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The Great Game to Come
Adventure Playground at the Frankfurt Kunstverein




The Great Game to Come at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008


Experimentation field in a white cube: for the duration of one week, with the support of the Deutsche Bank Foundation, the Frankfurt Kunstverein was transformed into a huge playground. Visitors were invited to create psychedelic pictures at manipulated play stations, explore intricate constructions made of wooden slats and cardboard, and help build the unfinished sculpture of a spaceship. Also part of the program were Karaoke events, woodcutting workshops, and classes in the preparation of sushi.



The Great Game to Come at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008



The action week The Great Game to Come invited all visitors, whether children, adolescents, or adults, to take part in interactive creative processes free of charge. The project was supported by the Deutsche Bank Foundation, which has long been committed to initiatives involved in developing the creativity of children and young people. In the framework of The Great Game to Come, Deutsche Bank staff were given an exclusive tour through the adventure landscape by the artist Tobias Rehberger and Chus Martinez, the Kunstverein’s director, while the children were invited to take part in workshops.




The Great Game to Come at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008


In the foyer, two historical artists’ projects designed for children and related to the action week were introduced. In October of 1968, the Danish artist Palle Nielsen installed a huge experimental playground titled The Model for a Qualitative Society in the exhibition rooms of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.


Kinderplanet, 1971
© Barbara Klemm, Frankfurt/Main

For three weeks, children were invited to discover their creativity here, an aim also shared by Thomas Bayrle, Wolfgang Schmidt, and students of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach with their Kinderplanet (Children’s Planet) of 1971, erected on the grounds of the Frankfurt Fair. Imbued with the era’s mood of social change, these projects aimed at expanding and reviving the concept of art through some very basic processes: What kinds of spaces are capable of setting creativity into motion? How are groups formed by common activity? How does self-determined play function? These questions are at least as relevant today, with public life becoming increasingly regimented, as they were in the era of the student movement and anti-authoritarian upbringing.



The Great Game to Come at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008

A new version on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of May 1968 was realized with the help of the projects’ original initiators, Palle Nielsen and Thomas Bayrle. The students of the Frankfurt Städelschule and the Copenhagen Art Academy, backed by their professors Tobias Rehberger and Nils Norman, were given the entire exhibition space of the Kunstverein to make The Great Game to Come.



The Great Game to Come at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008

Probably the most spectacular project in The Great Game to Come was a more than 20-meter-long inflatable plastic object that a group of school kids made together with the team from the Umwelt-Exploratorium e.V. The Frankfurt Verein, founded by former students of the department of product design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach, addresses contemporary questions on society and the environment; one point of focus is the visual expression of complex scientific content. And it works, at least at the Frankfurt Kunstverein, where the potential of solar energy was impressively demonstrated. Rays shining through the glass roof onto the gigantic black rubber object heated up the homemade balloon, raising it up into the air.


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