Protests have to be disruptive to be effective. When protest movements extend into public space and take root there, when they blockade, defend, and seize these spaces, they produce protest architecture.
The exhibition PROTEST/ARCHITECTURE: Barricades, Camps, Superglue explores the spatial aspects of protest cultures. The focus is on political movements that have manifested themselves in public space and produced specific architecture and design objects. The research for the exhibition revealed an ambivalent, often utopian and sometimes risky spectrum: it ranges from the fighting at the barricades during the July Revolution of 1830 in Paris to protesters using their bodies in the numerous protest camps that can be found in almost all regions of the world today.
Intricately detailed models made at the Technical University of Munich and the Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart (Prof. Andreas Kretzer) depict a broad range of protest camps, from Resurrection City in Washington in 1968 through to the Austrian “LobauBleibt!” movement of 2021/22. Forty “ground-based structures” from Lützerath, mostly pile structures, were documented by Rokas Wille (Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design) by way of models made of photographic paper, while director Oliver Hardt produced a film installation for the exhibition. In coordination with activists, a suspension bridge from the Hambach Forest was able to be secured as an exhibit. The hanging model of the Beechtown barrio by artist Stephan Mörsch also shows the Hambach Forest occupation. Furthermore, the “LobauBleibt!” protests are documented by two films by the artists Oliver Ressler and Christoph Schwarz and Extinction Rebellion Austria made one of their tensegrity structures available for the show. The exhibition architecture was created by Something Fantastic.
In the form of an encyclopedia, the publication accompanying this exhibition presents a wide-ranging field of references from 1930 to 2023, from A for Abschütten to Z for Zwentendorf.
An exhibition of DAM – Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
Curatorial Team Project Leader, Curator DAM: Oliver Elser Curator MAK: Sebastian Hackenschmidt Curatorial Assistance, Research DAM: Anna-Maria Mayerhofer Scientific Trainee DAM: Jennifer Dyck Assistance MAK: Judith Huemer
On the exhibition Lilli Hollein, General Director MAK Peter Cachola Schmal, Director DAM Sebastian Hackenschmidt, Curator MAK Oliver Elser, Curator DAM