The café of the museum is redesigned by an artist every three years. The current form of the GfZK café: DAS KAPITAL was conceptualised by the Leipzig-based designer Markus Dreßen. The first volume of Karl Marx’s foundational theoretical text ‘Capital: Critique of Political Economy’ (Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Ökonomie’) was first printed in Leipzig in 1867. The idea of a public living room was the starting point of Dreßen’s design concept for the café, moving on to look further at notions of hospitality and hospitableness in times of the economisation of ‘the social’. To what extent are we prepared to share wealth, knowledge and living spaces with other people? And with whom are we prepared to share with and be together with?
In the café, Dreßen has collected together a mismatched array of items that he has accumulated over the course of his life and which influence his work. Abstract references to space from Alexander Rodtschenko’s workers’ club are combined with Dreßen’s lamp collection from the 1970s, the design of which is often attributed to their coming-into-being during the ‘Space Age’ – these reference ideas of social utopias and the momentum of the collective.
Markus Dreßen poses the question: when are objects of design and spatial interiors inviting and when do they seem exclusionary? The design of the café DAS KAPITAL negotiates the dilemma of accessability both in form and content: concrete encounters veneer, the individual encounters the collective, manufactured goods encounter industrial design, and the private meets the public.
The GfZK café is re-designed every three years. So far the artists Karen Kilimnik, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Anton Henning, Anita Leisz, Jun Yang, Apolonija Šušteršič & Meike Schalk, and Céline Condorelli have taken part in this process through re-designing and re-naming the café.
Leipzig-based Markus Dreßen was born in 1971 in Münster. He is a graphic designer, co-founder of the Spector Books publishing house, and a professor of graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig). He has been involved with the GfZK since its foundation. His work has been recognised through his receipt of a gold medal in the ‘Schönste Bücher der Welt’ contest and through being awarded the Ladislav Suttner Prize.
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