We do not know what is yet to come, but what we have experienced so far leads us to the following decision: The Center for Persecuted Arts in Solingen will not return to its regular program schedule this year. The exhibition Écraser l’infâme! Zermalmt das Infame! (Crush the Infame!) is postponed until spring 2021. Instead, we invite artists to share their experiences of isolation – exhibited in dialogue with the works in our collection.
In times like these, we are not only suddenly cut off from our immediate environment, from our everyday interaction, from collective experiences. Freelance artists in particular suffer from the fact that events, exhibitions and performances are no longer held, and thus the current situation poses an acute existential threat to artists on several levels.
Although the Center for Persecuted Arts Solingen cannot yet estimate when and in which form the museum will be reopened to the public, we know what we want to do and how we want to do it: In order to be able to support artists living in the cities of Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal in this difficult situation in the best possible way, we have decided to invite them in an open call for proposals to artistically document and process the time of isolation, being cut off, the possible loneliness and existential concern. We would like to use the funds that now have become available to support the project and offer the artists the opportunity to participate in the project by paying a fee of (currently planned) 500 Euros. In this way the Centre for Persecuted Arts will become an open space for dialogue. An auction of individual works of art in support of the participating artists can be realized as well as an open exchange of experiences, in which each individual can find a place for his or her own experience reports.
An essential motif of the works of art in our collection are borderline experiences, such as emigration, flight, expulsion, loss of civil liberties and isolation – without wanting to equate the Then with the Now, we would like to focus on parallels of individual experiences and artistic approaches to pave the way Out of Isolation into freedom. Parallel to today, we will show the past and will compile a presentation with pictures, photographs and books from the collection of the Centre for Persecuted Arts. We can imagine a lot and together we can also realize a lot in order to return Out of Isolation.
Artists residing in the cities of Remscheid, Solingen or Wuppertal are invited to submit a project sketch (of max. 2000 characters) and up to 8 pictures for illustra-tion collected in a *.pdf file by April 30, 2020 – please send it exclusively by e-mail to: email@example.com. In the following a jury consisting of museum officials and artists will make a selection and give the participants feedback as soon as possible.
All participants without exception will be given the opportunity – after consultation – to present their work on our websites and digital channels.
We would like to encourage companies in the region to participate in this charitable project through donations, thus preserving the artistic diversity of the city triangle (the so called ‘Bergisches Städtedreieck’: Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal) and giving us the opportunity to support even more artists – please contact us by 30 April 2020 – at: firstname.lastname@example.org.