The people of Sauen in eastern Brandenburg identify with their village. Sauen has a well-preserved historic center, and most of the buildings in the roadside village, which consists of 35 residential buildings, have withstood the changes of the past decades unchanged. This is due to the longstanding joint commitment of many.
But in recent years, the coexistence of the nearly 100 people living here has changed. They are more autonomous than before. Spontaneous exchange between neighbors, but also between generations, is becoming more difficult due to a mobile and tightly scheduled lifestyle. Spontaneous get-togethers or conversations between people are becoming rarer. Communication is increasingly shifting to the digital realm.
This is what the New Patrons of Sauen are observing. The group of residents has come together to make community in the village more everyday and natural again for everyone.
It is clear to the patrons group that their village does not need a new community center. There are enough rooms. Those who are already involved in associations or projects meet there. It's not a question of building another property, but rather of bringing village life back to the streets, making the people in the village visible to one another and thus strengthening active togetherness.
Accompanied by mediator Lea Schleiffenbaum, the group chose Ateliers Pompiers for their commission. Ateliers Pompiers are artist Judith Hopf and artist, filmmaker, and author Florian Zeyfang. Together with the patrons group, they want to turn the insides of Sauen out. Ateliers Pompiers presented initial ideas for this to the group in May 2023.
Judith Hopf's sculptural works often deal with social spaces, functional architectures and everyday objects. Their focus is always on people, their group dynamics, and the effects of technology on perception and the human experience. Her work has been shown at dOCUMENTA (13), KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Biennale de Montréal, and the Liverpool Biennial, among others. She also teaches at the Städelschule in Frankfurt.
Florian Zeyfang works with and on experimental film, technology and art. His recent projects have addressed architecture, film/archive, and permanence of images. He has taught as a professor at the Umeå and Aarhus Art Academies and has exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Lumiar Cité/Maumaus in Lisbon, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, and MoMA PS1 in New York, among others. As Ateliers Pompiers, Judith Hopf and Florian Zeyfang are increasingly working on collaborative projects in public space.