The Gauforum Running Club


Public Art project – Weimar 2008 – Neues Museum

I initiated the Gauforum Running Club as a citizens running club that runs together at the Weimar Gauforum, as an active proposal for the re-negotiation of this site. The Gauforum is a monumental Nazi complex built in the center of Weimar in 1936. The site has been preserved as an acknowledgment of the past, but the city has banned public use of the central plaza in fear of negative re-appropriation by the active neo-Nazi groups. The Gauforum Running Club looks to question. How does the city and its public deal with the history of such a site? If the Gauforum is never opened to enable a new history, will it forever be held by fascist ideologies? Could active, open, public use of the Gauforum be a legitimate approach to reconciling history in a more civic way? The running club suggests a quiet but persistent force that resists the dominant forces of control within the Gauforum’s history. It is not a goal oriented fitness regime, driven to achieve a physical perfection akin with the Aryan dream of a master race. This disparate group of amateur runners will never become a mob. They are a curious group of outsiders taking action, however seemingly misguided it may be. They will suggest a quiet but persistent force that resists the dominant forces of control within which it performs. This project is not a spectacle; instead it quietly suggests a state of alterity for the location and the community that develops between runners and passers-by. Though this action may lack the immediacy of something more spectacular, it holds the potential for long-term influence, instigated and experienced by the residents. The project silently invades the space and integrates itself into society as a different kind of political, historical negotiation. It is an action of occupation that slowly infiltrates the plaza, the city and its inhabitants.

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