Siemens Arts Program - Visual Arts

A place to encounter art. "Our new headquarters is a place where encounters occur – including encounters with art. We're very pleased that works by important contemporary artists are being showcased in the public section of our new headquarters."   -Joe Kaeser

Visual Arts - exploring the future

In the visual arts, we initiate and realize projects around contemporary art. We seek subjects and artistic positions that address challenges in society today and explore emerging future issues. The projects are initiated in collaboration with artists and art institutions in Germany and beyond. Our particular focus here is on the creative process and collaborative exchanges with partners in the arts. Partnerships with world-renowned institutions are extremely important to us. The Siemens Photography Collection, for instance, has been housed in Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne since 2003.

 

Engagement with arts and culture is expressed through its own projects and interdisciplinary partnerships. Starting a corporate collection in the conventional sense is not a stated aim of the Siemens Arts Program.

inges idee at Siemens Campus Erlangen

A sculpture designs itself

We make art in public spaces, so we have to engage with the public, otherwise you're only engaging with the art world. Our idea has been rather to try to create at least one space that everyone can enter. Without much prior knowledge.
Georg Zey

The Entwurf is a figure that "designs" itself. Standing on a hill and dynamically bent forward, this figure hurls disks at an imaginary target lying in front of her.

Similar to researchers who design their experiments according to a set hypothesis, the figure projects itself forward towards a goal, into an open future in which it could materialize itself anew or in another shape.

 

Terms such as goal and direction, vision and alignment are found in an absurdly humorous way in the artwork, which sets in motion a multitude of open interpretations at the location of the Siemens Campus. 

The artists' collective "inges idee" creates sculptures for public spaces. Works by inges idee stand in front of schools and banks worldwide and on the coasts of several continents. The sculptures often bring a smile to the faces of people who stop to look at them. The works, which are mostly three-dimensional, always relate to the specific location and the people who live and work there.

An important function of art in public spaces is to create art for all. That is exactly what “inges idee”, in collaboration with the Siemens Arts Program, is attempting to do in Erlangen. The artists have come up with a work consisting of 112 colored cylinders, which is intended to connect with various styles of living and working, the new Siemens Campus and the local people.

The design, i.e. the figure, is designing itself. It is throwing parts of itself away. These parts give rise to something new, something that has not yet been put into words but is becoming a possible idea. That is the basic idea of a research campus and also the basis of all entrepreneurship – developing new ideas.
says Hans Hemmert from the artists' collective “inges idee” of the work

The sculpture "The Entwurf" for the Siemens Campus in miniature format

Photo: Stefan Hoederath

The figure is throwing the individual parts anarchically and randomly into the Siemens Campus. Freedom of thought and also of creative activity is essential to our conceptual work.
adds the artist Georg Zey

The central sculpture, which is over four meters high, is made up of 65 cylinders forming a human figure holding a frisbee. Distributed around the campus are 47 more colored aluminum disks which, figuratively speaking, are being thrown away by the sculpture. The 47 cylinders or frisbees can stand for ideas that are being thrown into the space. Some parts of the artwork are positioned around the grounds in such a way that they can be used as seats or tables, for relaxation, contemplation or lunch breaks. Art that is tangible and forms part of everyday life.

 

The site being developed in Erlangen will be Siemens’ largest site worldwide. It will bring together on one campus various Siemens divisions which were previously spread across different sites. The campus will form a new district, with restaurants, stores and apartments, which is open to the public. And even after office closing time, the idea is that the campus will become a vibrant part of the city.

 

Behind the scenes – assembly of the sculpture

Photography

Fascination of science – Through the eyes of an artist

A new project by the renowned photographer Herlinde Koelbl
There is a connection between art and science. They require creativity, obsession, persistence, passion and always the urge to try something new.
Herlinde Koelbl

In times of climate change and corona, the world is becoming particularly aware of how important science is. Research is increasingly at the center of social events. Scientists must be able to see further than anyone else to influence our future. How do they think, what drives them?

 

With her project "Fascination of science", the worldwide respected photo artist Herlinde Koelbl has set herself the goal to photograph scientists and to show their motivation, influences and ways of thinking - through the eyes of an artist. Siemens Arts Program is pleased to support this unique photo art project and make it visible to a broad public.

 

 

 

The exhibition will be on display from October 5, 2020 until January 29, 2021 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin. 

I wanted to find out how they think and with what insights they influence our lives and our future. I have traveled halfway around the world to know these top scientists better and to communicate their fascinating scientific results and life experiences and, yes, to bring science to life. I want to inspire young people to see role models in these impressive personalities and to take this exciting path themselves.
Herlinde Koelbl about her work

In her project entitled “Fascination of science” Herlinde Koelbl portrays 60 of the world’s pioneering scientists and Nobel Prize winners and quite literally makes tangible their insights and the fascination of science.

As part of this process, she asked each of her subjects to note down the essence of their research on their own hand. For this, she immerses herself in their research and life in very personal interviews.

Herlinde Koelbl is looking for the individuals behind the discovery and what drives them – irrespective of origin or nationality: The interviewees not only closely sketch out their research, but also grant a glimpse into their private lives, looking back on their personal experiences, successes and setbacks on their way to the top.

 

 

 

Roland Busch, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Siemens AG, states about the project:

"The “Fascination of science” project is an ode not only to science, but also to the power of art. Herlinde Koelbl once again succeeds in fascinating people with her photographic works. At the same time, she builds a bridge between art and science. As a physicist, I am fascinated by how Herlinde Koelbl makes tangible the interrelation between these two disciplines. With her 60 portraits of outstanding researchers she also shows a human side of science. Moreover, I am convinced that “Fascination of science” will also motivate many young people to become passionate about science and research."

