar suddenly appear different”.

The University and the Museum would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Christa-und-Dieter-Lange Foundation for their sponsorship of the programme in the form of generous financial support for the realisation of the art project in its first year. The foundation, established by the couple Christa and Dr. Dieter Lange, has been dedicated to supporting the University and art in Siegen since 2008.

Further information on the Artist in Residence Siegen programme can be found online at www.air-siegen.de.

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The artist duo FORT, Courtesy the artists

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