“Cities are always idiosyncratic” writes the sociologist Armin Nassehi in the edition of Stadt. Ansichten published in the Kursbuch series in June 2017. In cities things convene that don’t belong together. Whether we like it or not. Diversity and multiplicity – not as a normative concept but as a consequence of a place where everything happens simultaneously and overlaps, where not just dissent but indifference can prevail: in cities it’s above all foreign entities that come together. Urbanity stands for a practice that through the interchange of distinct elements or by maintaining a distance based on mutual recognition extraordinary forms of life and culture emerge and co-exist alongside one another. The necessarily conflictual dynamic inherent to the nature of urbanity, as described by Nassehi, has always stood in contrast to the attempt to generate unity – through controls, planning, etc. This tension, which has especially influenced societal development in the 20th century, is the focus of the short film programme Stadtkörper (Urban Bodies). Three artistic works are presented that utilize essayistic and performative techniques to explore, imaginatively expand or intervene in the fractal spaces of the city. The concept of the body serves as a metaphor to describe urbanity as an organic construct that must be nurtured and maintained and that consistently defies a purely rational order.
Introduction and moderation: Florian Wüst
With special guest: Juliane Henrich