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Aachen: Althamer

June 1, 2014 - September 21, 2014

A Children’s Kingdom – Paweł Althamer and Friends

Ludwig Forum Aachen

June 1 – September 21, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014, 12 a.m.


This summer the Polish artist Paweł Althamer is to undertake a diverse, subtle, and experimental art project. For four months, from June 1 through to September 21, he and his friends from the artist group ‘Reactor – Sculpture Lab’ based in Warsaw will move into the Ludwig Forum Aachen and seek to shed light on themes such as power, authority, and freedom from a completely different perspective: from the standpoint of childhood. The motivation to try something so different and daring is the 1200th anniversary of Charlemagne’s death, one of the most powerful rulers in the Middle Ages.

Together with children, teens and adults a ‘Children’s Kingdom’ will be established that extends from the garden and courtyard of the Ludwig Forum, out across public space, and finally annexes St. Elisabeth’s Church opposite. In workshops and performance actions these locations are regenerated and transformed: the Church occupied, the surrounds changed, costumes designed, a monument created. The motor propelling these artistic transformations is the candid naivety and creativity of children, which opens up new perspectives for adults as well.

A Draftsmen’s Congress will take place in the heart of the museum. Here walls and floors may be used for drawings – an open invitation to everyone to enter discussions via drawn images. In addition, an Open Academy will provide a platform to create own works. The Growing Exhibition will show these later on. The highlight is a festival and parade in fantasy uniforms on the main road in front of the museum on September 14.

Althamer’s concern is to identify action-oriented experiments with freedom. The ‘Children’s Kingdom’ is thus a laboratory for democracy and democratic practice.

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, will act as patron of the exhibition.

Entry to the museum is free of charge during ‘A Children’s Kingdom’.

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Czarli Bajka, Paweł Chmielewski, Konrad Chmielewski, Witold Nazarkiewicz, Przemysław Pietrzak, Tomasz Waszczeniuk and Anna Zielińska.

Curators: Dr. Brigitte Franzen and Esther Boehle; Assistant Curator: Julia Küchle