All doors of the new headquarter will be provided with latches from buildings of organisations and civil players, to whom the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation is related. In exchange, these partners receive one of the latches which were originally determined for the new building. Through this international swap one gets in touch and stays in contact with each other.
Solidarity and Internationality
In each building doors play a revealing role for they open up or block access. The primairy meaning of doors is to give access, although we meet them often in closed mode. The latch is the epitome of this opening. Anyone who opens doors, creates relations, provides encounters and cultivates hospitality. The social impact of latches though has not merely a spatial importance, but also a historical. Latches have their history inscribed – visually experienced through design, which tells something about the function of the room or the whole building it belongs to. But latches relate also to the time of their origin and the visual signs of wear and tear. They give an idea of the countless moments they were touched, gripped, grabbed, pushed or held by inumerable hands.
The project brings this underlying and harmless seeming narrative to consciousness. Latches from around the world and any time make up human diversity and plurality at the new headquarter. Through them the mutual relationship can be visually and perceptually experienced – in the same way it’s counterpart at 262 doors of partner organisations, supported projects and other buildings, which were choosen by employees and friends of the foundation.
By this, the latches become epitomes of solidarity and internationality, which belongs to the fundamental concerns of both the foundation and her eponym.
This project is meant as an art installation, who is present in all rooms of the new building. Due to their public perception there will be a special focus on the main entrance doors.
Though the installation, although small scaled, unobstrusive but eye-catching, the building will obtain a tangible character, is getting vibrant and catchy, provide athmospheric warmth and trigger interaction. It’s narrative potential can also serve as a door opener in figurative meaning: at the opening of a small talk, in a welcome address to visitors or by guided tours.
From the Juror's Statement
Henrik Mayer, chairman of the jury, visual artist in the project group REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT,: "The winning concept of the "262 handles" is an initially sensitive intervention, there is no grand gesture, but nevertheless the occasional opportunity to make something appear, to create a sense of insecurity and allow a change of perspective. Ultimately, the most important thing is the narrative associated with the exchange of handles. Through the haptic experience of taking the handle in our hands, we are made aware of a circumstance that determines our work and our life - namely that we are part of a society and networks."
Prof. Renata Stih, member of the jury: "The Art in Architecture competition on the occasion of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation's new building has produced a wealth of great artistic results that do justice to both the protagonist's and the Foundation's visionary orientation. The award-winning artistic design "262 Klinken" by Prof. Willem-Jan Beeren and Paul Jonas Petry is a social sculpture that brings art as an active act into the events of the foundation, promotes cultural exchange and reflects the cosmopolitan, communicative approach of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation to the best of its ability".
The artists and initiators of the project understand their activity as a curational work: It covers the whole process of exchange and selection, preparation, modification and installation of the latches.
The origin, it’s unique story behind and the exchange itself shall be documented and edited in an appropriate manner.
- Artists: Willem-Jan Beeren, Paul Jonas Petry (Köln, Erftstadt), www.beerenpetry.de
- Consultancy: Dr. Thomas Schmaus (Bonn)
- Duration: 2017-2021
- Winning project of a two-stage competition on art in architecture for the new headquarter of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation Berlin
- Press Release on the jury decision (in german only): https://www.rosalux.de/pressemeldung/id/37501/