Begehungen 2021

new deadline: may 16th 2021

Open Call


Trains do not pass here anymore.
Goods are circulating somewhere else,
but the station stays.
It had no choice - it never had.
We loaded the goods and ourselves on its back
and used the place as a pivot between here and there.
Transit is a privilege.
Relieved from its purpose it endures the times,
waits for commands and records idle times
which will never be checked.
Doomed to an eternal wait.
A functional place without purpose.
What remains:

Now we face the untimeless.
A concentration of a pervasively removing of meaning.
Enacted Leerzeiten.
The production continues, free time is cancelled.
Yes to consumption, but please keep it quiet.
Straying in the living environment pacing off the bars.
And behind those thousand bars no world.
We miss trains.
A desire for a departure.
There is no travel without rails. Not everything is DIY.
Where is this supposed to end?
The escape has to be safe. Civilization means comfort.
No way: dead end.

We try to learn a lesson from the void.
We get back to basics, we pick up crafting skills, we are baking bread.
The waiting hall smells like sourdough.
No survival beyond the rails.
But we still keep ordering our gear online.
Its warehouse is nevertheless empty. Consumption does not fill.
Empty shells decay without a content.
Nonetheless: a realisation arises collectively:
It is about time to save ourselves.
a balm for exhausted souls.

The conductor bears the responsibility.
With a ticket we will become customers.
But trains do not pass here anymore.
The station does not bear the blame.
It carries us.
So we disrupt its Leerzeit with ours.

A moment of rush.
Are Leerzeiten being taken into account?
What if it will be charged in the end?
Never mind, the now is safe, the later is uncertain.
The future me will pay the debts.
Today we celebrate the Leerzeit.

And are going to be wrapped up in it.
Looking together for the fill, that makes us resilient.

*title of this year´s edition - translation: idle time

Under the freely interpretable title LEERZEIT we are calling to submit artistic works or to apply with a concept for a four-week residence in Chemnitz.

This Open Call is addressed to any kind of artistic forms of expression, that can imagine a free discussion under this topic. All works selected by a jury of experts will be exhibited at the festival in the warehouse, if necessary, in the outdoor area of the freight yard and will be accompanied by a diverse supporting program of music, readings and workshops with high media presence.

Application conditions

Fees and material resources:

  • Artists of selected submissions receive an allowance of 300€ + shipping costs (submissions)
  • Artists who will stay for four weeks in Chemnitz receive an allowance of 1300€ plus 700€ for material resources. Arrival and departure costs will be refunded and a free accommodation will be provided (residencies)

    within a shorter period of residency time the allowance and material resources will be reduced proportionally
    4 weeks residency: EUR 1300 allowance / EUR 700 material resources
    3 weeks residency EUR 980 allowance / EUR 500 material resources
    2 weeks residency: EUR 650 allowance / EUR 350 material resources
    1 week residency: EUR 330 allowance / EUR 200 material resource
  • It is possible to apply as a group. In the case of a residency for 4 weeks the allowance adds up to a total of 1300 Euros for the whole group as allowance and 700 Euros for the material resources. within a shorter period of residency time the allowance and material resources will be reduced proportionally. Again, within a shorter period of residency time the allowance and material resources will be reduced proportionally (residencies).
  • It is possible to apply for both a submission and a residency. Therefore two separate applications are requested, which can be submitted with the same account in the application portal.
  • A jury of experts will deliberate the applications and will decide in a meeting for a selection of artworks.

Basis for applications:

  • completely filled online application form, you find it at
  • a documentation of the work(s) to be exhibited including their thematic connection to the festival (submissions)
  • a brief project outline of the work to be created in Chemnitz which refers to the festival area / the exhibition areas / the topic (residencies)
  • a short portfolio of previous works (digital)
  • a short CV

Please provide the documents in PDF- format.

A four-week residency would start on July 14th, 2021.

The deadline for the applications is May 16th, 2021 at 23:59 (CEST).
The jury´s meeting will take place in june. The selection is expected to be announced in the middle of june.

