In the context of the multinational art project "Atlantis. Hidden Histories – New Identities. European Art 20 Years after the Iron Curtain", the participants analysed the history of the past two decades. They searched the borderlands for traces, stories and new identities. During three conferences and four exhibitions (at Schloss Marquardt near Potsdam, in Bratislava/ Slovakia, in Plovdiv/ Bulgaria, in Thessaloniki and Patras/ Greece) identity and borders, art production in times of social crisis and the state of democracy were thematised. This involved the promise that democracy would come with the turnaround, the multiple crises of mouldering societies as well as individuality. The artistic and written controversy about these contents is reflected in the publication “Atlantis” (2010).
On 11th July 2009 the XVI. Rohkunstbau – this time dealing with Atlantis – was opened at the Mansion of Marquardt. Artists from Germany and Europe participated.
When 20 years ago the inner European border vanished, two worlds encountered, whose differences are still obvious and that had to realise that the new order with the EU was not as easy to establish as many had hoped.
Central to the event was the artistic dispute about these realities, their possibilities and their changes, their challenges: What does the separation of Eastern and Western European art during decades of the 20th century mean for their societal perception and influence? What was and is the role that art plays in Eastern Europe and how is its relation with the politics before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain? How has art accompanied the change of democracy and what possibilities are there to support democratic development? In their conversations, artists, curators, journalists and writers approached theory and reality of democracy and its future in Europe.
Subsequent to the vernissage, Rohkunstbau, the annual exhibition of contemporary, location-based art, showed ten objects concerning "ATLANTIS I. Hidden Histories - New Identities" from 12th July 2009 until 13th Septmber 2009. Based on the idea of a mythic Atlantis, which Plato used to philosophically dispute with Aristotle about an ideal state model, a search for hidden histories and new identities was undertaken 20 years after the Iron Curtain had fallen. The artists’ personal perspectives and biographies came up through their works and the exhibition venue Schloss Marquardt, picturesquely situated on lake Schlänitz, provides plenty material for such examination.
The artists having part of this venture are: