New Patrons

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The New Patrons
of Friedland

F.l.t.r.: Jana Nowka, Giuliana Giorgi, Josef Lewe, Heidi Sradnick

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

The New Patrons of Friedland

Patrons*innen: Giuliana Giorgi, Josef Lewe, Jana Nowka, Heidi Sradnick,

Commission: Zusammen mit einer*m international tätigen Künstler*in wollen wir ein Kunstwerk schaffen, um unsere Augen für die Vielfalt, die Besonderheiten und die Schätze unserer Stadt in all ihren Teilen zu öffnen. Mit künstlerischen Mitteln soll fühlbar werden, dass wir auf unsere Nachbarn vertrauen und mit ihnen teilen, was unsere Orte so wertvoll und einmalig macht. Wenn die Wege weit sind, müssen wir an der Nähe arbeiten. Darum freuen wir uns auf ein Projekt, das den Reichtum sichtbarer und nachbarschaftliche Nähe leichter macht.

Mediators*in: Sophia Trollmann,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Federal Cultural Foundation,

Duration: 2021 –

Be it one's own garden, the weekend house or the next family celebration – in the city as well as in the countryside, people are increasingly living in their own little worlds. Where life is becoming more digital and the distances to friends, family or public institutions are becoming longer thanks to our mobility, there is often a lack of occasions for exchange and encounters with the immediate environment.

Although a romantic image of the rural area with strong community structures is often contrasted with the individualized big city life, people in the countryside no longer live like they used to. Village closeness no longer falls into anyone's lap. You have to make an effort for it.

Patrons Giuliana Giorgi and Jana Nowka

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Friedland landscape

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

One example of this is Friedland: with just under 3,000 inhabitants, Friedland is one of the smallest towns in Germany. The town's 16 districts were merged into one administrative unit after reunification and are spread over an area of about 175 square kilometres. There is little historically grown sense of community in the widely dispersed area.

The desire to reconnect with each other is an underlying melody of many commissioning sites. The New Patrons of Friedland make it the central theme of their commission without detours, in order to let community emerge from joint action.

Giuliana Giorgi signing the Commission

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Heidi Sradnick signing the Commission

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Signed Commission

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

For why is it actually so difficult to take one's head out of one's hiding and show oneself to others? Where does the concern come from that openness to encounters could be misunderstood as inappropriate curiosity?

The New Patrons of Friedland do not want to resign themselves to the idea that their interest in what and how other people in the village are actually doing and what they are concerned with should be an exception. They believe that others also have a desire to get to know each other, and that perhaps all they lack is the courage and the reason to take the first step towards the others.

We want to surprise ourselves and others. It is important to us that we as neighbours are not afraid of encounters. We want to show that our doors are open for each other.

Art, they think, could help to find new ways to each other. They wish for new impulses to rediscover the people and the landscape, and to share with each other what their surrounding has to offer.

The commissioning group knows that no work of art can relieve the Friedlanders of their own responsibility to open the garden gates, to welcome each other. But they want to create new occasions and ways that help them to discover and get to know each other.

View onto the Friedland landscape

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

For the signing of the commission, the group chose a hill as a meeting point. From here, one can see many parts of Friedland at the same time, but also the vastness of the landscape between the neighbouring parts of the town and the paths that connect them. Creating an awareness of the city, locating oneself in it and recognising where the others are is central to their mission.

Josef Lewe and Jana Nowka signing the Commission

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

To make each other aware of these riches, to share them, to use them together, but above all to show each other generously the personal stories and meanings behind them that make these qualities exciting and unique in the first place – this could be the starting point for the work of an artist currently being selected by the group together with mediator Sophia Trollmann.

Patrons group with mediator Sophia Trollmann (2nd f.r.) and Head of Regional Development Gerrit Gohlke (1st f.l.)

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

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