ROSSMARKT3 presents a new commissioned work on the city square in Frankfurt/Main


October 28, 2011

OUTSIDE-HERE by Tamara Grcic

ROSSMARKT3 presents its newest commissioned work on the city square in Frankfurt/Main, Germany 

28 October 2011–30 April 2012

28 October 2011 on Roßmarkt square, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

ROSSMARKT3 is pleased to present the new commissioned work of the artist Tamara Grcic “outside-here” to the public on the 28 October 2011. Participation is the fundamental idea of the role-model project in Frankfurt: for the second year a group of young voluntary citizens has been formed, on the initiative of the sculpture project, to advocate for temporary art in the public space. Earlier this year the internationally renowned artist Tamara Grcic, who lives in Frankfurt, was chosen from a high-profile shortlist as the favourite of the 25 young people who were acting as representatives of the urban citizens and she was commissioned with the work. From October to April 2012 the Rossmarkt, which is normally widely used, will be exclusively dedicated to the artwork conceived each year especially for the site.

A new form of artistic collaboration with a ‘community’ is the foundation of the sculpture project for the Rossmarkt in Frankfurt: the young people, brought together from many parts of the city by the project, will initially work as a jury in order to chose their artist. Leading on from this, they will accompany her during the period of conception and realisation like a group of young curators (nonetheless amateurs); are critics, insiders, thought participators of the process of creation.

With the installation OUTSIDE-HERE for the Rossmarkt, Tamara Grcic has conceived an astonishing vehicle—a drivable time and sound machine—which throughout the winter will oscillate between standstill and movement, thus incorporating the empty vastness of the square in order to give it a shared time concept as used to be the case with a clock tower on a public square. As the vehicle slowly reproduces the movement of the people on this square, the sound breaks through the space and contributes structure to man and site. Full of expectation one will discover which sound will resonate from the white wooden horns of the vehicle every hour. A further group of collaborators for the artwork is formed in the co-operation of the city’s musicians and sound artists, who are integrated as providers and composers of the hourly sounds. This hourly sound will change over the months in irregular intervals—the artwork as ‘work in progress’ in an analogy to the character of the whole project. The uninterrupted ticking of time remains as a continuum.

The background of the art project is the controversial Rossmarkt in Frankfurt: a site that has been torn out of the inner city context through the bombings of the 2nd World War, its century-old history no longer readable following the many reconstructions. The citizens of Frankfurt could never quite rebuild this lost connection, do not know the past of this site, and see in it a large empty surface to which they cannot form an emotional connection. An opposition to the indifference and aversion has now been formed—especially against the strong commercial usage of the square by the city’s planners in allowing exchangeable folk exhibitions.

It is at this point that the art comes in. Not as decorum or as a measure of urban development, function free, far from city furnishings, café, benches, flowerpots and against expectations as to how art must ‘beautify’ or ‘make more boring’: it is exactly at such a difficult site that art can lend identity, is only allowed to be self-referential, could refer to the site above and beyond itself, and has the possibility to make the invisible visible, to make that which was shut down audible again, and above all to lead the people in the city back into dialogue and to not simply be something set aside. This is why the temporary format was chosen—in order to stimulate controversial discussion by means of the consecutive artworks on the site and in order to illustrate how different the artistic approaches to the Rossmarkt can be.

In the totally emptied stony space, the project organisers see a surface waiting to be rediscovered again after the last citizen-remote transformation: empty except for the two solitary monuments of Gutenberg and Goethe as well as a few rows of trees. The object here is to awaken the desire of the people of Frankfurt to once again take possession of the square:  attracting interest through an artistic work and gaining revitalisation by means of a citizens project in which the civilian society itself conducts urban development, driven by its own sustainable needs. The installation of the artistic work stands for a visualisation of the citizen’s urban space and thereby questions the anonymous inner city building measures. The jury consists of young adults who stand before their school leaving examination and who voluntarily decided to participate. Here they practice taking on responsibility in a citizen’s project; they are also delegates of their schools and at the same time representatives of the city’s inhabitants. In the run-up, workshops took place with the curator, Juliane von Herz and various experts from the field of art, architecture and urban development, and collectively an interdisciplinary detailed study of the Rossmarkt was devised.

Initially the project is due to run for three years and a different artist will create a temporary artwork for the square for a six-month period. By means of the differing artistic interpretations the square may find its way back into the collective memory of the city.

The project Rossmarkt3 is primarily sponsored by Frankfurt’s Cultural Office, as well as by foundations, both national and from Frankfurt itself, who in particular promote education and sponsorship of young people, as well as the support of art and culture. Together with the project’s participants, they send out a signal of urban citizen’s strength.

Curator: Juliane von Herz

Organised by:
Ulmenstrasse 23-25
D-60323 Frankfurt /Main 

For images and information
ROSSMARKT3 project office:
Steffi Schrauff schrauff [​at​]
Juliane von Herz vonherz [​at​], phone +49 173 6952556 or +49 69 90501598
General information:
info [​at​]
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A catalogue will be published soon with essays by Dr. Nina Möntmann and Dirck Möllmann and others.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Frankfurt, Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft, Ernst Max von Grunelius-Stiftung, BHF-Bank-Stiftung, Graf von Westphalen, Wedding + Partner

MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Institut für Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt