The art and culture festival “Begehungen” (“inspections”) has been taking place in Chemnitz since 2003 – as the largest off-culture event in the city. Its trademark is an unconventional and low-threshold approach to art. For this reason, the Begehungen are not only a temporary art exhibition, but also a social event for people of different backgrounds. An extended accompanying programme consisting of performances, readings and concerts and is also an essential part of the festival.
This year, the largest prefabricated housing estate in Chemnitz was the backdrop for the “Begehungen”. More than 20 artists & collectives presented themselves and their works from 13 to 16 August 2020.
This is what Sarah, press spokeswoman of the Begehungen e.V., explains:
This weekend, the city of Chemnitz shows its best, its artistic side. But not only the city centre is shining [with the public art project Gegenwarten|Presences], but also the outskirts are beaming. In the last development ring of the former residential area “Fritz Heckert”, at the very end of Chemnitz, just before the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), this year’s ascents will be celebrated until Sunday. The venue: an old abandoned department store and a precast slab building. Because there, at these places, in this residential area, utopia and reality collide. The area was conceived as a socialist model, after the reunification the youth emigrated. Sounds a bit like all of Chemnitz, doesn’t it? We show that this does not have to be a one-way street with our motto “Entwürfnisse:Ring8”. We don’t only present art, but also enter into dialogue with artists and visitors. In discussions with experts we question the development of the area, illuminate perspectives and also discuss the title “Capital of Culture 2025” as such. Together we will soon be taking the fact that culture and art are also possible in surprising places, to the rest of Europe.
Photos: Ernesto Uhlmann