 

Stephan Frucht, Director of the Siemens Arts Program, adds:

“The body of work documents in an impressive way that science and art are similar in nature and rightly enjoy special protection under the constitution.”

 

 

Images: Fascination of Science by Herlinde Koelbl

Podium

Art is dead. Long live art!

Is Berlin’s standing as a center of the arts endangered?
  • Studies reveal that 90% of Berlin’s artists are impacted by old-age poverty
  • Artist studios and free spaces for art are steadily disappearing
  • 84% of Berlin’s gallery owners and art dealers say they wouldn’t open a new gallery today

Sources:

2018 study by the Institute for Strategy Development (IFSE) and the Professional Association of Visual Artists Berlin (bbk berlin) 

 

2019 gallery survey conducted by the Galleries Association of Berlin (LVBG) and the Association of Berlin Merchants and Industrialists (VBKI)

 

 

Cultural places and a vibrant cultural scene are essential to maintaining innovative, successful urban development in Berlin. Yet, space in Berlin is getting scarcer and more expensive. How can public policymakers and the city support the drivers of culture and creativity? And what can private-sector businesses do to help maintain a city’s allure that’s extensively owed to its vibrant cultural life? These questions are currently sparking contentious debate not only in Berlin, but also in many of the world’s major cities. One forum for such dialog took place January 8 in Berlin when the Society of Friends of the Academy of Arts joined the Siemens Arts Program to host the 6th Capital Cultural Talk. Discussion centered on the banner theme of “Spaces for Culture”.

The podium panelists included artist Katharina Sieverding, the President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, the former President of Berlin University of the Arts, Martin Rennert, and Matthias Sauerbruch of the Sauerbruch Hutton firm for architecture, urbanism and design. Among those attending in the audience were numerous Berlin artists and representatives from galleries, artists associations, and Berlin’s business world. After an almost two-hour discussion, moderator Stephan Frucht – Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program – summed up the demands facing public policymakers and the private sector.

 

Excerpt from the demands facing public policymakers, private-sector businesses, and civil society:

Berlin needs more free spaces for new as well as established artists. The city’s onward development as an urban area must allow and embrace the unregulated, the uncontrolled. There must be rights of first refusal for artists in the city center. Art also needs to sell in Berlin – so purchasing art must be incentivized by creating tax benefits. New requirements are needed for new building projects – building owners should offer 30% of the newly erected apartments at lower prices. Private-sector businesses should make studio space available at affordable prices. The dying-off of nightclubs must be prevented – the art scene and nightclubs go hand in hand, and form part of the city’s identity. Centers of arts should themselves become cities. Curating the outdoors – architecture alone cannot keep a city vibrantly alive. Museums and the creative scene must be more closely integrated with one another. 

At end of the event, the Berlin artist Super Pop Boy called for society to look ahead and refocus more strongly on the future. Society should seek a place for the future, one that reflects today as well as tomorrow. He furthermore urged that art must relate to our lives today, and public policymakers should engage and devote greater attention to today’s art.

 

The artist Felix Stumpf added that, “Art is a yearning that doesn’t want to be controlled or commercially exploited. Art, with its energy, doesn't need these institutional thoughts."

 

Ute Weiss Leder of the Professional Association of Visual Artists Berlin (bbk berlin) made specific reference to the solutions her association has proposed.

 

Katharina Sieverding rounded out the discussion by paraphrasing the well-known saying: “Art is dead. Long live art!”

Projects

Linking creativity

Projects

Deutschland 8 –German Art in China (September 19 – October 31, 2017)

Siemens supports group exhibition in Beijing. The exhibition brings together more than 50 artists, represented by about 300 works, among them Georg Baselitz, K.O. Götz, Katharina Grosse, Anselm Kiefer, Alicja Kwade, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter, and Katharina Sieverding.

Ahead of the opening of the exhibition in Beijing, Katharina Sieverding gave us an insight into her work.

 

Ms. Sieverding, for you what makes a good photograph?

From the outset, my mantra has been that from one (or more) photos, I first have to make a picture, in other words an image imagined and constructed all the way through to the final content statement. This is not about photo art, much less art photos. It is about exploring, testing, challenging the full potential of photography and more than anything, discovering its technological origins and evolution into a mass medium and using this to create the right content, so that politically I am able to meet my responsibility in dealing with these contradictions as an artist.

 

You lived and worked in China for a time. To what extent did that influence your art?

Following two years of preparation from 1976 to 1978, Klaus Mettig and I were given permission to make a two-and-a-half-hour film, shot in 16 mm - BEIJING – YANAN – XIAN – LUOYANG –SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1978. The specific anticipatory image/text quality of large-scale Chinese representations in the public space interested me. And informed some of my early works. From 2002 to 2003, as part of a pilot project for Berlin University of the Arts, I held a Visiting Professorship for Visual Culture Studies at the China Art Academy in Hangzhou and was involved in the Shanghai Biennale 2001.

 

Siemens is using very advanced computed tomography to try to gain medical insights into the invisible. Your monumental photo painting in Berlin’s Reichstag building shows a sort of X-ray, where a spinal column is shot through with flames. In your images, are you seeking what is hidden or magnifying what is visible?

In this statement, I am diagnosing and contextualizing what politicians need to be mindful of in their place of work, the Reichstag. What is their responsibility politically on and between earth and sun - the x-ray findings suggest an insidious disease of our time. NASA is diagnosing solar flares.