Space for contemporary art
Simultanhalle - Room for Contemporary Art is a project space in Cologne, which was founded in 1983 by the Czech artist Eva Janošková and since then, presents a continuous exhibition program.
The building was originally intended as an architectural model for the new building of the Museum Ludwig, one of the largest museums in Germany, which houses, among other things, the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig, one of the most attentive collector pairs of American pop art. In 1979, the architect duo Busmann + Haberer built a cubic model building on the outskirts of Cologne on a secluded schoolyard. The original purpose of the test building was the testing of the lighting, wall and floor coverings and the practicability of the planned shed roof construction, which later became a distinctive feature of the final museum building.
Although originally, the temporary building was to be demolished after completion of the construction project in 1983, Janošková, who at the time had moved into a studio on the same site, organized exhibitions with friends and studio colleagues. A year later, she managed to obtain funding from the Municipal Office of Culture for the projects, which led to an ongoing exhibition practice. In affectionately called "Simultan-Halle" in internal documents of the city of Cologne, this meaningful designation quickly became the official name both for model making and for the idea of a freely available exhibition space with a museum character.
From 1989, a board of trustees consisting of a changing compilation of actors from the Cologne art scene took over the organization of exhibitions with local and international artists in the hall. Since then, the project space has been a constant and relevant companion in the promotion of art practice in the region and also serves as a platform for international events. The organizing team consists of a free number of artists and theoreticians whose structure is based on self-organization and the equal participation of all persons involved. The composition of the board of trustees is based on an organic principle and changes when a member leaves with the recommendation of the following. The exhibition program is therefore not guided by a singular curatorial line, but represents a diverse constellation of artistic interests.
By locating the simultaneous hall in the civic suburb of Volkhoven near the satellite town of Chorweiler, the hall is far away from the often fast-moving art of a big city and thus offers the possibility of a decelerated atmosphere.
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