"Between Private and Public"

„Public space is the reservoir from which we draw the raw material for our work. We are observers, and find manifold structures: social, human, location-specific. For example, the swarming out of Munich garbage trucks in the morning with their mostly foreign drivers and their ideas and their love about their homelands, unemployment in Gelsenkirchen and the yearning for restoration of the historic church spire, the saturation of the inner cities with advertising mega-posters and their messages…
We are seeking a way to make artistic use of these structures, discussing the question of when and how art can arise here – in whatever medium. Here our field of work arises:
Between the private sphere and that of the global public.“
                                                                                                              Corbinian Böhm & Michael Gruber

EMPFANGSHALLE creates art in the midst of our society. This society, consisting of the most diverse groups and different structures, is the medium of their works. More precisely, EMPFANGSHALLE embraces people who form such groups through shared ideas, surroundings or activities. We dock onto what has already taken form and something new arises from this contact; a new space arises in the previously existing structure – the space of EMPFANGSHALLE. Subways and their passengers can be such structures, for example. The characteristics of the selected locations and situations determine the way in which we deal with them. Infra-structural interventions render invisible or unconscious elements visible by enhancing them as if by means of a sound box and give them presence. The subway, from which thousands of people view the environment as it rushes by, provides both the public and the rhythm for irritating, theatrically staged, three-second actions. The three-second view through the window focuses on an unexpected event; what one sees outside blends with what one reads in the newspaper; fact and fiction are freed from their habitual places in our perception. An in the art hall, the location for artistic productions, products, merchandise that is obviously very useful with practical applications that normally appear at Tupperware parties, or organic cleaning agents from the German company, Haka Kunz, make their debut.


On top of all of this comes a gentle “kidnapping” of the public. Our “docking on” is definitely an entering, or baiting and luring. For example, the public is tempted by curiosity, sensation-seeking, or playfulness, characteristics that most of us have. They draw us into new spaces. The public is often taken up into the new space arising through the work without its explicit awareness. This new space is of limited duration; time plays just as important a role as the location. We do not intend our works to be subjected to further arbitrary use as permanent installations; they are rather precise stage-settings that operate within chance moments. Social dynamics, the statements, movements, activities of people appearing in groups are channelled and rerouted into this new space, in which the EMPFANGSHALLE artists function as janitors. They see to it that things “work,” they take care of the infrastructure. They also have their own “view” of the process; this includes EMPFANGSHALLE’s documenting this new space so that it can be recalled through video recordings, while the space itself disappears again after the intervention has been concluded.


Born 1966, MunichScholastics of art history, LMU Munich Vocational education to wood and stone sculptor
Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, with Prof. Pia Stadtbäumer, Anthony Gormley, Asta Gröting and Rita McBride,
2000 Diploma
Born 1965, MallersdorfVocational education to wood and stone sculptor
Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, with Prof. Hans Ladner, Anthony Gormley and Timm Ulrichs.
1999 Diploma

Both live in Munich and have a teaching position at the Academy of Arts and the TU Munich. They have been actively involved in the Bundesverband Bildender Künste BBK for a long time.