NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL: Axel Braun – To the benefit of a society of tomorrow for which we build today

14. September 2013 - 24. January 2014 Dortmunder U, Level 3

Axel Braun’s project Zugunsten einer Gesellschaft von morgen, für die wir heute schon bauen (To the benefit of the society of tomorrow for which we are building today) explores the history and architecture of the WestLB. The bank’s branch in Dortmund has been dominating the cityscape since the late 1970s as one of its most renowned and conspicuous buildings. This futuristic-utopistic colossus, with its extensive terraces, towers and rounded cladding, was designed by Harald Deilmann, who is also responsible for the bank’s branches in Münster, Düsseldorf and later Luxembourg. On 30 June 2012 the bank was dismantled after a series of wrong decisions, bad speculation and unlawful connections with federal politics brought it to the brink of collapse.

Braun’s work examines what happened to the social and economic utopias of the 1970s and how they left their mark on the architecture of their time. Braun investigates the bank’s history, revealing how the dismay of the WestLB reflects the development of market economy in North Rhine-Westphalia and the globalisation of financial markets. For the presentation of his findings, Braun has conceived a special display using authentic replicas and original construction elements of the former WestLB in Dortmund. Inside this architectural setting the artist will present the found objects and footage that have emerged from his research. An extensive publication will complete his project.

Funded by:

Kulturbüro Stadt Dortmund
Ministerium für Familie Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes NRW
Sparkasse Dortmund
Generously supported by Kunststiftung NRW.
Generously supported by Stiftung Zukunft NRW.

Media partner:

ARTE Creative

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