Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund – a self-portrayal
photo by Hannes Woidich
Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund is a self-organized non profit studio and exhibition space for contemporary art. It is based on the voluntary work of its members and supported by public grants from the city of Dortmund. Since 1983, it has been actively involved in the cultural life of the city.
Built in 1924, the house was a "Waschkaue" and an administration building for the "Schacht Westfalia" coal mining operations. Later, it served as the offices for the "Westfaelische Wohnstaetten AG", and as an administration building for the "Deutsche Edelstahlwerke". Eventually, it was taken over by the Design College of Dortmund. Almost demolished in 1983, it was squatted by a group of students from the college. They founded the independant artist's organization "Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund e.V.".
Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund is a place for all kinds of contemporary visual arts: Painting, sculpture, graphics as well as photography, film, video,installation and new media. This scope of artistic discipline can be found in the members work, as well as in the thematic group exhibitions, which are curated by Kuenstlerhaus members and feature domestic and international artists from around the world. With a focus on contemporary and experimental work, the Kuenstlerhaus is unique in supporting young and emerging artists. This enriches the cultural landscape of Dortmund, which consists of museums and commercial galleries that mostly feature solo exhibitions.
The Kuenstlerhaus creates a free space for the arts, offers optimum working conditions for artists from Germany and abroad, and attempts to reach the interested public through direct and personal mediation.
> Exhibition spaces
The activities of the Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund are based on the non salaried work of its members. Since the output of events and exhibitions has been constantly increasing over the years, a professional organization structure became necessary, which was realized through the installation of an executive secretariat in 1998.
> organizational structure
The Kuenstlerhaus frequently serves as a workstation for international guests to realize new and site specific work. The interdisciplinary orientation of the Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund creates a constantly growing network of various national and international cultural institutions.
Since 1993, the association "MeX" for experimental music is a continuous guest to use the function room in the basement for intermedia and experimental sound projects. Furthermore the Kuenstlerhaus cultivates the contact to the hartware media association, also located in Dortmund.