The Strategy Room                                                                       ( back to Awareness Muscle training Center  Museum Villa Stuck )

In the final room of the Awareness Muscle Training Centre exhibition at Museum Villa Stuck, visitors walk in to see the words “WE DON’T NEED DREAMS WE NEED STRATEGIES” painted in messy black writing on the far end wall. This slogan conceptualizes the thinking behind the strategy room, which as the last room in the exhibition, may be overlooked but has the strongest purpose. It can be seen as the accumulation of the other exhibition room’s efforts; the tying together of Geoffroy’s aims and ideas. 

Visitors having just left the energy room, with its vibrant display of action pulsing from every direction, follow through to the strategy room with a certain expectation for visual stimulus. The room contains a desk with chairs. There is a recent critical run in Munich playing on a screen, there are contracts pinned to the wall and an array of headbands covered with red pen hanging up. The strategy room is neither a visual spectacle, nor a passive archive; it is consumed by the notions of now and the future. The action required here comes from the visitors. Having just viewed the critical runs, they are now afforded the opportunity to engage in one themselves. They can choose the debate topic, the time and meeting location and from which point A to B they will run from. The contracts on the wall are documents of critical runs planned in the span of the exhibition, and the collection will continue to grow as the show develops. 

The strategy room is purposed to elevate the exhibition from its dormant potentiality to a powerful, living response to societies emergencies. With the planning of further action, the visitors enable the exhibition to spread out from the confines of an art-space, adding action to the art and realising Geoffroy’s overarching goal to spread awareness in a globalized world. Visitors are invited to show their commitment to the planning of a critical run by signing a contract, this making their plan concrete, and more than just a spoken agreement that could be forgotten after the impact of the exhibition wears off. Contracts are signed and include a photo of the participant. It is a way to test the durability of the exhibition, to continue the visitor’s engagement past the museum threshold and involve them in the exhibitions aims in a physical way. Visitor becomes participant, art becomes life.

The contracts and headbands are all an attempt to understand, measure and consequently adjust the impact of the exhibition on the visitor. The headbands, which are results from participations in the awareness muscle routine in the training room, include the visitors pre- and post-routine ideas of current issues that require urgent action.  The critical run contracts go further with this, evaluating to which degree the participant is willing to respond to the themes of the awareness muscle training center and whether they will take steps to implement this response into real life action. 

The strategy room is both physically and metaphorically a gate to the outside world. Within this room, visitors are given the choice to leave the exhibition as soon as they close the doors or to use this room as a ramp, bringing the training into their free-time and thus opening the ideas up to a wider audience. The strategy room exists to keep the exhibition going, fuelling further debate and continued awareness muscle training. The museum is limited as it is a physical space, and the initiative of individuals brings the formats to a new level; their activation taking the art past the conceptual and hopefully transforming effort into action along the way.

Text by Elena Hansen

Pictures Ozan Türkyilmaz