Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Guggenheim presents "Paweł Althamer: Almech"

October 28, 2011 - January 16, 2012 │ Berlin

An extraordinary exhibition, enabling visitors to become part of the art, is currently on view at the Deutsche Guggenheim. The Polish artist Paweł Althamer has set up an open workshop in the museum on Unter den Linden where sculptural portraits of exhibition visitors are made out of plastic.

Althamer developed a kind of “exhibition in progress” by creating a link between the museum and Almech plastic factory, which the artist’s father runs in a Warsaw suburb. Together with the artist, Almech employees are manufacturing sculptures of exhibition visitors on two machines.

In the museum, the faces of the “models” are molded and the casts subsequently attached to metal constructions. New sculptures are made, joining a complex ensemble. The Almech exhibition, which was commissioned for the Deutsche Guggenheim, aims to juxtapose different kinds of organization and production – those of business and those of the art industry.
By fusing artist, art institution, and audience, Althamer explores fundamental issues around production processes. “The result,” says Althamer, “is a blurring of roles or even role exchange. That’s why the sculptures are mounted on wheels. They can be positioned, brought to life, set in motion. Thus, we can change the way things are arranged in our companies, institutions, and hierarchies.”

“There is probably no better framework for this cultural and economic transfer than Deutsche Bank on Unter den Linden, where economics and art have joined forces for almost 15 years,” explains Pierre de Weck, member of Deutsche Bank’s Group Executive Committee, at the exhibition opening.

Making art accessible to a wide public and lowering barriers to art, asking questions, fostering creativity – these are the aims of Deutsche Bank’s art activities. The bank is especially involved in Polish contemporary art, having purchased works for its corporate collection by artists such as Paulina Olowska, Wilhelm Sasnal and Jakub Julian Ziólkowski. Since 2003, the “Views” prize has been awarded to young Polish artists.

The initiative was launched by the Deutsche Bank Foundation and the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw.

Berlin presenting Polish art and culture

Within the framework of the Polish EU presidency, Polish art and culture will be featured in Berlin this autumn. Parallel to the exhibition “Paweł Althamer: Almech” at the Deutsche Guggenheim, a prominent cultural program will shed light on various facets of the relationship between Germany and Poland. The first event, an exhibition entitled “Side by Side. Poland – Germany. A 1000 Years of Art and History,” opened at the Martin-Gropius-Bau on September 23. The show, curated by the Polish art historian Anda Rottenberg and encompassing some 700 exhibits, is the first exhibition to comprehensively illustrate the thousand-year history of mutual relations between Poland and Germany. The Deutsche Bank Foundation is sponsoring the accompanying educational program. (more on this in German: Die Geschichte einer Nachbarschaft)

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© Pawel Althamer 2011; Photo: Piotr Trzebinski

© Pawel Althamer 2011; Photo: Piotr Trzebinski
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Last Update: 5.9.2013
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