In the year 2002, ten years after the production in HALLE 14 was shut down, the Federkiel Foundation For Contemporary Art started using parts of the building for art installations, exhibitions and events. Since then the building has been dedicated to non-profit projects. For several years, the third floor of HALLE 14 was used as an exhibition space, however without restoration and only in the warm season due to the lack of heating. During that time, the other floors (each with a size of about 4.000 m2) were disused or temporarily used by artists. Since 2007, the development and renovation of HALLE 14 are dominant issues. Besides the restoration of roof and facade, which were completed in 2009, a visitor centre was built on the ground floor. In addition, about one third of the building are now renovated and developed for permanent use. Some of these spaces are used by HALLE 14 association for its various projects. Other spaces are used by the partners affiliated with HALLE 14 who cooperate for the joint purposes of the art centre.
Activities carried out
Within the Pilot Action in SECOND CHANCE project a total of 11 studios were installed on the first floor of HALLE 14, combining the charm of the historic factory buildings with new architectural elements.
The installation started in August 2011 when the southern part of HALLE 14’s first floor (about 2.000 m²) was divided into smaller sections. Walls were erected and studios of the size between 77 and 140 m² including a mutual hallway were developed. This marked the first construction of smaller units in the building, made for individual use and equipped with electric installation, heating, sprinklers, light, external sanitary facilities, internet, suitable for the production and presentation of all kinds of art.
When the installation ended in December 2011 HALLE 14 started to promote the studios to artists from Leipzig, entire Germany and abroad. The newly developed studios eventually gave the possibility of cultural exchange with artists and art institutions from all over the word. By February 2012 individual artists but also artists groups started to move in.
The HALLE 14 studios are spaces for the production and presentation of new artwork that allow a face-to-face interaction between artist and audience. The studios have become already in this short time a key place that contributes to the social cohesion of the neighbourhood – the so-called art cosmos Spinnerei – and gives the opportunity for cooperation with international institutions and international exchange in the field of fine arts.
The Pilot Action had been managed by HALLE 14 working closely together with the building’s owner the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH. Therefore the erection and administration of the studios in the art centre had been conceived as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between HALLE 14 and the owner of the Spinnerei site, the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH. Within the agreement the company remains the owner of the studios. HALLE 14 gains the rights to use them for artistic purposes. This signed agreement will remain valid at least until the 31.12.2024.
Impact, results and experiences
Alongside the exhibitions, art education, library and talk series, an international studio programme is the fifth core-project of HALLE 14. For more than five years, the setup of the programme was planned and discussed, but there were no studios or individual workspaces in the building to realise such kind of programme. It was the pilot investment of the SECOND CHANCE project that made the establishment of the international studio programme possible.
Currently, all studios are used by artists from Germany and abroad as well as by two residence programmes. The artists have one-year contracts and work independently from HALLE 14. Three studios host HALLE 14’s international studio programme. Within this framework HALLE 14 organises artist residencies in cooperation with national and international cultural institutions, municipalities, academies or galleries. The partner institutions provide the financial means to send artists to Leipzig for several months. Depending on the scholarships lengths, the studios are available for the artists, so they can work intensively on new ideas, projects and artwork without any pressure or financial worries. They can allow themselves to be inspired by new subjects and by the city of Leipzig. Simultaneously they bring new and diverse artistic impulses into the city.
Through the Cultural Exchange within SECOND CHANCE two artists from the project partners in Ljubljana and Venice were sent to Leipzig. For four months they were working in the HALLE 14 studios, presented themselves and their work at artist talks and open studios. Such short- and medium-term visiting artists complement the internationalisation of the Spinnerei and the activities of the art centre HALLE 14.
Aspects of sustainability
It is essential that all partnerships follow the non-profit concept of HALLE 14. According to the art centre’s mission statement and the conditions of the public funding for all restoration activities, the non-profit status and the non-profit management are mandatory. The partner concept helps to stabilise a workable financial situation of the non-profit art centre that opens its projects to everybody.
The sustainable use of the studios is guaranteed at least until 31.12.2024 but most likely even beyond that date. The Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH is committed to continue using the space for artistic and cultural purposes for many years to come because the investment increases the attractiveness of the entire Spinnerei site for the artist scene worldwide.