DAS MINSK is under construction and will open in spring 2022 on the Brauhausberg hill in Potsdam
DAS MINSK in Potsdam is the Hasso Plattner Foundation’s newest project. The “Minsk,” a former terrace restaurant – constructed during the 1970s in the GDR (German Democratic Republic) modernist style – is becoming a venue for modern and contemporary art. It will be providing new contexts for the display of works of art from the former GDR, belonging to the Hasso Plattner Collection. The opening of the exhibition venue is planned for spring 2022. Now, a year earlier, DAS MINSK is starting the dialogue with the public with a first artistic intervention by Dan Perjovschi within the construction site itself and on the digital MINSK FUNK platform, where news about the development of DAS MINSK will be published bit by bit.
DAS MINSK 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 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 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 MINSK FUNK.
DAS MINSK looks forwards, backwards, and to the side
DAS MINSK shows art from the former GDR in dialogue with contemporary art and other disciplines. DAS MINSK will start its regular exhibition activities in spring 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. The artist Olaf Nicolai (*1962 in Halle/Saale) has been invited to respond to the exhibitions. In dialogue with the representations of landscape, Olaf Nicolai is developing site-specific works for DAS MINSK, which will be on view from summer 2022. Such juxtapositions of works of art in the collection and contemporary practices will become a trademark of DAS MINSK’s work.
DAS MINSK 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 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 would like to continue.
DAS MINSK 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.