Muenster Symposium 02: Building Better Cities? Art and Urban Planning

Muenster Symposium 02: Building Better Cities? Art and Urban Planning

Kunsthalle Münster

Photo © Roman Mensing/Mensing/

September 7, 2013

MUENSTER. art + public 2013/14
Symposium 02: “Building Better Cities? Art and Urban Planning”

September 13–14, 2013

Kunsthalle Stadt Münster
Hafenweg 28
D-48155 Münster

T +49 (0) 251 674467 75
F +49 (0) 251 674467 85

On the occasion of Tobias Rehberger’s project the moon in alabama: In the area around Muenster´s central train station, the artist’s work transforms groups of distribution boxes into new public spaces.

Building Better Cities? 
Muenster is world-renowned for the “Skulptur Projekte,” which has taken place in Muenster every ten years since 1977. The exhibitions have specialized in realizing works from internationally acclaimed artists in the city’s public space. During the Symposium 01 at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur in March 2013, the utilization of a Sculpture Project archive for the revaluation of art and its public reception was successfully discussed. If and to what extent the discussion of art and contemporary artistic strategies can be successfully utilized in city planning concepts is the topic of Symposium 02. 

This second symposium recognizes explicitly the independence of an artist’s work and focuses on his individual fascination resulting in the creation of a previously unimagined world of images. Can this production be brought together productively and successfully with the process of urban development? Can the analysis and reflection inherent in artistic practice—the precise observation and critical development of an individual aesthetic—convey new ideas and forms within a similarly functional thinking and pragmatically engaged process of city planning? Does all this make a “better” city? In three thematic areas and over two days, experts from the visual arts, city planning and research, and the social sciences will discuss current ideas and debate prospective viewpoints on city planning in dialog with approaches to contemporary art. 

Day One begins with a site visit to Tobias Rehberger’s work in the central station area and addresses the claim formulated in the symposium’s title “Building Better Cities?”—both as a global claim for city planning and discussion model for the City of Muenster. 

Day Two will focus on relevant artistic working principals in this context. The morning block “Research” will analyse the synergetic potential of art-specific practice for city planning. The afternoon block “Process” concentrates on the dynamic of city development and asks, how and with which ramifications is art still capable of intervening? The symposium’s aim is to openly consider the possibilities and simultaneously the necessity for new thinking regarding art and its role in shaping a city.

Participants: Frauke Burgdorff, Hedwig Fijen, Martin Heller, Leni Hoffmann, Kasper König, Maik Löbbert, Reiner Nagel, Manfred Pernice, Tobias Rehberger, Tim Rieniets, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Christoph Schenker, Thomas Sieverts, Andreas Spiegl, Philip Ursprung, Lambert Wiesing and others

Organizer: Immobilien- und Standortgemeinschaft Bahnhofsviertel e.V. (ISG) and the City of Muenster 

Concept: Dr. Gail Kirkpatrick (Director, Kunsthalle Münster) and Marcus Lütkemeyer (Project Curator) in collaboration with Frauke Burgdorff (Board Member, Montag Stiftung Urbane Räume) and Tim Rieniets (Executive Director, Landesinitiative StadtBauKultur NRW). Please find the program here:

Participation and contact: Entry is free; however we request guests to register for the symposium by 11 September 2013 at: kongress [​at​] For additional information: and

MUENSTER. Art + Public.
The topic of art and public space continues to remain highly relevant, be it in the form of urban sculptures or landscape interventions, setting up areas for social activity or transforming erstwhile functional locations, not only among art experts, but also as an everyday experience for the inhabitants and citizens of our modern cities. The new joint activities in the city, which explore the topic “Muenster. Art + Public Space,” are destined to maximize and, above all, build on what has already been achieved. They draw on the accumulated (or rather acquired) know-how and experience (for example, as with the current idea of establishing an archive), while at the same time by initiating new smaller and larger, and above all ongoing projects in the public domain, consistently embedding a heightened awareness of this exciting and explosive theme in the city itself and in its public image. 

Within the framework of this project, the artist Tobias Rehberger created a new work, the moon in alabama (Project 01) for the district surrounding Muenster’s central train station. His work transforms groups of distribution boxes into new public spaces.

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September 7, 2013

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