Parallel to the reopening of the K20 at Grabbeplatz, the K21 Ständehaus opens the exhibition “Intensif-Station” – 26 Künstlerräume im K21 / “Intensive Care” – 26 Artist’s Rooms in the K21. Not unlike the simultaneous presentation of the permanent collection, entitled Silent Revolution, which confronts classical modernist works with contemporary positions, the focus of “Intensif-Station” too remains on works from the collection. In the 26 rooms of the Ständehaus, permanent installations and groups of works engage in dialogue with new site-specific rooms created on location by contemporary artists.
Rooms and installations represent a special focus of our collection, and one that has been expanded continuously over a period of years. Found in the permanent collection of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen are Nam June Paik’s TV-Garden, Imi Knoebel’s Ghent Room, Christian Boltanski’s El Caso, and Ilya Kabakov’s My Grandfather´s Shed, among others. The exhibition "Intensif-Station" presents a number of these artist’s rooms, with their various contrasting approaches, to the public in an unprecedented concentration while confronting familiar works from the collection with new and specially created projects.
A number of rooms have been developed in close collaboration with artists, and some works already in the collection have been supplemented, rearranged, and in some instances reconceived entirely. For her first presentation in Germany, Lucy Skaer creates a new site-specific installation, while Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller reinstall one of their large sound installations. Rafale Lozano-Hemmer, Monica Bonvicini, Katharina Fritsch, Nathalie Djurberg, Hans-Peter Feldmann, and others have made spatial works available and are installing them personally. The exhibition is named for Thomas Hirschhorn’s "Intensif-Station" (Intensive Care), consisting of five large objects and taking as its theme the intensity of the experience of art.
It addition, eight artists (Ulla von Brandenburg, Jan Christensen, Santiago Cucullu, Zilla Leutenegger, Daniel Roth, Gabriel Vormstein, Claudia Wieser, Ralf Ziervogel) have drawn upon highly diverse media—ranging from drawing, painting, collage and projection—in order to respond to the architecture of the K21 Ständehaus by creating works for the arcades. Common to all is a weakness for narrative structures – an interest shared by the artists creating installations as well. In choosing artists, a decisive factor has been the inclusion of approaches which incorporate viewers into works to a significant degree, initiating dialogue with them and even offering them extreme experiences.
"Intensif-Station" is a long-term project, and will be on view in this form for a period of one year. At specific intervals, individual rooms or sections will be reinstalled. Toward the middle of the exhibition period, for example, Christoph Büchel will be adding a new installation work. Such regular mutations will ensure that the K21 offers our visitors continually new perspectives, that our museum becomes a place of perpetual discovery.