Down Town Gallery Krefeld

This was my third streetart exposition project in the Krefeld gallery series I did in colaboration with the city marketing Krefeld.

This time 21 local and international artists filled up a world war bunker within 5 days with their artworks concerning the topic ” Shelter for humanity and human dignity”

After the Wood Art Gallery 2015 and the Rhine Side Gallery 2017 the citizens and visitors of Krefeld were again asked to discover the creation of a new public pop up art gallery. In 2019 we were in the center of the city close to the main station!!! Many visitors have seen this place now from a very different perspective as we transformed it from a bunker into an art gallery where artists from different countries colaborate and send critical or philosophical messages, utopies and ideas to make the world a better place.

Groupsphoto of the artists that created the Downtown Gallery (Foto by Adry Del Rocio)

All together we created a narritive space in which every square centimeter carries meaning and in which the stories of the artists find shelter and connection.

The Down Town Gallery is in the city center but anyway there is a distance to everyday life as it is a closed and dark building, with deeper floors in which the citysounds completely disappear. This isolation makes it possible that the visitor can completely get into the stories, poetry and atmosphere of the place in which the past meets the present and the future.

By means of a coherent scenery and setting, a wide targetgroup was moved to think about contemporary questions. The aim was to transport knowledge and to stimulate the courage of the visitors to follow their own perception and opinion and to support the belief in the community and the world. The experience of the paintings and the space should touch the visitor and make him get deep into it and involved. That is why dialogue and interaction are the central elements of the concept of the exposition.

Using connecting elements

For me it was a challenging but very valuable task to sort the artist’s ideas they came up with at the end of our first meeting day in the bunker, and write a whole storyline for it in order to connect them logically and thematically. I had only one night to do that, because the next day I already had to give everybody her or his painting place. During this night I had the idea to led the exposition appear like a visualized dialougue between the artists. When they told me their ideas I realized that some ideas were connected, had the same topic or were even a continuation of the idea of the other artist. After trial and error I found out a logical orden for the artists dialogue that relate everything to each other.

Day 1: Alex Tubuku explains his idea to the group

Other connecting elements were the nameboards Fabio Fedele painted for every artist in the same ornamental style next to the paintings. Hoker One also wrote the titles of the paintings in his perfect freehand spraycan calligraphy on the arc over each paintingspace.

By this thematical orden of the paintings, visual connection, and lots of (team-) work we could make an international artist dialougue about contemporary society and politics visible and experienceable as one total common artwork.

This dialogue the visitor could find in the exposition flyer and further below on this page, which makes it easyer for the visitors to make contact with the paintings and the ideas behind.

I wrote also a final conclusion that sum up all the presented topics in an ambiguouse way that firstly often irritated the visitors but by changing the reading direction it provoked a surprised facial expression on many peoples faces. It was all about the decision everybody makes for positive or negative ideas or messages. It is all just a question of change of perspective!

Music and involved Childrens were Additional elements

Other elements of the exposition were a large banner of the visual of the song “Es beginnt in Dir – It starts inside of you” by the musician Maximnoise.

I heared this song in the radio and as it fit perfectly the theme of our exposition I booked him to make a concert at the openingday of the gallery.

Maximnoise giving a concert during the opening of the Down Town Gallery

The same music video was inspiration for my streetpainting workshop I realised in a house of the NS documentation in Krefeld some months before the gallery project. 11 Children from 8 to 15 years painted their own ideas concerning the theme human rights and human dignity. The finished paintings were later exposed in the Down Town Gallery. The childrens participation, their ideas and opinions concerning this theme were an important element of the Down Town Gallery.

Guided tours by the curator

During the production of the gallery and on the finishing day I led many guided visitor tours troughout the exposition explaining the concept and ideas behind. Giving some information about our artist group and the 3d streetart work in general. After the opening in July the gallery was open to the public for free entrance till the end of September. Other guided tours and activities (cinema, theater and dance) in the bunker were organized by the city marketing.

The artist dialogue

The final dialogue consists of main statements of the artists I collected by means of interviews.

Edgar Müller from Bad Ems, Germany

Human dignity is inviolable
“I ask myself, how can we save humankind, if today the human dignity seems so worthless? I am totally desperate.”

Gregor Wosik from Mönchengladbach, Germany

One wall – two worlds
“That is so true. Everyday and worldwide humans, who need help are forsaken. We need to get rid of the walls and borders that disconnect humans.”

Fabio Fedele from Rovigo, Italy

Unknown psychodrama
“Everybody has to decide if he follows positive or negative thoughts and messages.”

