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WmK 2001: Wohnen mit Kunst 2001 by Kathrin Böhm and Stefan Saffer

Kathrin Böhm and Stefan Saffer's 'WmK 2001: Wohnen mit Kunst 2001' (LwA 2001: Living with Art 2001) is a service project developed specially for Messestadt. For a number of years these two artists have concerned themselves with communication issues, not least by means of interactive projects. To improve ways of establishing contact in, using and working in public places, they joined with the architect Andreas Lang in devising 'Mobile Porch', a miniature piece of movable multi-functional architecture first put to use in London in November and December 1999 for the North Kensington Amenity Trust. The prototype of 'Mobile Porch' received the Royal Society of Art's Art for Architecture Award in London the following year. In their Messestadt project Böhm and Saffer develop the ideas behind 'Mobile Porch'. 'WmK Mobil' (LwA Mobile) consists of a large aluminium and wooden cylinder lying on its side. Opening the sides reveals a kind of kiosk with steps and landings leading inside. 'WmK Mobil' can be used as a reception desk, a stage, an exhibition space or a bar.

From the beginning of May to the end of June Böhm and Saffer set up 'WmK Mobil' in the streets and squares of Messestadt as a means of investigating how people designed and used their living space.

Every week they moved 'WmK Mobil' to a different site, whether in a residential area, in front of a public building or on the Promenade. By presenting and discussing art in public places, Böhm and Saffer sought to establish a point of departure for conversations and interventions in the private realm. Their particular work and their activity as artists was thus to become a forum for discussing the domestic living conditions of individuals and families in Messestadt. They were concerned to enter into an intensive dialogue with residents in order to discover what place art occupies in Messestadt homes and how this influences attitudes to art in public places.

On the basis of their own practice Böhm and Saffer made suggestions for artistic interventions in people's homes. They installed these works free of charge and offered residents 'do it yourself' instruction.

Böhm and Saffer's project involved a second aspect - the conception and realisation of an exhibition called 'Sammlung Messestadt Riem' (The Messestadt Riem Collection). The artists visited residents, questioned them about their views on art in the home and asked them to lend a work from their own domestic surroundings to the exhibition. 'Sammlung Messestadt Riem' was opened to the public at the end of June.

Summer 2001