DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam History and Present – A Statement
The former terrace restaurant "Minsk" in Potsdam, built in the 1970s in the modernist style of the GDR, is a place rich in memories and identity for a lot of people in Potsdam. Just as the architecture from the former GDR has been preserved, we’ve also opted for the preservation of the historic name "Minsk“. Through the means of art, the exhibition venue critically grapples with the chapter in history in which it was created.
From the present we reflect upon the past, in the conviction that our contemporary moment can’t be understood without it. The complexity and contradictory nature of life experiences forms the foundation of our program. We thereby differentiate between political systems and the people who live within them.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is not a museum in the classical sense but rather a place for encounters with art, history, and stories.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam opens on September 24, 2022
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is the newest project of the Hasso Plattner Foundation. On September 24, 2022, the new institution will open to the public with the two exhibitions: Wolfgang Mattheuer: The Neighbour Who Wants to Fly and Stan Douglas: Potsdamer Schrebergärten. The former terrace restaurant “Minsk”—built in the 1970s in the modernist style of the GDR—thus becomes a place for encounters between modern and contemporary art. In the future, works from the former GDR, which are part of the Hasso Plattner Collection, will be shown here in new contexts.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam enables dialogues between art and history
Already in April of this year, the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi (*1961 in Sibiu) was inaugurating the walls of the future exhibition spaces with his drawings. Perjovschi has been working in this medium since the early 1990s, enabling him to react spontaneously to his surroundings. “Dan Perjovschi’s intervention is already inscribing our program onto the walls of DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam one year before the opening,” explains founding director Paola Malavassi. “His sketches, reduced to a striking linearity, are both humorous and critical, posing uncomfortable questions and exposing contradictions.” The title of Perjovschi’s intervention at DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is “For No One And Everyone,” referring to the specific environment of the construction site that is concealed from public view. However, even if the site remains currently inaccessible, the drawings are visible via FUNK.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam looks forwards, backwards, and to the side
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam shows art from the former GDR in dialogue with contemporary art and other disciplines. DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam will start its regular exhibition activities in autumn 2022. The extensive holdings of works by artists from the former GDR in the Hasso Plattner Collection, which has been built up over years, will form the point of departure for the program. The two opening exhibitions are presenting two artists from the collection: the painter Wolfgang Mattheuer (*1927 in Reichenbach/Vogtland; † 2004) and the photographer and filmmaker Stan Douglas (*1960 in Vancouver). Over the years, Hasso Plattner has acquired numerous depictions of landscapes and gardens by Wolfgang Mattheuer. Last year the series of photographs „Potsdamer Schrebergärten“ was purchased, which Stan Douglas shot in Potsdam in the early 1990s, as part of the DAAD program. Together, these exhibitions direct our attention to both nature and the Potsdam cityscape. Such juxtapositions of works of art in the collection and contemporary practices will become a trademark of DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam’s work.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is a venue for encounters
The memory of many Potsdam residents of the restaurant on the Brauhausberg hill lives on. In the wake of its closure in the mid-1990s, it became visibly neglected, and it appeared that the ruin was destined to be demolished. It was the people of Potsdam who became committed to saving the building. In 2019 the Hasso Plattner Foundation acquired the building in order to preserve it and make it accessible to the public once again.
“For many people in Potsdam, the “old Minsk” is a site of memories,” says Stefanie Plattner, who is responsible for this project on behalf of the Hasso Plattner Foundation, “and I hope that in the future it will attract interesting encounters and discussions beyond the actual exhibitions. DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam will no longer be just the site of memories, but also a venue for many new experiences for the people of Potsdam.”
In 2019 students at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam initiated, produced, and transmitted a radio program titled „mein minsk – gebaut. geliebt. vergessen?“ (my minsk – constructed. loved. forgotten?). As the debate about the demolition of the former terrace restaurant was reaching its climax, the project team asked contemporary witnesses, protagonists, and experts: What is actually so special about the “Minsk”? What makes this building unique? How did people use to work, eat, or dance there?
It was a search for lingering traces that DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam would like to continue.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is looking for contemporary witnesses to the former “Minsk” terrace restaurant. Do you have photographs, film footage, old invitations, or personal memories that you would like to share? We look forward to hearing from you by post or email: email@example.com.