In the historic estate park of the Kranich Museum & Hotel in Hessenburg/Saal, works by international artists enter into a dialogue between art and landscape. An open-air concert invites to the encounter of Classic meets Jazz under the starry sky.
Image above: Kranich Museum & Hotel © Philipp Obkircher
The fields and salt marshes of the Bodden region in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania attract thousands of cranes in spring and autumn, who take a break on their journey between Scandinavia and southern Europe. Here, art historian Dr Bettina Klein has converted a mansion built around 1840 in the middle of a 4.5-hectare park into a hotel and museum, making it the Kranich Museum & Hotel. The rooms were designed by the New York installation artist and architect Alex Schweder. Visitors can view an ever-growing collection of contemporary art, which in turn evolves in correspondence with this place.
The Kranich Museum occupies the entire upper floor of the manor house on a total of 400 square meters. Since its opening in 2011, Bettina Klein has been inviting international artists as part of an artist-in-residence program supervised by Alex Schweder and curator Zsuzsanna Stánitz. In performative or installative works, these artists engage in dialogue with the estate and its history, its surrounding landscape, and – of course – the cranes that give it its name. The resulting artworks by Emma Waltraud Howes (CAN), Alex Schweder (US), Naoko Tanaka (JP), David Prytz (DK), Nicole Schuck (DE), Vesta Kroese (NL), Riccardo Giacconi (IT) or Andreas Greiner (DE), among others, became part of the museum collection, while the documentary materials are partly exhibited in the hotel rooms.
Art installations and a concert in the park
Since 2010, landscape architect Ludivine Gragy has been accompanying the design, preservation and ecological regeneration of the neo-baroque park with its enchanted alleys, orchards and four generations of trees.
This summer, visitors can also discover new site-specific works by various guest artists, inviting the landscape to become a framework for a sensually direct experience and feeling.
“Performance Architecture” – this is how Alex Schweder calls his art. The American artist actually studied architecture, but has been successfully working at the interface of art, performance and architecture for years – his works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate in London and at the Architecture Biennale in Venice. For his installation “This Side of This Side”, he built a 14-meter-long oak table behind a reflecting pond. From one end of this platform rises a plume of fog, which visualizes the axis of the historic mansion on the other side of the water with a projected light animation after dark.
Ana Filipović and Philipp Mecke have been working together since 2014 on projects that investigate contemporary conditions of spatial design. The convergence of their diverse backgrounds and interests in architecture, critical spatial practice, and technology results in projects based on research and experimentation. Their work, which encompasses art and architecture as well as theory and practice, employs a variety of media to critically evaluate the forces that shape the built environment, as well as imagine alternatives. Their work, “A Place of One’s Own”, is a personal and intimate space in the park surrounded by a buzzing sound that only exists when you enter. This space is not visible, but once you discover it, it creates a path of contemplation, made for losing yourself in your own thoughts. Six analog sound “machines” are attached to trees and equipped with solar chargers and sensors that are activated by the movement of passers-by.
Berlin-based Japanese sound artist, music curator and DJ Mieko Suzuki explores the materiality of time and space. In her DJ sets and performances, for which she uses drones, field recordings, the crackling of electrical circuits, and fragments of vinyl records, she experiments with the unexpected and unconventional. In doing so, she combines the raw power of sound waves with subtle modulations, allowing a space to be sonically experienced.
As artist-in-residence 2022, she wants to invite visitors to the park to listen more consciously to the complex soundscape of nature and biodiversity around them. To this end, for her work “Listen To This Song”, she is placing several stools made from the wood of trees that have naturally fallen to the ground to form “listening stations” at various locations in the park. Another stool will later be installed in the entrance area of the museum where visitors can listen to her composition from field recordings with headphones and an audio player.
On July 20, Frankfurt composer and pianist Mathias Schabow and flutist Michaela Neuwirth from LumiMare invite music lovers to experience “Classic meets Jazz” under the stars, with music from Bach and Debussy to Jazz and Neo-Classic.
Museum opening hours: Wednesday, 1 June to Friday, 30 September 2022, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Concert: Wednesday, 20 July 2022, 8 pm
Kranich Museum & Hotel