After the OSTRALE had to move out of its long-standing premises in the former Erlwein slaughterhouse complex in the Ostragehege in 2018, it finally found its new base, with a few detours, in the district of Übigau.
The building at Rethelstraße 45, once the cultural center of the local transformer and X-ray factory (1954-1990) and later converted into an artist's studio (2000-2019), is now the new home of the OSTRALE – Center for Contemporary Art with its workshops, studios, the offices for the Biennale, an exhibition and event space, Artist in Residence facilities and a garden offering a generous view of the Elbe River.
The house offers a year-long program of its own, which in the Biennale years is partly embedded in the exhibition and in the interim years is oriented more towards the Dresden audience and especially the local community of the district. We intend to focus our work on introductory reflections on the aesthetics of a "climate change art". These are highly relevant and extremely controversial at the beginning of the 21st century, but also fragmentary. After all, they are shaped to a significant extent by the personal, if you will, the "affected" nature of the individual. This agenda is to be carried out with films, readings, garden art, oases of useful space as well as workshops especially for children and young people and anyone of all ages in our district who is interested. Exhibitions by Dresden artists accompany the program. Year-round gardening activities lead to an ecologically sustainable understanding and a conscious use of culturally useful space, which is transformed into a permaculture garden by the local community and for the benefit of our future generation. The workshop projects with our children and young people are and were supported by Jugend ins Zentrum of the Bundesverband Soziokultur and the exhibition projects by the Stadtteilfonds Pro Pieschen e.V..
When we opened the doors of Rethelstraße for visitors and art lovers during the time of the OSTRALE Biennale O21, the public was not only be able to see an exhibition of two Dresden artists in the new event hall, but also had the opportunity to look over the shoulders of the participants of the 2021 Artist in Residence program and enter into a direct dialogue with them about the artworks being created. In 2022, the art containers created by international artists during the Biennale will travel to Hungary, Croatia, and then to Lithuania for the European Capital of Culture Kaunas 2022 as part of the European cooperation project Flowing Connections.
In intensive dialogue with the residents of the Übigau district, the OSTRALE will continue to develop its local year-round program for the building in Rethelstraße and the associated art garden in 2022. The planning and implementation of regular programs, such as the cinema salon and other public digital events and exhibitions on the burning issues of our time, are explored and developed as part of the Citizen Science project "dive in. Program for Digital Interaction" of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) in the NEUSTART KULTUR program.
Art and culture thrive on diversity and internationality. In the interplay between artistic freedom, the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural assets, and ecological and social responsibility, it is important to find ways of handling artistic, scientific and production-related resources responsibly. In this context, it is up to the cultural institutions themselves to set an example and to adopt and communicate sustainability measures. Dresden Charter for Sustainability in the Cultural Sector