In Defense of Sense and Sensibility


A project by Tomma Galonska

Presented at >>DENKRAUM DEUTSCHLAND:feminin 2021

Opening: Saturday October 2nd 3pm

Exhibition: Tue - Sun 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm and Thursday until 8:00 pm

Performances: In the loop

Pinakothek der Moderne: Barerstrasse 40, 80333 Munich

Free entry. Tickets required! >> Münchenticket

The current Corona regulations apply

Shifting everyday coordinates

The title plays with the double symbolism of the pentagon: as centuries-old fortress architecture, it signifies defense, as a long-standing symbol for the person who perceives herself/himself as a whole in the surrounding world, it stands for reflection. 

How can a space of contemplation be constructed and which senses and sensibilities are we to defend? I look for moments in which the connection between us and the world around us can be genuinely expressed and for this purpose I take up the old practice of interruption and that of a temporary shifting of everyday coordinates.

Two pentagons serve as spaces of action: an outer one – marked by fictitious boundary lines in the public space around the Pinakothek der Moderne, it crosses our everyday paths and viewing habits – there I brought about encounters between people and objects, which were recorded in 5-minute-notations.

An inner pentagon made of surrounding benches will serve as a forum for these notations in the DENKRAUM DEUTSCHLAND exhibition room in October 2021. The presentation of the texts will in turn challenge listening habits and invite the audience to an active listening.

Furthermore, the inner pentagon stands for itself as an object and will be used by others in the context of the group exhibition.

Map of the Pentagon in the urban space

Draft for the inner Pentagon

Encounters between people and objects

Eight women with quite different backgrounds who currently live in Munich have wandered to various objects: a sculpture, an entrance gate, a mirror on a house wall and an old fountain, a pair of shoes in a tree or a memorial plaque. I selected the motifs in advance together with the artist Rasha Ragab; the women were confronted with their motive immediately and wrote short texts about it: 5 minutes without censorship. 16 texts were created in this way, all of them touching, fragile word-creations.

Such writing acts are radical interruptions: firstly in terms of the unexpected view of the public space, secondly through encountering one's own words. One of the women told me that she was afraid of her own words, of the chaos in her brain becoming visible, but when she read it, she found it no longer frightening, but beautiful.

Performance short cuts in the showroom

The 16 texts will be presented in different chronological sequences during the exhibition. The intention is to make the subjective observations of the women audible, but also to intensify sensitivity for words as semantic-acoustic phenomena and to enlarge the performative possibilities that can be given to words. The short cuts invite the audience to listen, associate and perceive actively.

Women in the Pentagon: portrait photos by Katharina Kreye

The photographer Katharina Kreye accompanied the work in the outdoor pentagon. Portraits of the participating women will be presented in the exhibition.

Participnats: Adriana Alfano, Alina Desler, Newsha Djavadipour-Sigari, Christine von dem Knesebeck, Lucie Meyer, Syeda Nuzhat Sabrina Nabila, Laura Sunj, Sinem Yilmaz

Photo: Katharina Kreye. Tomma Galonska and Newsha Djavadipour-Sigari (left) during their work in the outer Pentagon

Supporters, Sponsors and Thanks!

The Pentagon project is funded by the Kulturstiftung der Stadtsparkasse Munich and the Cultural Funding of the District of Upper Bavaria.

The project would not be feasible without the help of many supporters. Special thanks go to the artist Rasha Ragab.

For valuable support during the research in the outer Pentagon we thank: Loic Masson, Fremdspracheninstitut München (FIM); Anselm Bilgri, Akademie der Muße; Eva-Maria Matzke, Diakoniewerk; Dr. Lothar Ebbertz, Bayerischer Brauerbund e. V.; Klaus Becker, Presse Referat TUM.