Olafur Gislason:

Theatre real 
A project for Wandsbeker Chausse in the district of Hamburg called Eilbek 

in Einstellungsraum e.V.
Wandsbeker Chaussee 11
22089 Hamburg

The emphasis of developmental process of my artistic work over the last 10
years has been the wish and possibility to express oneself of NON-artists.
Central theme is the individual in his/her environment - the microcosm 
human, in whose personal experiences the social background in all its 
aspects is mirrored. I so-to-say give people a voice in a broadened public, 
looking at issues in which personal destinies touch the general social 
conditions and vice versa, for example subjects like fear, being foreign, 
social situation of workers, democratic molding and shaping of a city.

My last works I realised in contexts of museums: "Global Marriages"  in
kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in connection with the exhibition "Migration"
(6/2003) and "Dreams in Hannover " in Sprengel Museum Hannover(5/2002).
In the centre of both works there were living immigrants at the location of the

Theatre real 
In the project Theater real I use a stage as a sculptural object in the public
space of a street. Since 18 years have I been living and working in direct
neighborhood of the residential and business area Wandsbeker Chaussee
and have been watching the fluctuation of many small stores which try 
to survive at this very busy connection road. The stores have a broad 
spectre of people and cultures. 
Based on  the condition of the unstopable continuation of forcing small 
stores out of this area into suburbs, which has been going on for decades 
now, I am interested in showing the concrete situation from the point 
of view of the store owners.
In the area Wandsbeker Chaussee there were seven business owners who
were prepared to take part in the project Theater real:

Hannelore Zieme, MZ-concierge services,Wandsbeker Chaussee 7
Elke Suhr, Einstellungsraum e.V., Wandsbeker Chaussee 11
Gunther Gutschmidt, Gutschmidt-Optic,Wandsbeker Chaussee 11
Henry Meyer,bicycle lion,Wandsbeker Chaussee 13
Deniz Usta, Istanbul Friseur, Wandsbeker Chaussee 17
Ellen Nissen, book box,Wandsbeker Chaussee 17
Timo Fintzen, tobaccos, Wandsbeker Chaussee 19

Interviews with the business owners are the basis of the film and sculptural interpretation which followed. Beyond the documentary aspect  acted scenes 
will occur in cooperation with the neighbourhood store owners. The stores 
themselves will be the background for real and acted situations. 
The counter of the shop person stands as a non-visible border between 
private and public person. 
The EINSTELLUNGSRAUM e.v., as place of realization for projects between 
vehicle users and pedestrians, has been transformed into a stage for the 
owners of the neighboring stores.  This space has become the centre of the
project  Theater real, whilst the surrounding stores have become
subsidiaries around the centre for the time being. 
The stage with the film occupies the front part of the store, exhibition
area of the EINSTELLUNGSRAUM e.v. whilst the area for the spectators
is in the back, so that the shop window with the view on to the busy 
four-laned Wandsbeker Chaussee becomes a background.
In the neighboring stores daily life continues in 'reality space'. 
During the showtimes in EINSTELLUNGSRAUM e.v. I will be present on
the weekends to answer questions. Monday through Thursday the store
owners will present  the concept of the exhibition. Any interested person 
is very welcome to experience the situation at the Wandsbeker Chaussee 
from the perspective of the neighboring store owners.

The project is sponsored in the context  of the program "art in public space"
by the department of culture of the Freie and Hansestadt Hamburg.