Bahnwärter Scholarship

Scholarship for Literature and Fine Arts

Since 1992, the City of Esslingen am Neckar has awarded the Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship in the fields of literature and fine arts.

The awards are granted together every two years and they begin in the year of allocation for literature and in the following year for fine arts.

The Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Literature is aimed at young authors who write in the German language and have already experienced public recognition.

Detailed information

Fine Arts

The scholarship is aimed at artists – regardless of age, nationality or country of residence - who can also prove that they possess a curatorial practice.

It is defined as a curatorial scholarship with the aim of realising an exhibition or a discursive project at the end of the artist-in-residence stay in Esslingen. The project realised in this framework enhances the content-related portfolio of the Galleries of the City of Esslingen through the model of co-curatorial work accompanied by the Galleries Team. The Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship promotes curatorial processes and curatorial thinking.

In the more recent past it has been increasingly observed that artists also distinguish themselves as curators. In doing so, they offer extremely fascinating perspectives in their projects. They frequently develop exhibitions from aspects which are important and intrinsic to art itself. In the more recent past, the Villa Merkel has presented outstanding examples for this.

The Villa Merkel itself sees its curatorial assignment in a twofold pivotal function. On the one hand it serves as an explorer, multiplier and intermediary towards the public. On the other hand it acts as a competent passing partner in the direction of the artist, for one of its programmatic aims is to get something new going and to invest in the artistic production itself. It complies with the self-image of the Villa Merkel to present and discuss more recent positions of international contemporary art.

Literature

The Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Literature is aimed at young authors who write in German and who have already received some public recognition.

Interested authors should be prepared to engage with a current topic of their choice during their funding term, to present their thoughts to the public in Esslingen and to release the results of their work for publication. The choice of subjects can range from events in the author’s own life to questions of identity in a societal context. The crucial question for mankind - ”In what sort of world do I/we want to live?” - should be considered from various perspectives and transcribed in literary form. In times of social erosion, crises and upheavals, such as those we experience as the consequence of increasing globalisation, the status of new kinds of media or financial crises, or that are caused by the increasingly precarious living conditions of the middle classes and an increasingly polarized society, old patterns of identity are called into question. Old values lose their meaning, and new behavioural patterns that promise stability within society are required.

The new profile of the Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Literature has the aim of promoting youth, which puts the focus on tackling subjects that are relevant to contemporary society. Moreover, the work funded by the Scholarship is intended to awaken the interest of a varied public in regard to the living environment of a younger generation (of writers) and open up new channels of thought and experiences. This strengthens the capacity for constructive discourse in a new civil society.

As well as financial support, the Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship also helps to increase the name recognition of the author and his/her works. This involves participation in the Esslingen LesART Literature Days, panel discussions, school readings and publishing the winning piece of work.

A well-known name from the world of literature is invited to act as adjudicator and to give the laudation at the award ceremony.

Current information for applications

Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Literature and Fine Arts

The awards are granted together every two years and they begin in the year of allocation for literature and in the following year for fine arts.

Each scholarship is endowed with €6,000 and is paid out in six monthly instalments of €1,000 each. In addition, there is the provision of an apartment in Esslingen am Neckar for the duration of the scholarship. In addition to financial support, the scholarship should promote the degree of popularity of the authors and artists with regard to the general public.

Application documents are to be attached according to the Terms of Tender

The decision concerning the award will be made by May 1, 2014.

Award guidelines

A. General Terms of Tender

§ 1 Application / Acceptance of General Terms of Tender

The application documents are to be submitted only in paper form (no e-mails) to:

Kulturamt der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar, Rathausplatz 3, 73728 Esslingen am Neckar

The closing date for applications is January 31 in year of allocation.

The postmark on the date of dispatch is binding. Applications submitted later will not be taken into consideration.

The submitted application documents will only be returned if a sufficiently stamped addressed return envelope is included with the application.

Upon submission of the application documents, the applicant agrees to adhere to the terms of tender.

§ 2 Exclusion

Members of the jury as well as staff members of the City of Esslingen are excluded from the right to apply. Also excluded from the right to apply are those who have already received an Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship.

§ 3 Awarding the Scholarships

An independent expert jury each makes the decision for the applications in the fields of literature and fine arts. The composition of the jury in the fields of literature and fine arts will be explained in the following sections B or C.

It is requested that there be no personal contact with the members of the jury during the selection procedure.

All applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the jury meeting. The jury’s decision is final. Negative decisions will not be explained.

There is no right of appeal.

The names of the author and the artist who receive funding will be made known to the general public.

§ 4 Commencement of the Scholarship

The Scholarship for Literature must be commenced at the latest by September 1 in the year of scholarship allocation, the Scholarship for Fine Arts must be commenced at the latest by September 1 in the year after scholarship allocation. Otherwise the entitlement to the scholarship no longer applies.

C. Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Fine Arts

The Esslinger Bahnwärter Scholarship for Fine Arts is a curatorial scholarship. The scholarship promotes curatorial processes and curatorial thinking.

At the end of the artist-in-residence stay, the aim is the realisation of an exhibition, an art-related or discursive project within the programme of the Galleries of the City of Esslingen am Neckar, whether it be Villa Merkel Gallery, the “Bahnwärterhaus” (signalman’s house) and/or the Merkel Park. The exhibitions and projects realised in the framework of the scholarship each focus on current questions and aspects of contemporary art. They invite participants to produce new contributions and works of their own. To implement exhibitions and projects also always means mediation; therefore a discursively critical reflection of the exhibited contents is also expected.

§ 1 Eligibility

The scholarship is aimed at artists – regardless of age, nationality or country of residence – who have already realised exhibitions of their own work in public exhibition rooms, galleries or offspaces and who can prove that they have curatorially developed and implemented exhibitions and projects.

It is necessary to have a good command of the German or English language.


§ 2 Application Documents

In addition to the cover letter, the questionnaire and a short curriculum vitae, it is necessary to send in an illustrated project dossier which outlines an exhibition, an artistic or a discursive project. The extent of the descriptive text is limited to a maximum of five DIN A4-format pages, the extent of the dossier is limited to a total of 20 pages. In the dossier the aims and strategic procedures are to be outlined as well as possible exhibiting participants or project participants named with short biographies. The dossier should also contain concise data concerning the technical requirements and conditions of the project. The project language is German or English.

§ 3 Jury

The decision concerning the applications is made by three independent expert jury members comprised of two renowned personalities from the art scene and the director of the Galleries of the City of Esslingen am Neckar. After a pre-selection has been made, the selected applicants are then invited to Esslingen for a second round in order to exemplify and discuss the proposed project with the jury. The jury then determines the award winner.

§ 4 Scholarship Period

The curatorial scholarship is an artist-in-residence scholarship. The scholarship holder is committed to be present on site, especially during the planning and implementation phase of the exhibition, the artistic or discursive project.

An apartment in the "Bahnwärterhaus" (signalman’s house) is available. The administration department of the Galleries of the City of Esslingen am Neckar provides an office.

§ 5 Work Result at the End of the Scholarship Period.

The aim of the scholarship period is the realisation of an exhibition, an artistic or discursive project within the programme of the Galleries of the City of Esslingen am Neckar. The contents of the proposed exhibition, the artistic or discursive project should deal with the objectives of the City Galleries, to complement them or to deal with current aspects of more recent artistic work in the region or with the main emphases of the Graphic Collection of the City of Esslingen am Neckar.