"Art and Train" is a class merging theory and practice, held on campus and on actual trains, guiding
students and young professionals in creating public art at one subway stations in Berlin and at a former train station in Brandenburg.
The immersive class combines theoretical exploration with practical engagement in collaboration with Deutsche Bahn (DB), Berlin's subway organization BVG and Herzberg town hall. Who creates art within the railway context and for whom it is intended?
The course comprises theory, field research, and group exhibitions. Through these elements, students investigate the aesthetics of train travel and the untapped art potential of disused railway architecture. Additionally, students engage with railway employees.
Students discuss relevant texts like "The Railway Journey" by W. Schivelbusch and engage in field research, visiting otherworldly interlocking towers of DB (Stellwerke), disused control posts of BVG (Zugabfertigerräume) and a former train station in Herzberg, while documenting their experiences using various mediums such as text, drawing, photography, sound, and more. We explore these otherwise out of reach spaces through architectural and artistic lenses. Students also gain insights into methods of making art accessible to a wider audience and the unique approaches independent artists employ within the realm of public transport, by looking into the lecturer's long-term collaboration with DB and by meeting other creators working in the railway context.
Students extend their portfolios by collaborating for an exhibition at two U-Bahn stations in Berlin and at the former train station in Herzberg, based on the gathered input and their documentations.
Natalia Roman - City researcher, artist and curator, with a background in fine arts and public policy. On the last hundred meters of a PhD on the potentials for arts of disused railway architecture, at the Bauhaus University Weimar. Exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Germany and abroad, in mediums such as installation, concept art, video, photo, text and participatory art. Worked for Berliner Festspiele, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlinale and the Hertie Foundation in the past. Jury member for Draussenstadt Call for Action competition for public art in Berlin in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Working as an artist and curator in a self initiated cooperation with Deutsche Bahn since 2017. This includes the initiative Along the Lines of transforming disused interlocking towers into spaces for arts
for the train passengers, kicked off with funding from Hauptstadtkulturfonds, as well as exhibitions, public discussions and classes taught at Bauhaus University Weimar and UdK. Since 2006 in Berlin.