Begehungen 2020

Will BEGEHUNGEN take place in 2020?

At the moment, one festival cancellation comes after the other. That is why we also receive inquiries as to whether BEGEHUNGEN will take place this year. Of course, we dealt with the question in detail. After evaluating all aspects very carefully, we can say: very clearly: YES, BEGEHUNGEN 2020 will happen. Live! In reality! And not just as an internet stream!

We are discussing various variants of the realisation internally, but also with the relevant authorities. The BEGEHUNGEN-festival is primarily an exhibition project. Therefore one option to make the festival possible in times of restrictions is to limit the number of visitors being in the exhibition at the same time. To give every interested person the chance to visit the BEGEHUNGEN-exhibition we would like to extend the festival’s duration.

However, it is certain that we will have to re-design our festival program. As you can imagine, there will be no concerts with lots of spectators standing very close to each other. But we are examining other exciting forms of performances for music, literature and film.

At the moment, however, we are still sticking to the initially announced festival period from August 13th to August 16th. We will finalize the exact festival dates until mid-June.

With this statement we want to give our visitors, but above all the artists, the certainty that BEGEHUNGEN will take place in 2020. So feel further welcome  to answer our Open Call. Apply, participate, become part of BEGEHUNGEN 2020! Look forward to exciting „Entwürfnisse“ at Ring 8 with us!

Until then - stay safe!

Open Call

Begehungen No. 17

Entwürfnisse: Ring 8

13.8. - 16.8.2020

We have to talk. The world weighs heavily on our mind. Wherefore: we do not know.

We have overcome the collective. We pursue our own plans. We are selfmade and special. We have improved our taste, we are individual, we are unique, we are insulars. We are singularities. Singularities in the ages of post-utopias. Life plans are too much cliché, they stress us, they restrict us. Let´s get out, the history is over.

Still we have not had enough.

We crave for a plan, for a meaning, for a collective. We do not like plans and the collective seeks for our uniqueness. We do not want to have what our grandparents had. We sneer at our parents. Whatever we want: we do not know.

There is no "us".

Us, that are the others. Us, that are all the myselfs, with vague and constantly changing roles. We want clarities. We want a society with a meaning. A society with space for everybody. As soon as everyone´s in, we want out. We are exclusive. We want spaces. Space for our singularities. Entwürfnisse* are welcome.

Does our society still fit in your individualism? Does our individualism still fit in your society?

How will it go on after the end of the history. How do we become a collective again and do we actually want it? Capitalism adverts freedom - but what do we want to pay for it?  We do not want to live as our fellow(s.)

We do not have a plan. But the plan is right in front of our front door.

Ring 8 is an arena, the test track for all Entwürfnisse. It is for many a place of longing. Ring 8 is a modell. A planned space. Trabantenstadt. Ring 8 provides the space that you need. A residential house. A Kaufhalle*. Blank spaces. Ring 8 provides the basis. You just have to contribute the superstructure.

Bring in your Entwürfnisse. Be part of Ring 8.

Under the freely interpretable title Entwürfnisse: Ring 8 we are calling to submit artistic works or to apply with a concept for a four-week residence in Chemnitz.

This Open Call is addressed to any kind of artistic forms of expression, that can imagine a free discussion under this topic. All works selected by a jury of experts will be exhibited at the festival in the Kaufhalle and apartments in the prefab building  and will be accompanied by a diverse supporting program of music, readings and workshops with high media presence.

*Entwürfnisse is a neologism consisting of the german word of Entwurf = concept, plan and the suffix -nisse = which transforms a verb into an abstract non-objective noun

*Kaufhalle - common phrase for supply/grocery stores in the former GDR

Fees and material resources:

  • Artists of selected submissions receive an allowance of 270 € + shipping costs (submissions).
  • Artists who will stay for four weeks in Chemnitz receive an allowance of up to 1800 € including material resources. Arrival and departure costs will be refunded and a free accommodation will be provided (residences).

Application requirements: (please note the format of the application)

  • a documentation of the work(s) to be exhibited including their thematic connection to the festival (submissions)
  • a brief project outline of the work to be created in Chemnitz which refers to the festival area / the exhibition areas / the topic (residences)
  • a short portfolio of previous works (digital, PDF)
  • a short CV (digital, PDF)
  • the completely filled out online form

Please provide all documents in PDF format. The upload is possible in the application portal after registration.


The deadline for the applications is 13.05.2020. The jury´s meeting will take place in the middle of may. The selection is expected to be announced on 30th of may.

The residence period is from 15th of July until 13th of August 2020 (full residence, four weeks). Shorter residences are also possible and planned during this period.

