23.05.2003

Portikus is being demolished! Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset will have the outer walls of the exhibition hall prized open and taken down. All that will remain is the floor, the roof and the skylight, visible from the inside, over a frame of supporting wall pillars. This intervention will mark the end of a 16-year exhibition history and at the same time physically open Portikus, as a prototype of the classical white cube, to public urban space. The closed institutional space will be given up and become part of the surrounding park, the large construction site of the adjacent hospital, and the access road coming from the east. With Spaced Out/Powerless Structures, Fig. 211, the exhibition space will dissolve, it will implode.

We are happy, that Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset proposed to choreograph the change of place for Portikus as an institution and the demolition of the exhibition architecture as a result of the plans to reconstruct the former municipal library. The two artists were already invited for an exhibition at Portikus in 2001. Back then, with their installation Powerless Structures, Fig. 111 Elmgreen & Dragset curved the floor and skylight of the hall towards each other by means of attached constructions. This was an ironic comment on the white cube's convention of rational three-dimensionality. Floor, ceiling and walls appeared to have given up their solid materiality; one had the impression that the room was elastic and surrounded by permeable membranes. The two projects by Elmgreen & Dragset frame a series of exhibitions, most of which were attempts to abandon the spatial confinement of the art space, physically or imaginary. The self-dissolution to be choreographed by Elmgreen & Dragset in the final conclusion of this expansive logic.

On May 23, 2003 we want to celebrate the good-bye to the well-known space behind the classicistic fassade with those interested, the artists and the friends of Portikus. Also, the new Portikus e.V. will introduce itself, an association of citizens who are supporting the Portikus┬┤ exhibitions program by non-material and material means, especially now in the rather difficult times of changing place.

Until the new Portikus building on an island on the river Main next to the city┬┤s oldest bridge is completed, we are planning a new exhibitions series in the Leinwandhaus, next to the Frankfurt dome. Artist Tobias Rehberger has designed the interiors, including an exhibition space as well as the office and the bookstore. Starting in July 2003 we have scheduled exhibitions and presentations with Louise Lawler, Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Kirsten Pieroth, Cildo Meireles, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Tobias Rehberger, Bas Jan Ader, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen and many others.