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East End Customs (2023)

Research, creative direction & exhibition design
With Johanna Schneider, Nandan Wolfer and Peter Sorg as CTTA 

The first motorized carriage, which rattled through the "Cannstatter Kurpark“ not too long ago, marked the beginning of the fantastic infrastructural development around the automobile. Stuttgart, being the birthplace of this revolutionary invention, has consistently pursued technological modernization inspired by the motor vehicle and attempted to turn the utopian idea of a "car-friendly city" into reality.

The urban landscape of Stuttgart provides a paradigmatic example of how the automobile has had an all-encompassing influence on public space, as manifested in streets, traffic lights, multi-lane intersections, parking lots and garages.
However, the reputation of this vehicle has suffered some serious dents and scratches in recent times, whereas the decision for or against a specific mode of transportation suddenly becomes political and emotionally conflicting. As the birthplace of this ambitious and ambivalent invention, Stuttgart now seems predestined to deconstruct the myths and ideological heritage surrounding the automobile while thoroughly examining the emotional qualities of alternative modes of transportation.
"East End Customs" was initiated and curated by Closer Than They Appear (CTTA) and took place in April 2023 at Projektraum OSTEND in the eastern area of Stuttgart. The Event consisted of a fictitious, well-constructed 'tuning shop' that showcased contemporary means of transport, including walkers, sneakers and bicycles, challenging the aesthetic hegemony of the automobile. Works by various cultural practitioners from different creative fields offered intriguing examples of confrontations with the recurring theme of individual transportation.

The exhibition also appropriated the car parks in front of the project space as an interactive backdrop for the displayed works, facilitating discourse with the immediate neighborhood through workshops, lectures, discussions, and performances.
CTTA conducted the organization, curation and moderation of the space with the goal of presenting a multitude of visions around daily transport from various cultural fields and creating an international network for future artistic interventions aiming to encourage diverse ways of living, working and thinking.

Works by:

Temporary Arrangement
Lena Bryan
Yifan Cai
Elin Doka
David Loscher & Frank Bierlein
Louise Mutrel
Anne Lara Kraft & Jakob Mayer
Theresa Nürk & Mike Raziewski
Haus Otto
Nico Sauer
Anthony Wahl
Alexander Schultz
Nergis Songün
Jim Wolff

Art Direction: Raffael Kormann

Photos: Etienne Ninkov

Funded by Kulturamt der Stadt StuttgartStiftung der Landesbank Baden Württemberg