Julian Westermann, Survival Kit, Pvc Foil, Various objects (wood, aluminium, textile, algae, 600 x 100 cm, 2020. Foto: Mihnea Zier.

For the exhibition OUTSIDE, artists from various disciplines collaboratively transform the former casino on Waldhausener Straße in Mönchengladbach into a temporary exhibition space. Referring to the significance of textile and product design in the Lower Rhine region, the artists developed textile, object-like and scenic works for the exhibition which question common classifications of objects ranging between art, design and functionality and playfully open up new perspectives.

The exhibition’s starting point is involvement with the notion of the outside. This encounter ranges from clothing, serving as a means of demarcation and identity constitution, to spatial definitions of an outside located beyond a clearly marked interior space, to the outside as something that lies beyond habits, unambiguity and predetermined structures.

Manuel Cornelius, Untitled, Agar Jelly, Food Colouring, Insect Protection Net, 2020.

White walls, net-like scaffolding and strange, seemingly functional objects oscillating between utilitarian objects, works of art and design objects play with the aesthetics of pop-up stores in the first exhibition space. While the individual objects merge into a whole, a draft of the future for the vacant space in Waldhausener Strasse is created, taking the result of gentrification processes ad absurdum. A spiral staircase leads to the basement. In the winding rooms, different sceneries open up, luring visitors out of their own comfort zone and confronting them with situations and objects that initially have little to do with the outside world and the vision of the future conceived on the upper floor. Everyday objects become relics, scenes from different times overlap with images from the here and now. The temporary exhibition space turns into a trail through time, blurring the boundaries between the everyday and a fictional narrative.

The exhibition OUTSIDE shows how small shifts can question habitual classifications of objects, spaces and their functions and sharpen one’s perception for experiences outside the rationally possible. In an open, dualistic dialogue with the exhibition INSIDE (July 2020, Nails Projectroom, Birkenstraße 61, 40233Düsseldorf), OUTSIDE outlines ideas of belonging and demarcation.

Manuel Cornelius, Popstars Dancing, Video, 04.42 min, 2017
Manuel Cornelius, for a clean forest, Agar jelly, food coloring, 3D printed parts, trash cans, 140 x 40 x 40 cm, 2020.

How can artists use existing free spaces and how can they create new ones? What role does art play in the revitalization of vacancies and the gentrification of cities? How can artists deal with the functionalization of art for the purpose of gentrification? How can boundaries to the outside world be questioned and extended? And last but not least: How can we overcome thinking in terms of entities and unambiguity in favor of complexity? 

OUTSIDE is a project of the network initiative INTER- (founded in 2019) and was developed by artists and theorists during an interdisciplinary think tank. INTER- pursues a collaborative and non-hierarchical approach at the intersection of theory and practice in the arts. Two pilot projects that relate to each other both in terms of content and form will form the prelude to the future work of the initiative and question apparent opposites of inside and outside, theory and practice, autonomy and community, which will be explored in artistic processes during the project. The project initiative aims for a collective exhibition practice and the cross-regional linking of young cultural actors, from which further collaborative projects will emerge.


Oliver Arendt | Silke Berg | Svetlana Chernyshova | Manuel Cornelius | Anne Diestelkamp | Lillyan Francis | Friederike Haug | Ae Ran Kim | Tammo Lünemann | LYCS Kollektiv (Rike Dröscher I Sabrina Podemski) in collaboration with DOBSTROH | Paulina Seyfried | Julian Westermann

In collaboration with Salat Magazin |Schrei auf e.V. and nextmuseum.io

Exhibition duration:

22 June – 12 July 2020

Opening Hours

Saturday & Sunday 12- 6pm and by appointment


Waldhausener Straße 2 – 6,  41061 Mönchengladbach 

Funded by Ministerium für Kultur und Wirtschaft des Landes NRW (Regionale Kulturpolitik Niederrhein). With the kind support of Kulturbüro Mönchengladbach.

OUTSIDE is part of Rheinischer Kultursommer 2020.