• S. Loesser

Through the windowpane: 21 Aachen students turn vacant spaces into exhibition venues

An idea by The Circle Works in collaboration with Photobox100 and with FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences's financial support. The exhibition venue was provided by AC Immobilien.


Where empty spaces meet minds full of ideas, great things happen. In the coming weeks, visitors to the Adalbertstraße in the Aachen city centre will be able to see this for themselves. Where there used to be goods on display, the windowpanes are now displaying the semester and final works of students and graduates of professor and qualified designer Lorenz Gaiser teaching the subject area photography. Lorenz Gaiser is also the co-founder of the FH Aachen’s platform Photobox100.


Under the title "Durch die Scheibe” (Through the Windowpane), the vacant space’s creative conversion opens up new perspectives for photographers – further exhibitions will follow.

Photo: The text on the top left corner says: "Hi, I am a shop and have been empty for quite some time. Until end of April I am an exhibition venue for students. Are you curious already? Then have a look through the windowpane!" © Aline Pape 2021


At first glance, culture and corona don't get along at all. However cultural hardship also makes inventive. The next creative generation is particularly suffering from the current crisis situation because exhibition opportunities are lacking more than ever. Inspired by the Cologne initiatve Reclaim 2020, the members of The Circle Works, led by Aline Pape and Laura Beyer, decided to create their own exhibition space together with students from FH Aachen.

"We didn't want to hear any more about what couldn't be done. That's why we decided to create an exhibition concept for the students' work on our own,"

says Aline Pape.


Since distancing regulations also increase the distance to art, the two students looked for an alternative to exhibiting in a closed space.

"When you walk past empty spaces, you often look into dreary interiors. We thought: why not just use the shop windows as a space?"

says Laura Beyer.


The exhibition in the public space creates an ultimate win-win effect: the students can show their projects and passers-by experience a constantly changing cityscape.

Photo: The exhibition venue in Adalbertraße with the church St. Adalbert in the background. © Aline Pape 2021


The course to the vacant real estate’s creative conversion was set by the Aachen real estate developer Gerd Sauren at the beginning of the corona crisis when he signalled his openness to the The Circle Works’ members.

"It was important for me to show that our doors are open to committed artists, especially in these times,"

says Mr. Sauren.


Once the definite concept was set the implementation could begin immediately and without complications. For now Mr. Sauren made the property in Adalbertstraße available for a month, which enables the realisation of a total of three exhibitions. The first exhibition is “Tier-Mensch” (animal-human), followed by “Zeit” (time) and completed by the students’ final projects.

Photo: © Aline Pape 2021


The Circle Works is an Aachen-based creative collective that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration across genre and gender boundaries.

"It is important that young talents learn to realise their own projects or ideas and to jointly open up spaces for themselves and exhibitions,”

says Andreas Gaida, graphic designer from Aachen and this project’s co-initiator.


For the collective’s members, the creative exchange among each other is at the centre of their actions, in order to create new realities from ideas with combined forces. That is why they do not want to leave it at this first action. "Do it yourself" is the order of the day for the members and that is how they make clear that creativity is the best antidote for a mood of crisis.


The exhibition can still be viewed until 30 April at Adalbertstr. 71, 52062 Aachen.


More information about The Circle Works and their projects can be found on their website and their instagram account.


Equally, more information about Photobox100 can be found on their website and their instagram account.

Photo: © Aline Pape 2021

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