Artists in Wittenberger Weg

Ingke Günther & Jörg Wagner

In August 2021, Ingke Günther and Jörg Wagner were fellows at Wittenberger Weg.
From 17 to 21 August, with DA SEIN_KLEINE BRÖTCHEN BACKEN (BEING THERE_BAKING SMALL BUNS) they invited residents and everyone interested to the platform on Wittenberger Weg.

First day’s slogan — cleaning, repairing, building, dancing, baking

The platform is a raft and drifts through the rain. We arrive, set up, work our way down. It’s chilly and we dance ourselves warm. Root brushes, yeast dough and red ponchos rule the day. Small buns, of course, are also available when it rains. Six hours of concentration and energy on the raft—now we are HERE.

Second day’s slogan — building differently, scrubbing further, baking and dancing again, waiting

With us HERE today are those who are otherwise THERE. “Your raft is called a stage,” say the children and take over the root brushes. Green moss water flows over concrete. The flying bamboo structure no longer needs to be erected as a storm emergency solution—it has grown. “What are you doing? Can I help?” Two sentences that will accompany the next few days. The dough feels good. Children’s hands are shaping. We don’t get to wait, we get busy. The baking tray is quickly eaten. Warm rolls in the stomach.

Third day’s slogan — continuing, taking a break, writing

Ritual: Every day on stage begins with building the shelter for us and the cooker. We rehearse and vary. The platform is a surface, but also a protective space. Here the children of the settlement surge like waves and suddenly disappear again. It is a coming and going. We are here, moving on and taking a break, and we get visitors from the city. Lettering grows on the concrete ring around the space. Luminous, it surrounds the stage and tells of our activities on site.

Fourth day’s slogan — BE HERE + THERE

Today the stage becomes a guest room. The Wittenberger Weg is part of the ” Kunstpunkte”. We double the amount of dough and build the bamboo roof a bit bigger. “EVERYONE sees what we do,” says Milano, who with his brother has long since become part of the Witti stage family and helps every day. Our actions radiate into the settlement—still hot buns are carried away by running children. People from HERE and THERE mingle in the guest room. The summer night transforms the platform and its surroundings into a film set. The last guests leave at midnight.

Fifth day’s slogan — repeat and table

The platform pretends to be a sun deck today. We sweat and set up the bamboo shelter as beautifully crooked as never before. And the bakery is getting fuller: the teams are changing. There is kneading, shaping, maintenance, tasting and distribution. Dealing with DA_SEIN (BEING_THERE) in the form of word boards unfolds as if by itself. Variations and ideas for games are found. A choir that chants “HERE! HERE! BE!” murmurs or shouts swells again and again.

Sixth day’s slogan — staying and leaving

Our last day on the raft/the stage/the guest room/the sun deck. The circle closes with the construction of a storm-proof tent version. But the announced storm fails to materialise. The dog from the city—big, white and friendly—delights the children. We bake, play, talk, lounge. The sun supports an unambitious DA_SEIN (BEING_THERE). We initiate our farewell by removing the letters from the concrete ring. We take the moulded sphere containing all the Witti stage words with us. For the last time we dismantle and clear away. We leave.

Short biographies

The artist couple has been working together since 1999 and is concerned with reflecting on the close range of everyday life. The focus is on contextual and process-oriented projects, interventions in public space and designed situations that provoke encounters. They are interested in phenomena and places of the immediate reality of life—such as the evening meal, kiosk or rest area.

Ingke Günther (M. A.) studied art education and art history; Jörg Wagner completed a guest course at the Städelschule and sees himself as an autodidact. He is currently an artistic assistant at the Institute for Art Education at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. Together, Günther/Wagner held the visiting professorship in art there from 2014 to 2016. The artist couple has chosen a focus in life and work beyond the artistic centres. Among other things, they were invited to the Festival of Regions, as project fellows at the DA Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst or to the Gropiusstadt pilot project. Otherwise, their joy in exchange is reflected in the curatorial and artistic work of the interdisciplinary artists’ collective gärtnerpflichten.