From the perspective of artistic research, Maximiliane Baumgartner (b. 1986) develops research-related series of works in the medium of painting. Starting from urban contexts and an interest in possible forms of counter-publicity, which she understands both as a place of production and a venue, she formulates critical questions and operational frameworks in the medium of painting as an extended field of action. The interrelation between artistic production and education is characteristic of Maximiliane Baumgartner's painterly and performative practice.
With recourse to socio-cultural and local customs, Schäfflers Grid questions the constructiveness of the public sphere as well as the reinterpretation and reinterrogation of the same. It consists of two parts: the upper part shows a scene based on the so-called Schäffler dances. The “Schäfflertänze” were introduced in Munich around 1500 to get public life going again on the streets after the plague—or so the story goes.
The lower tableau shows overlapping patterns generated from upholstery fabrics and—in contrast to the dance in public—originating in private use. The stylistic device of repetition in it, is to enable a performance of everyday patterns.
The formation dance of the Schäffler seems to be at the transition between “pretending to be public and evoking community (socially)”: The dancers create a space in the moment of dance. Through their strict formation dance they seem to be forming a form of public, on the other hand they also evoke criteria of exclusion. Within the two motifs shown, the installative painting questions the relationships of public and social community.
Schäfflers Grid has initially been shown in the context of Der Fahrende Raum, an art project and mobile space of action for art and artistic activity in an urban context initiated by Maximiliane Baumgartner, who served as its artistic director until 2019. In a program consisting of changing action spaces, Der Fahrende Raum collaboratively works together with children, young people and adults, as well as invited artists (taking place in the districts of Freimann (until 2020) and Neuperlach (until 2022) in Munich). Currently Baumgartner is developing a new concept for projects at Bonner Kunstverein and Urbane Künste Ruhr (Germany).