Feeling the city

The 7th GENIUS LOCI Festival Weimar came to a close this last Sunday

Under starlit skies, the GENIUS LOCI facade projection festival ended yesterday at midnight, and the projectors were finally switched off. “We have grown into a very broad and multifaceted festival, from the major projections to the short film walking tour, to the ‘talking city’ in which a treasure map enables you to take part in the festival in a whole new way, as well as the GENIUS LOCI Talk for experts and anyone with an interest in the field.” Festival head Hendrik Wendler sums it up neatly: “There are so many venues and forms of expression that visitors have a tough time seeing and experiencing everything – just like a music festival or biennale.” At the same time, it has not lost sight of its main distinguishing feature: nothing is arbitrary. Genius Loci is all about the specific place. In this case, three specific places in Weimar, and their spirit, history and connection to their surroundings.

Poignant moments

As with every year, the locations were all high profile. This year, the focus was on Classical Weimar: the Goethe House on the Frauenplan, the newly renovated Charlotte von Stein House, the University Library. This is all about the three locations and their spiritual connections, the intense relationship between Goethe and Frau von Stein, and the home of words and literature.

Genius Loci Weimar 2018 short Aftermovie

The opportunity to choose

Like concert performances, the three projections ran at 30-minute intervals, while the GENIUS LOCI LAB in the courtyard of the university Mensa (cafeteria) and the Klima-Pavillon (Climate Pavilion) took a different approach. There, the kaleidoscopic facades were active without pause, co-designed live by visitors themselves or tuned to the DJ’s beats in the Mensa courtyard. 


Car-free Weimar

All of the buildings were close to one another, and parts of the city centre were sealed off to traffic. The people could reclaim their own urban spaces, experience afresh the architecture in which they live and work, and have the time to become familiar with these spaces without feeling rushed: “It’s also about the fact that people dare to go back out into the streets, even at night. It’s their city after all. For us, it’s always a great pleasure to choose a route and for the city to then help us to make it car-free. As could be clearly seen at the library, there are entirely new perspectives from far and near to discover and experience.”

authoritative: GENIUS LOCI Talk

This year, and for the second time, the Genius Loci Talk was an important part of the festival. More than 50 participants came and took part. Hendrik Wendler: “I’m impressed by the take-up and relevance of our exchange of ideas. The fact that we are internationally recognised also demonstrates that experienced people such as Professor Uwe Brückner now speak of the internationally active and renowned Atelier Brückner, whose work can be seen around the world, at the German EXPO Pavilions as well as at the BMW Museum in Munich. It is possible to tell the story of a place or of those people who brought the place to life.