“We, LAF – Leerstand als Freiraum e.V., are a non-profit association founded by students and young graduates of design, art theory, philosophy and computer science. We stand up for cultural environments in Pforzheim. We initiate projects, which are situated within the fields of art, architecture and society. For this purpose, we transform vacant buildings in the city center into experimental exhibition platforms. Abandoned spaces – up until now a symbol of idle, lack and unused opportunities – turn into open spaces through exhibitions, discussions and various events. It is our goal to bridge societal, artistic and architectural space and to initiate a dialogue on relevant subjects regarding the city, art and contemporary issues.”
LAF – Leerstand als Freiraum e. V.
During our time as artist in residence in Zum kleinen Markgräflerhof in Basel, from November 2015 until end of June 2016, we explored, developed and worked on different projects that are partly finished or still work in progress and will be incorporated in future projects. Other than just artistic work and networking, we explored the Basel area with its three nationalities (Swiss, French and German) and the river Rhine.
Water is not only the origin of life but as well the most important means of transportation off goods and the belief in the river running down to the sea is the fundament of our society. The Rhine is the thread of life in Europe for the last 2000 years bringing economical, political and cultural prosperity in both directions to the continent but it is also a physical and mental frontier to the unknown.
As an activity fishing with rod is a very slow and meditative, nonfunctional and could even be called a dadaist action in stark contrast to the rivers function as a commercial highway. Since men have habited the riverbanks of the Rhine they have practiced fishing to feed the community but today the main reason to go fishing is the possibility to practice male bonding and strengthen the notion of a community.
The project was sponsored and funded by:
Stiftung Bartels Fondation – zum kleinen Markgräflerhof | Basel, Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland