This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the GfZK at Johannapark. Against the background of the political and social changes that took place after 1989, social and ecological sustainability was already a central topic when the GfZK was founded in 1990. This is reflected in the collection, which was first presented when the GfZK villa opened in 1998. Since then, the idea of an open house has developed in multiple ways – a place of encounter for artists and the public, a forum for the discussion of contemporary issues.
Things That Were Are Things Again is an attempt to realise a climate-neutral collection exhibition. Together with artists and designers, we are testing sustainable strategies to reduce the GfZK’s energy consumption and enable recycling processes. The works on display – which include installations, photography, painting, sculpture, video works and interventions in the GfZK garden – bear witness to a careful use of resources and focus on social interaction and a regard for diverse living beings. Expanding the contents of the collection, we have invited local and international artists including Kent Chan, Katarína Dubovská, Inga Kerber and Sean Snyder, whose works highlight the technological, political, economic and cultural dimensions of climate change.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a work by Dan Peterman, an important representative of sustainable artistic practice, whose works were acquired for the collection in its early stages. Things That Were Are Things Again stands for a commitment to transformation processes. In the context of both the history and the self-image of the GfZK, this is always linked to the question of what contribution art can make to respectful coexistence.