23. August 2020


Spielstraße Munich 1972

From 23 August to 1 November 2020, the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl hosts the exhibition entitled ‘Die Spielstraße München 1972: Kunst als Kommentar zu den olympischen Spielen. Eine Ausstellung aus dem Archiv Ruhnau.’ The cooperation project between Urbane Künste Ruhr and Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl presents previously unpublished archival material on a project within the artistic programme for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and relates its concept to current social developments. With a variety of original objects, documents and a film installation from the Archiv Ruhnau, the exhibition provides an insight into the development and implementation of the participatory and performative project in the context of the major sporting event.

In harmony with the Olympic idea of de Coubertin, the Spielstraße pursued the aim of creating a cultural and artistic offer that would contribute towards international understanding alongside to the athletic competition. As director-general of the project, the architect Werner Ruhnau, who had become famous for innovative theatre buildings including the Musiktheater im Revier, which opened in Gelsenkirchen in 1959, conceived a programme meant to be participatory and accessible to an international audience with the aid of a variable stage architecture. Anita Ruhnau also invited visual artists to produce works of art on location on a daily basis. With its content built around the Olympic Games and current events, and characterised at the same time by a playful and festive character, the play street [Spielstraße] was bore the marks of a forward-looking and multi-layered. Due to the attack on the Israeli team on 5 September 1972, however, the play street was interrupted and attracted scant notice thereafter.

Curated jointly by Georg Elben (Director Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl), Britta Peters (Artistic Director Urbane Künste Ruhr) and Jana Kerima Stolzer (freelance artist), the exhibition reflects the conceptual and substantive characteristics of the play street in the context of current developments. The ecological as well as the social climate have a special role to play in this regard. The critique of consumerism, together with participation and the importance of congregating in the public space were all central themes even in 1972; today, they can be re-situated as part of the exhibition project entitled ‘Ruhr Ding: Klima’ by Urbane Künste Ruhr. Spielstraße München 1972 opens as the first project that is chronologically separate from Ruhr Ding: Klima. The overall project has been postponed for one year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and will now take place from 8 May through 27 June 2021.

An programme of events, guided tours and an exhibition catalogue will accompany and examine the multifaceted relationships that exist between sports, art and society. The exhibition will also offer the Siebdruck-Bühne – a screen-printing workshop with artist Béla Pablo Janssen. Please refer to the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl website for dates and further details.