1 year, 2 days, 3 weeks – otc in Lauenburg

Almost a year in contact, two days on site in November 2023, three weeks in Lauenburg in January 2024 and countless hours in Berlin and Hamburg to discuss content and site-specific planning and implementation.

Künstler*innenkollektiv otc in Lauenburg - bedankt sich

Lauenburg, thank you.
To the PDF (23 MB)

The Künstler*innenhaus grant has become part of our current and ongoing process. The opportunity for all four members of the collective to be in one place is not often given and has opened up a new space for us to communicate and plan with each other. This applies not only to us internally, but also to the city of Lauenburg, its residents, members of the Kunstverein, groups and collectives, institutions from Germany and international organisations. We were invited to develop a project on the topic of “Solidarity at work”. What does “solidarity at work” actually mean? According to the definition in the dictionary, you could either say that you agree with someone and stand up for them or that you share responsibility and stand up for each other.

We have been working together as an art collective since 2018 and have developed a variety of projects and exhibitions during this time. But who are we talking about when we say “WE”? To briefly introduce ourselves, we are the collective Observant Thick Conversation – otc consisting of Rahel grote Lambers, Julia Lübbecke, Alexander Klaubert and Francis Kussatz. We are united by our artistic work and our approach to the challenges faced by artists from different disciplines, cities and backgrounds. Since our foundation, it has been our goal to create common paths and structures for young artists.

Thanks to Marita Landgraf’s invitation to the Künstler*innenhaus, we have taken the scholarship as an opportunity to expand a network like this over two years and to address this dialogue in the form of a multi-part series of events on the topic of “Have We Passed Peak Collective?”. The starting point will be a two-day symposium in Lauenburg, which will invite local actors, groups, citizens, volunteers and art collectives from Hamburg to engage in a joint dialogue. To this end, we used the three weeks of the residency intensively to get in touch with the city, but also with collectives, institutions and people from a variety of contexts. The project will continue at several locations in Munich, Bremen, Berlin and Frankfurt. While we were there, we attended various events organised by active players and groups at the time, such as Andrea Weber’s volunteer meeting or the planting of the Korbinian apple in the Fürstengarten by Omas gegen Rechts on the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism. The Korbinian apple, or KZ 3, was planted by Pastor Korbinian Aigner during his imprisonment in the Dachau concentration camp. These meetings were particularly important for us to get to know the people from Lauenburg and to learn more about Lauenburg.

Before the symposium takes place in Lauenburg from 17 to 18 May 2024, we will travel to Lauenburg once again to make our ideas and questions visible on various windows in Lauenburg with a plot lettering. The intervention in the urban space is intended to make our thematic questions and statements on collectives, groups, volunteering and solidarity-based work visible on site in order to initiate dialogue even before the event. Our aim is to create a temporary visibility and, if possible, to leave behind a permanent element that stimulates thought.

We have had an important and unifying stay in Lauenburg so far, which has given us new perspectives and highlighted conflicts and unifying elements. The idea of volunteer work, which has great overlaps with collective work, is still with us today and will continue in our symposium. We would like to thank all the people with whom we were able to exchange ideas, the Künstler*innenhaus and its members, Marita Landgraf, the city of Lauenburg and of course Vast Forward for this opportunity to realise our project in this way!

Künstler*innenkollektiv otc portraitfoto

otc, 2023 – Photo: Observant Thick Conversation 


awarded in 2023/2024 to the artists’ collective otc

We are otc – Observant Thick Conversation (formerly Law of Life (LoL), Yours truly LOL), a collective of artists who received this year’s Fellowship by invitation. We are very happy about the opportunity to work in Lauenburg, especially because we have the chance to deal intensively with the topic of “solidary working”, which is very relevant nowadays.

Our collective artistic practice is based both on exhibiting and curating together and on creating sustainable relationships with other collectives. In 2018, we came together as a collective to support each other in the competitive and individualistic structures of the art industry and – within our realm of possibility – to counter them. Since then, we have worked and exhibited in various contexts from Vunu Gallery in Košice to Kunstverein Göttingen with diverse individuals. Currently the collective consists of Alexander KlaubertFrancis KussatzJulia Lübbecke and Rahel grote Lambers.

During the residency in Lauenburg, we would like to expand our dialogue on collective work and create a space with guest collectives to jointly reflect, discuss and further develop collective ways of working and their preconditions. The aim is to hold a symposium in Lauenburg in 2024 and, with this in mind, to collaborate with various guest collectives. The symposium will explore the ideas and experiences of collective working and organising within the art field, but also outside of it. In addition, we would like to explore how the collective is connected to solidarity-based forms of work. In doing so, we also look forward to getting to know Lauenburg and its local cultural context.

Follow us on Instagram and join us on this journey.


Further Information under What’s on.

The fellowship is supported by funds from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and Vast Forward.

Logo Vast Forward