Note regarding the current situation due to Covid-19

Our greatest concern is not to expose our artists, helpers and visitors to any health risks. As the festival organizers, we are in constant contact with the responsible authorities. Due to the current uncertainty with regard to the coming months, especially with regard to the entry requirements, we cannot guarantee that selected international artists can enter for the period of the entry. If it is foreseeable that the festival cannot take place in the planned form, we will get in touch with all applicants and at the latest with the selected artists.

The festival location

The biggest area of prefabricated housing stock in Chemnitz will be the setting for this year´s edition of Begehungen. The construction for the residential area “Fritz Heckert” in Karl Marx Stadt - commonly referred to as ”Heckertgebiet” - started in 1972. It extended over the three districts Kappel, Helberdorf and Markersdorf. It was the third largest prefab building area of the GDR, inhabiting 90,000 people. It was divided into nine construction areas from 0 to VIII, latter was set up in the 1980s. Its´ second part was the last gasp of the GDR´s residential construction. One part of the shortly before the political changes of 1989 - the so called ‘Wende’- completed buildings was the shopping centre at the tram´s last stop Hutholz. The ‘Kaufhalle’, by now abandoned for several years, will be the centre of this year´s festival.

First of all a short digression featuring the history of eastern-german of prefabricated building areas. Within the debate on formalism in the 1950s the accomplishments of bauhaus in arts and architecture were rejected. The new constructions in the GDR followed the “socialist realism”, which nowadays still can be seen in the Karl-Marx-Allee (former Stalinallee) in Berlin Mitte and Friedrichshain.

Starting in the mid of the 1950’s the industrialisation of residential housing was requested, especially because of economic aspects. The focus on the ideas of modern construction was increasing, which culminated in 1971 as a state objective regarding the elimination of the housing deprivation until 1990. Therefore began the extensive planning of the prefabricated building areas - based on the principles of Bauhaus. The residential area “Fritz Heckert” in Karl-Marx-Stadt (nowadays: Chemnitz) was a result in the course of this master plan.

Our festival centre - a former Kaufhalle - is part of the last construction section, which was completed shortly before the end of the GDR. The grocery store itself is product of the publicly owned housing combine “Wilhelm Pieck” Karl-Marx-Stadt. Apart from the different standardized constructions for residential buildings they also developed plans for special constructions such as supply centres, public indoor swimming pools and grocery shops - so called Kaufhallen - were constructed nationwide following the same pattern.

“Our” Kaufhalle was one of the last buildings to be completed in the residential area “Fritz Heckert”. It opened in 1988/1989 and served as a local supply centre.

Within the social transformation in the GDR the prefabricated building areas became less appealing throughout the whole GDR and in addition, emigration caused a significant level of depopulation. This resulted in a high vacancy rate in the prefab living areas of Chemnitz. Responding to this trend lots of prefab houses were dismantled, others were renovated and modernised In order to attract new residents. Whole rows of blocks were torn down and in some buildings the upper floors were removed. As measured by the residential units, the former residential area “Fritz Heckert” was “downsized” by a third until the year 2009.

In the neighbourhood of our festival centre the modification and the restructuring are still clearly visible. The Kaufhalle - our festival centre - is surrounded by a mixture of refurbished and unrefurbished prefab buildings, some new houses from the recent past and alongside the open fields which mark  the edge of Chemnitz. In this tension of contrasts we stage this year's festival.

Floor plans of the apartments (for orientation)

The Festival

The Begehungen

The art and culture festival Begehungen has been taking place in Chemnitz since 2003 - as the largest off-culture event in the city. The trademark is an unconventional and low-threshold approach to art. For this reason, the inspections are not just a temporary art exhibition, they are a social meeting point for people of all kinds. An extensive supporting program consisting of performances, readings and concerts is also an essential part of the festival.

The tradition of the annually changing location is important and committed to the festival name. In addition to micro areas on the Sonnenberg and the Brühl, a former prison, an old school, the Rabenstein Palace of Culture, a garden section and abandoned industrial buildings.

We are an inclusive and accessible festival with extensive offers. Admission to all program items and to the exhibition is free.

About us

We have a common idea.

One likes to build, one likes to talk. Some like to discover unused places. Everyone looks forward to visiting from other countries and to young art.

One is interested in music and bands, one likes theater. Some want to be part of what's going on in the city, others just have a nice weekend. One soldered and wired, one thought about Chemnitz and Europe. Some like to bring light into the dark, others want to break down barriers. Everyone likes to get dirty.

We want a festival for everyone.

Impressions from the past few years

Begehungen 2016: TA Lärm

Begehungen 2017: Potemkin Institute

Begehungen 2018: Beyond flower beds

Begehungen 2019: Rausch


Contact person

Please send inquiries to Sarah Hofmann, presse[at]