Annett Zinsmeister– Urban Shelter?
Start Date 30/09/2016
End Date 26/02/2017
Location BNKR, Ungererstrasse 158, 80805 Munich 
Country Germany 
Description While the previous exhibition at BNKR, “In the Room with_”, addressed the artistic appropriation of space itself, the current solo exhibition by German artist Annett Zinsmeister now examines the specific history, meaning and transience of shelters as protective spaces. With installations, projections and interventions, the artist exposes aspects and traces of the past and present in the former overground bunker to explore the highly topical question: What form does shelter take today? Sheltering civilians in urban areas is relevant today more than ever. While earlier dwellings and city foundations were also built to serve as a defence against attacks, today architecture and cities can hardly fulfil this elementary obligation when faced with the technological advancements made during the 20th and 21st centuries. The divestiture, privatisation and conversion of former bunkers is a reaction to the loss of their original function. Now people are more likely to seek refuge within the walls of their own living spaces. The building in which BNKR is located, a bunker constructed in 1943 in Ungererstrasse in Munich, is an ideal site for a multifaceted confrontation with the issue of protection and shelters. Here, shelter can be experienced as a structural mass, and also stands for a bygone concept of protection. In the contemporary transformation of the bunker, with its new use and orientation as an art space, a tension is created that oscillates between remembering and forgetting, past and future. Using a combination of installation elements, virtual openings in the space, as well as wall and floor projections, Annett Zinsmeister divides the two levels of exhibition space in temporally distinct zones. The lower level focuses on the bunker’s past, addressing issues such as war, threat and destruction, but also hope and visions of the future. Projections weave together a genealogy of cities as shelters with designs for ideal cities and utopian urban visions. The artist also makes reference to the adaptation of bunkers after the Second World War to protect against ABC (atomic, biological, chemical) warfare, which included the installation of sand filters. In the exhibition, sand – both as a bearer of history (sediments of history) and a building material used in bunker construction – literally prepares the floor for the juxtaposition of form and content. On the ground floor, the artist directs her attention to the bunker in its present-day situation. The building’s architecture as it appears today is more closely examined as a manifestation of transformed history. The interplay between modernisation and the historical traces that are inscribed in the building’s structure comes to the fore. Room-in-room installations based on detail shots reflect, refract and transform the unique nature of the bunker architecture to reveal new perspectives that are analytical, aesthetic, visionary and illusory. The exhibition intensifies over the course of its duration through an accompanying event programme, as experts from the fields of art, architecture and science address questions on the past, present and future of shelters. 
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