‘The Opening’ is the friendly takeover of a vacant Black Forest clinic, youth hostel or holiday resort: from welcoming guests, taking care of meals, rooms, guided theater tours through the rooms to building an archive. Accommodation, theater, symposium and exhibition at the same time, an institution of collective creation, learning, remembrance and theater practice develops: self-organized, local and in dialogue with the world.
The regional situation in the southern High Black Forest could serve as a starting point: It was first shaped by traditional forestry, then it became a lively tourist and health resort area which faced severe changes in the course of the crisis of health resorts in the 1990s.
A collective of local associations, initiatives, neighbors, and artists will attend to the vacancies that the crisis has left (clinic facilities, shops, hotels, youth hostels and other objects of a tourist infrastructure), and will implement a six-week art laboratory.
Protagonists are groups of visitors invited for several days, music and local heritage societies, neighbors, visitors of cooperating theaters, art festivals and exhibition halls, groups of teenagers, pupils and students, senior citizens as well as invited artists. They contribute architectural drafts, they archive, they move into workrooms, they exhibit, they give accounts of experiences, they perform, they send out spectators, they involve students, they cook meals, they hold workshops, they furnish rooms, and so on. All these ways of use coexist with equal shares throughout the course of the project. Guests become hosts of a village community yet to discover.
‘The Opening’ is working space, meeting place, destination for an excursion and for accommodation, exhibition, symposium and theater performance. New principles develop in between cityscape and countryside, regional and global identities, virtual and actual infrastructures. ‘The Opening’ is a test for a new form of (cultural) institution: between meeting place, alternative learning platform, place of remembrance and shelter.