Exactly one year ago, while the Konschthal was still in a chrysalis state, Christian Mosar, its artistic director, listed the many issues at stake: "First, it is essential to succeed in transforming the place, making the change from one state to the other. Secondly, we have to prepare this space for 2022, the year of the European Culture Capital. Then we will have to find an artistic identity appropriate to the space which, for the moment, is still many-faceted. And finally, a major issue is at stake with regard to the public"… Now that the "prefiguration" has been accomplished brilliantly around the "Schaufenster" cycle, and the festivities of the official opening conducted with great ceremony a couple of months ago, the "KH", as it is nicknamed, is perfectly ready.
Until autumn 2020, design furniture was sold at 29-33, Boulevard Prince Henri in Esch-sur-Alzette. The Konschthal moved in more than a year ago and has proved to be a worthy new tenant of this exceptional space.
The public authorities behind this transformation wished to place the city of Esch-sur-Alzette on the map of contemporary Luxembourgish, European and international arts. From the start the ambitions are set for the success and prosperity of a place envisioned by Christian Mosar, its creative director.
And with rare energy and occasional hints of impatience, in just one year, Mosar gave the old Lavandier store a whole new look, ratified an international programme and brought together a community of followers and onlookers around a new world of artistic effervescence that is signalled by the letters that have become its logotype: "KH".
Begun with a complete stripping down of the interior of the building, the creation of the Konschthal universe was completed in record time. A colossal project, with the notion of transformation at the heart of the approach. An idea that translates figuratively as "a complete change of character, of way of being".
In this transition from one form to another, it was obviously essential to comply with applicable regulations for receiving the public, but also to inject a certain sobriety into the premises, to lean toward a certain minimalism in order to showcase the works exhibited. The environment is in fact avant-garde, although the powers that be do not like to describe it as such. The KH is a place that is rooted in the present with its eyes fixed firmly on the future, in touches that reflect today's world and society.
Today the KH is cast in rough concrete, the better to showcase very spectacular pieces that benefit from this aesthetic restraint in the interior of the building. A place for exhibitions and for art, in the spirit of the "Palais de Tokyo", working on the relationship between space and work in a discreet but symbiotic association. When people come in here, the idea is to transform their impression, their expectations with regard to an exhibition, to deconstruct that old cliché in order to construct another, dear to the KH.
In any case, the Konschthal never set out to be one of those white cubes that museology brought into existence in the 70s. Its vocation is quite different, to be a place where people immerse themselves in the exhibition, where they live it as an experience, in a palace of physical and mental sensations. The Konschthal thus aspires to be, and is experienced as, a totally free space, open to all, never one-sided or limited, and fully integrated into the Brill district.
© Sven Becker