Historisches Museum Frankfurt
project by Kossmann.dejong, wall projection videos and sound by ShoSho Studios
gallery: Cokkie Snoei
Situated in the city centre of Frankfurt, between the town hall and the Main river, is the newly
extended Historical Museum Frankfurt.
For the ‘Typically Frankfurt!’ exhibition, which connects the entrance with the new building, a snow
dome – one of the most ubiquitous tourist souvenirs – starts the museum experience. It presents the
story of Frankfurt from multiple perspectives. Inside the dome, visitors encounter eight clichéd
representations of the city illustrated in eight different scenes built as scale models. Visitors choose
which ‘city’ they would like to see. A specially designed robot then transports the chosen scene up
from the cellar.
I created the Criminal City of Frankfurt.
Statement about the project:
When I was asked to be a part of the project for the Museum Historisches Frankfurt, I immediately
chose the "criminal city" as my topic. Throughout my art career, I have continually returned to
exploring places considered seedy or off-limits. Perhaps it's the idea that one isn't supposed to go
there that makes me more curious, or it could be the sociological reasoning behind the desire of
those places that interests me.
While researching the topic in Frankfurt with several curators, we came across a tour of the red light
district, given only to women. Two female German prostitutes had started this organization which
advocates for sex workers' rights. The tour was a fascinating look into a world rarely available to women outside the industry. Though prostitution is legal, there are still many challenges and safety
hazards. It's a complex subject with many nuances.
The idea of Frankfurt as a criminal city comes, in part, from the airport statistics being included into
the city's overall numbers. The banking world is another aspect of the city's crime. Frankfurt,
considered Gotham City by some due to the skyscrapers that dot the skyline, seems quiet and safe
on the outside, with subtle dangers here and there when one looks beneath the surface.
Video​ ​documentation:​ ​vimeo.com/238415904