SCHICHTEN – Artistic Practices of Remembrance and Commemoration
SCHICHTEN – 29.02. – 02.03.2024
The Festspielhaus Hellerau, built at the beginning of the 20th century as a place of modernity and artistic awakening in the garden city of Hellerau, only experienced a short period of use for avant-garde art, education and the reform movement. In 1938, the Festspielhaus was converted into a police training facility. In the course of this, the boarding houses to the sides of the Festspielhaus were demolished and replaced by the barracks buildings to the east and west. This break in the architectural heritage also marks a break in civilization: the units and officers trained here were heavily involved in the offensive measures and extermination campaigns of the SS, police and Wehrmacht in Eastern Europe. The Festspielhaus site and its utilization thus reflect the German and European history of the 20th century in its key events, processes and developments.
The restoration of the east wing on the HELLERAU site in 2021 marked the start of an intensive examination of its history. Thanks to the cooperation between the Dresden Cultural Office and the Institute for Saxon History and Folklore (ISGV), historian Robert Badura is in the process of researching the history of the National Socialist police school on the grounds of the Festspielhaus Hellerau.
From 2024, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts will be exploring different stages of this varied history, its (re)discovery and rewriting from the perspective of contemporary art as part of the “SCHICHTEN” series.
From February 29 to March 2, HELLERAU will present the results of the research project “On the history of the Festspielhaus Hellerau and the surrounding area during the National Socialist era” by Robert Badura, inviting actors from art and cultural institutions to discuss strategies for coming to terms with the history of their institutions as well as artists who deal with practices of remembrance in their works.