An artistic project carried out by students of the Institute for Art Pedagogy at the Justus Liebig University (JLU) in Gießen

What is a strange place? This question was the basis for individual research in the seminar entitled STRANGE PLACES, which ended with an exhibition in the summer semester of 2011. It was also the occasion for showing the installations and site-specific works developed during the two-phased seminar at the Institute in Gießen. The question prompted entirely different, perhaps even contradictory, answers and memories. Strange does not always mean unfamiliar. For example, something can appear unusual or strange when what we are used to is changed by an intervention or a different perspective. The title of the seminar and the exhibition refers to a place which every student determined individually and which, in a lengthy process, ultimately led to an installation relating to the specific site.

At the beginning of the project the students engaged in personal research, seeking out and investigating places and spaces, following their own personal agenda and inclinations. The next task was to select individual aspects from this research, which were later used in texts, photos, drawings or models to delineate the initial designs of their spatial work.

Transforming a mental construct or a memory into a constructed form, such as a sculpture or an image, is a challenge that leads directly to the practice of contemporary art. The fear of losing the essence of an idea in its concretization is perhaps similar to the concern of being misunderstood. But a work of art that must be read "correctly" has already lost half of its credibility. The process of transformation into a concrete form requires distance to the emotional associations connected to the idea. An installation or sculpture is expressed in a pictorial language that interacts with the given space, its proportions and history, with the materials and their characteristics, with concrete objects and their meaning, and places them in a semantic relationship to each other. The content of the work cannot be reduced to a narration; rather it is experienced linguistically, concretely and also physically.

With works by Eric Appelmann, Sandra Escher, Christina Hecht, Sarah Häcker, Raffaella Kux, Lisa Rübel and Stefanie Schneider.
Christina Hecht, no Title
Wood, metal, varnish, 325 x 227 x 120 cm
Installation as part of the project Fremd Gehen,
Stephanstrasse 41, Gießen 2011