Just City

4 excursions, 6 interventions, 2 lectures, 1 party

In a compact city you can never start from scratch, but every planning or policy making is contextualist.­ Same was the condition we found in the gallery space, where three installations were already set in space. We scanned the existing setup for qualities of just space or of conflictual space, and we discussed the level of conflict at which we needed to engage with neighbours­ of the gallery, with the fixed installations of the colleague exhibitors, with visitor crowds or with additional temporary use of the space. After a process of „collective curating“ and „hands-on“ interaction within the found set up of the 4th opening of the exhibition COMPACT CITY, we installed six new interventions based on the workshop „Just City“.

Intervention 1: Opening the end of dead-end streets The first intervention was to cut openings in walls, which cut off a path in the gallery and created a dead end. The newly cut doors changed „blind streets“ into spaces to ”see further“, to be able to walk in more than one directions.

Intervention 2: Cutting holes into the walls of the black box We cut holes in the wall where before our cutting and slicing no communication or interaction was possible. These holes were windows or pathways of different size and height: for adults, children, for the seated audiences as well as for animals as small as a mouse. However, valueing the quality of a wall, we had no intention to completely remove the walls, on the contrary: it was important for us to leave them, together with what they establish: the notion of inside and outside, of enclosure, of the understanding of separation, but not segregation.

Intervention 3: Opening up of existing door between the gallery and the pub

In the rearmost wall of the gallery we found a sealed off entrance (or exit?). This blind door turned out to be the former entrance to the gallery, now leading directly into the dining area of the neighbouring pub. We decided to repeat, what was tried before, at the very first opening of the gallery, and then failed. However, we set up an opposite constellation: With opening the door we provided space of the gallery for one dining table of the restaurant within the exhibition. The design of this intervention was about allowing an unpredictable interaction but also about the possibility to resort to professional beer supply when needed.

Intervention 4: Providing an interaction kit to bring activity into the abstract city plan Another architect had set up a large abstract map of Budapest on the floor of the gallery, covered with plastic as if it´s whiteness and emptiness needed to be sealed. Our intervention provided colourful pillows to sit comfortably on the plan and drawing sets consisting of colours and stickers prepared to draw and paste on top of the plans empty fields colourful icons of city activities which are usually forbidden or not accepted.

Intervention 5: Postcards A series of postcards announced the way out of the gallery to places in Brno, which had been destinations of the workshop’s excursions. The postcards could be understood as monuments to public space in Brno.

Intervention 6: Dance the Dense City! As the most temporary of the installations there was the „Dance City party“: Since there is not much experience with dancing on the streets of the city of Brno yet, Dance City started out with dancing on the „Dense Floor“ in the gallery to „Just City“: to a selection of songs/tracks, all of them in their titles containing the word „City“, compiled, commented by Drehli Robnik.

Just City workshop
Gabu Heindl, Drehli Robnik, Sibylle Bader, David Jimenez

4 AM Forum, Brno

April 4th – April 9th, 2011

GABU Heindl Architecture