Ruben Poncia from Utrecht, Netherlands

“Some messages that firstly seem positive and attractive like messages of populism and nationalizm, can turn into something dangerouse. We have to be aware of the consequences of our thinking and actions.”

Victor Splash aus St. Petersburg, Russia

Alive surface
“I know that it is possible to influence and deform rigid structures no matter if they are physical or psychological nature.” from Krefeld, Germany

Parenthesis open
“You can include or exclude influences and thereby create shelter.”

Adry del Rocío from Guadalajara, Mexico

Una casa para sonar – A house to dream
“Shelter is something that especially the kids need who don’t have the choice in which environment they grow up.”

Alex Maksiov from Kiev, Ukraine

“I beliefe that the only place where humanity finds shelter is in the head.

Alex TUBUKU from Krefeld, Germany

Last man understanding
“Also the ideas and thoughts find shelter in the head”

Marya Kudasheva from St. -Petersburg, Russia

Shelter in my head
“I have the feeling that I should construct a bunker in my head in order to protect my Ideas and thoughts from the information overload. I want to be original and focuse on relevant topics.”

iVann Garc aus Guanajuato, Mexico

Flexible battle
“For me personally, this bunker evokes the question of why do wars and soldiers exist? Why are there conflicts between countries and groups of humans of which especially the minorities of the society suffer?”

Floya Jam from Toulon, France

Le rêve d’ Annabella – The dream of Annabella
Indeed it would be beautiful if all people would engage in a peaceful universe and if people who experience peaceful moments would be thankful for their wellbeing.

Danila Shmelev from Moscow, Russia

“But unfortunately it is a fact that many people experience physical and psychological violence every day.”

BeNer1 from Garbsen, Germany

Bayeza abafana abancane – The young boys are coming
“And unfortunately many children live in poverty with little perspective”

Carlos Alberto from Guadalajara, Mexico

A future that breathes
“I wish for a world in which we learn to coexist in harmony with humans and nature and protect both as our planet is the most important shelter for humankind.”

Case Maclaim from Frankfurt a.M., Germany

It’s that time again
“I have the feeling that worldwide there is such a big presure again, that we are just waiting for the big bang.”

Kerim Musanovic from Sarajevo, Bosnien Herzegovina

“Many things are already destroyed, but there are a few who still did not give up hope and fight for a better future.”

Jarek Tubuku from Krefeld, Germany

“Dream poppin'”
There are people who kommunicate their worries, wishes and dreams very clear and spread them.

Oldhaus from Neuss, Germany

Aesthetic education
“There are still people, who without prejudices search for an open contact and dialogue with each other.”

Hoker One from Mönchengladbach, Germany

“Perhaps the others will manage to find a way to reconnect with each other and with nature and strike a new path?”

Conclusion of the curator Fredda Wouters from Kevelaer, Germany

Change of perspective
I beliefe that only if the people recover their human-nature-connection, changes are possible and hope can exist.

Change of perspective

Love and peace is the hope of the world!

No. It is a fact

That both do not live here anymore

I do’t believe:

That peace is possible

That you can live better in love

that we have to protect earth radically

The truth is:

That our future on this planet is past remedy

I refuse to believe:

That we are a part of something that is bigger than ourselves

That we exist in order to change

It is obvious:

That poverty is omnipresent

That racism is impossible to overcome

That violence is part of everyday life

That our planet is in an unsolveable climate crisis

It is impossible for me to believe

That things will change into something better in the future

Time will tell:

That we can not help

And you are wrong if you beliefe

that we can

I am convinced:

You can not change things!

It would be a lie if I would say:

There is hope!

Now read the text from below to the top!

(Inspired by a text of Paul M. Zulehner)


I want to thank all the participating artists for their great work, helpful support and the inspiring community atmosphere they created in between each other during the whole project! It was a great synergy!

Another very big “thank you” goes to the partners from the city marceting Krefeld who did a great colaboration and made this unique opportunity possible for all of us. They always tried hard to fulfill all the requirements I asked for the project. That felt very appreciating and supportive.

Thank you all sponsors and supporters of the project!

Of course another very important part of the project is the owner of the bunker, Köser Immobilien, who allowed us to transform the place into an art gallery. Thank you very much for that!

Thank you Krefeld’s mayor Frank Meyer for his nice opening speach and great interest in the storyline of the exposition.

Thank you Bazou Garcia für these following great photographys, a fantastic videodocumentation as well as for your helping support during the project.

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