Michaela Melián



8 October – 12 November 06



Michaela Melián. Föhrenwald
October 08 - Novemver 12, 2006
Opening: Oktober 07, 2006, 5 - 9 pm

A multi-media installation bringing together projections of drawings with language and music, Föhrenwald by Michaela Melián tells the story of the eponymous housing estate near Munich. Built in the late 1930s, it first housed slave labourers working in the nearby ammunition factories. After the Second World War the estate served as a reception camp for homeless Jewish survivors from all over Europe – the so-called displaced persons. German families expelled from Eastern Europe were settled here in the years after 1956. Many of these still live in Föhrenwald, and through their influence the onetime camp has turned into a normal suburb.

A quick succession of down-scaled drawings of the estate simulates a stroll through the uniform development with its terraced and semi-detached houses. Accompanied by minimalist music and texts based on interviews with former inhabitants, the composition gives an insight into everyday life in Föhrenwald. Tales from different phases in the history of the settlement are presented side by side in a way that tells a profound and complex story.

In her exploration of this Nazi model estate, which until 1957 was still surrounded by a fence, Michaela Melián gradually uncovers the different layers of a changeful German history and reveals how they remain inscribed in architectural structures – such as an innocent-looking suburban idyll.

Föhrenwald is a collaborative project involving kunstraum münchen, BR Hörspiel and Medienkunst and is sponsored by the Federal Cultural Foundation.

Organized by Katharina Fichtner

The project is accompanied by a publication of 280 pages in English and German from Revolver Verlag with texts by Heike Ander, Michael Hirsch, Nikolaus Hirsch, Ronald Hirte, Jörg Koopmann, Thomas Meinecke, Michaela Melián and Jim G. Tobias. It includes a CD with the installation soundtrack.

07.10.2006, 7 pm
Book presentation and artist talk