Habitat Happy shows international perspectives on housing, eviction and urban poverty. On the one hand, the exhibited works present the topic as a current issue in contemporary art and while also documenting strategies of creative protest. For example, the Pixação painters from Sao Paulo, use graffiti to protest against socio-spatial segregation in São Paulo, Brazil, and occupy public space where exclusion and the separation between the rich and the poor is most apparent – on the facades of houses. The Kollektiv Peng, working between Berlin and Leipzig, launched a media-effective movement against ruthless landlords with their campaign "Haunted Landlord". Rocco und seine Brüder use provocative actions in public spaces to address the precarious situation of the Berlin housing market.
With a sculpture produced specifically for the exhibition and its installation in urban space, the Mexican artist Amauta Garcia moves beyond the exhibition space – her protest sculptures question the dream of owning a home and also allow conclusions to be drawn referring to our own individual fears and wishes about living space.
Background Information: When Ulay stole the art work "The Poor Poet" from the Neue Nationalgalerie in 1976 and temporarily installed it in the flat of a Turkish guest worker, he waned to criticize the discrimination against Turkish immigrants, but at the same time created a space for associations between private housing and its marginalized residents, as well as between public institutions and the role of art. Spitzweg, who created the painting in 1839, certainly never had to live in such a poor attic room as he portrays it in his most famous work. And yet he illustrates, albeit in a romantic way, the precarious living conditions of a broad section of the population of his time. In Berlin, the draftsman Heinrich Zille documents the "Berlin slums" a few years later and shapes the image of run-down and overcrowded tenements at the beginning of the 20th century.
From Zille’s "Milljöh" to the "Habitat" in the Schwarzenberg House, the group exhibition puts contemporary issues and challenges around the topic of housing in the emerging continuity of lacking housing facilities and precarious living conditions.
International artists, some of whom are producing work specifically for this exhibition, direct the visitor’s gaze to contexts such as luxury housing construction and the aesthetic unification of intimate spaces, as designs resemble one another. Further our (childhood) dream homes and the social development in which people increasingly fear for the loss of their living space are examined.