Note regarding the current situation due to Covid-19

Of course, it is our greatest concern to not expose our artists, helpers and visitors to any health risks. As the organizers of the festival, we are in constant contact with the responsible authorities. Due to the current uncertainty with regard to the coming months, especially with regard to the entry requirements, we cannot guarantee that selected international artists will be able to enter the country for the period of the. If it is foreseeable that the festival cannot take place in the planned form, we will get in contact with all applicants and at the latest with the selected artists.

The festival venue: former Altendorf freight station

The setting for BEGEHUNGEN 2021 will be the former Altendorf freight station.

The railroad station was put into operation together with the industrial railroad Küchwald-Obergrüna in 1903. It was of central importance as a hub for the factories located in the north of the city. Rail traffic on this line was finally discontinued in 2003 - exactly 100 years after its start. The tracks have been dismantled except for a few remaining pieces. Only a few fragments remind us of the original purpose of the site. The warehouse, which has been empty for years, will be the center of our festival this year.

First, a brief digression into the history of the industrial railroad: the city's factories were located far from the existing railroad lines. Even the Saxon Machine Factory - which manufactured locomotives - had to laboriously transport its locomotives to the Chemnitz train station using horse-drawn carts. As the 19th century drew to a close, the Saxon parliament therefore decided to build an industrial railroad that would connect the north of Chemnitz to the rail network. The line, which was almost twelve kilometers long in total, was opened in 1903. In addition to the two connecting points Küchwald and Obergrüna, a total of five loading points and numerous sidings were built on the line. The Altendorf freight station served as the operating center for the industrial rail line. The Saxon Machine Factory was also connected from here via spur tracks. From 1990, the volume of freight traffic declined sharply. Until the year 2000, the line was still used by coal, gypsum and ash trains from the northern combined heat and power plant. The line was finally decommissioned in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of the industrial railroad.

Since then, new perspectives for the area have been sought. Since 2015, work has been underway with public participation to transform the former station area into a new urban space that combines living and recreation. Since 2019, the remaining tracks have been dismantled along the route. A recreational bike path has been planned. Its realization is supposed to start​ this year.

Our festival center - the old warehouse of the station - is, along with the former administrative building, the last evidence of the Altendorf plant. Until the wait for a new use ends for it too, we want to interrupt the Leerzeit of this place with this year's BEGEHUNGEN.

The festival


The art festival Begehungen has been taking place in Chemnitz since 2003 - as the largest off-culture event in the city. The trademark is an unconventional and low-threshold approach to art. For this reason, the Begehungen are not just a temporary art exhibition, they are a social meeting point for people of different backgrounds. An extensive supporting program consisting of performances, readings and concerts is also an essential part of the festival.

The tradition of the annually changing location is important and committed to the festival name. In addition to micro-areas on the Sonnenberg and the Brühl, a former prison, an old school, the Rabenstein Palace of Culture, a garden section and abandoned industrial buildings were the venues of the art festival.

The Begehungen see themselves as an inclusive and barrier-free festival with extensive offers. Entry to all program items and the exhibition is free.

about us

We have a common idea. One likes to build, one likes to talk. Some like to discover unused places. Everyone is looking forward to visits from other countries and young art.

One is interested in music and bands, one likes theater. Some want to be part of what is happening in the city, others just want to have a nice weekend.

One is soldering and wiring, one is thinking about Chemnitz and Europe. Some like to bring light into the dark, others want to break down barriers. Everyone likes to get dirty.

We want a festival for everyone. Are you interested in joining us? Then don't hesitate and write us an email: info [at]

Impressions from the last few years

Begehungen 2020: Entwürfnisse Ring 8

Begehungen 2019: Rausch

Begehungen 2018: Jenseits von Beeten

Begehungen 2017: Institut Potemkin

Begehungen 2016: TA Lärm


Contact person

Please send inquiries to Sarah Hofmann, presse [at]