Press release -
GOETHE-INSTITUT RE-OPENS WITH CELEBRATION OF GERMAN CULTURE IN LONDON
Tino Sehgal, Thomas Schütte, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition supported by the Goethe-Institut in 2012 for 50th anniversary programme Live concert, free exhibition and traditional German food tasting at Open Day.
The historic building in Exhibition Road housing the Goethe-Institut will re-open to the public following extensive restoration and modernisation on Sunday 20 May 2012, marking the 50th anniversary year with a free concert by rock band Silbermond, traditional German food, and a specially commissioned installation I Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken by German artist Gloria Zein, winner of the 2011 Cass Prize for Sculpture, who has also curated a series of film screenings from the Goethe-Institut’s extensive archive.
The anniversary celebrations also include special events that will take place over the summer of 2012 focusing on contemporary German culture across theatre, film, literature, music, dance and the visual arts. Highlights of the programme include panel discussions with the artist Tino Sehgal, whose project This Situation has toured Goethe-Instituts across Eastern Europe and Southern Asia since October 2011 and will culminate in the unveiling of the Unilever commission in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in July; an education programme on the Bauhaus, the world’s most influential modern art school, including kite-making and puppetry workshops at the Barbican; readings by award-winning poet and translator Jan Wagner during Poetry Parnassus at Southbank Centre; and a performance of Timon of Athens at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.
In addition, the Goethe-Institut is supporting the exhibitions of Thomas Schütte and Hans-Peter Feldmann at the Serpentine Gallery in 2012, and performances by the choreographer Pascal Merighi at Sadler’s Wells with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. The Goethe-Institut further supported the creation of four of the ten productions coming to London as part of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012 at Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican Theatre: Bamboo Blues, India; Der Fensterpurzer, Hong Kong; Agua, Brazil and Wiesenland, Hungary.
The Goethe-Institut in London, founded in 1962, was an important milestone in Anglo-German post-war relations. It is housed in two fine buildings at 50 and 51 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, having expanded from the original single building into the adjacent former Gallery House. Its wide-ranging programme includes British-German encounters in all cultural disciplines including lectures, debates, film screenings and exhibitions, among others. It provides German language classes at all levels, and public access to its unique multi-media library covering all areas of German culture, with a particular focus on contemporary German film and emerging German authors and artists. Over the years, the Goethe-Institut has introduced to British audiences the work of many of Germany’s leading contemporary artists, including Pina Bausch and Gustav Metzger, Gregor Schneider, Thomas Schütte, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Ricarda Roggan.
The redevelopment of the building by London based architects, Blauel Architects, has been undertaken through a series of interventions beginning with the creation of a brand new cinema and auditorium opened in 2002, and completed with the major refurbishment of the library, classrooms, offices and guest accommodation in 2012.
Sabine Hentzsch, Director of Goethe-Institut London, said: “The Goethe-Institut has been a focus of contemporary German culture in the UK for the past 50 years. I am delighted that we can throw open our doors again to London in this our 50th anniversary year in our newly restored building, to continue the intercultural dialogue with our partners across the UK.”
Martin Roth, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum, said: “In this Europe of cultural nations, the Goethe-Institut in London plays a role that is far more than that of mediator or agent. Here its cultural and artistic engagement reaches deep into the spirit of the global metropolis that is London. Here there is no need for an answer to the question, what is German culture, because here, thanks to the Goethe-Institut, German culture is a feature of urban life.”
For more information on the programme of events at Goethe-Institut London please visit: http://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/lon/
Jane Quinn/Matthew Brown
Bolton & Quinn
020 7221 5000
Notes to editors:
About Gloria Zein
German artist Gloria Zein currently works between London, Berlin and Paris and was awarded the Cass Prize for Sculpture in 2011. I Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken was commissioned by the Goethe-Institut London to mark the reopening and 50th anniversary of the institute. Zein’s work consists of sculptural interventions both outside and inside responding to the identity of the building and the structure of the institute.
With three platinum selling albums, rock band Silbermond have long been a household name in Germany. With their fourth album Himmel Auf released this year, Silbermond are currently on tour in Europe. They will play a one-hour concert as part of the Goethe-Institut London Open Day.
- Art, Culture, Entertainment
- goethe institute
- gloria zein
- 50th anniversary
The Goethe-Institut London conveys German culture, German language and a current picture of Germany in the United Kingdom.