The GEDOK centre in Stuttgart after construction in 1956
Grit Bauer - Revellio
The Collective of Women Artists and Art Patrons (GEDOK – Gemeinschaft der Künstlerinnen und Kunstförderer e.V) was founded in Hamburg in the year 1926. The Stuttgart section was formed in 1937 and since 1955 it has its own centre in the Hölderlinstrasse in Stuttgart consisting of 22 studios with living accommodation, an exhibition gallery and concert hall and a ballet hall. In contrast to other artists´ collectives GEDOK is distinguished by its particular interdisciplinarity. Its members are woman artists practising in the fields of music, literature and theatre, dance, applied art, visual arts and new media. Their artistic activity is subsidized by the group of patrons through the supply of materials as well as by voluntary personal involvement. GEDOK offers a self-defined creative space within the art scene in which women artists from all fields have the opportunity for free and independent artistic development. Despite formal gender equality and appropriate artistic qualifications woman remain disadvantaged and underrepresented in the art market. The GEDOCK women artists´ collective participates as a professionally active body in a variety of committees such as the District Womens´ Council, the District Arts Council and other district and federal artists´ organizations and the International Association for the Visual Arts (IGBK). In these functions GEDOK also has an effect on cultural policy.
GEDOK – cultural centre
With its gallery and concert hall the GEDOK centre has become established as a multidisciplinary cultural centre in Stuttgart. Due to its wide range of artistic activity the GEDOK centre is a forum which has a unique position among the cultural institutions in the region. Apart from the associated artists, non-members are also often included in the cultural programme. Renowned female and male artists are provided with a platform here, and GEDOK often cooperates with other cultural institutions such as theatres, galleries, the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts etc.
The GEDOK programme
The GEDOK Stuttgart offers a multifaceted cultural programme which is extensively determined by the individual commitment of the GEDOCK members. Apart from concerts, readings, performances and exhibitions, there are also lectures on art and cultural theory, workshops, seminars on artistic professionalisation, studio tours and galas. The calendar of events is published three times annually and the events are organised by the person responsible for the specific field of activity. Female and male artists are provided with the opportunity to present their work to a broader public, and in addition they also have the possibility to initiate and realize personal curatorial ideas, conceptual and theoretical projects etc. within a self-governed ambience and without excessive bureaucratic hurdles. It is especially this opportunity to develop personal initiative, and thereby contribute to creating an interesting cultural programme, that has led to the GEDOK becoming in Stuttgart the professional artists´ collective with the highest proportion of younger members.
As a recognised non-profit organisation the GEDOK has the aim to represent the interests of female artists from all fields of artistic activity, to promote the professionalization of artistic work by women and to facilitate public recognition of their work. GEDOK wishes to offer beginning female and male artists the opportunity to exchange with professional artists and to become acquainted with the art world. In cooperation with young curators and artists of international reputation we have reduced the usual limitations of artists´ collectives and promoted a network with other art institutions. By means of the engagement with theoretical texts and the exchange of ideas with scholars the GEDOCK follows the intention to be an interface between artistic theory and artistic practice. In the long term the GEDOCK intends to become more integrated and to present itself even more visibly in the cultural life of Stuttgart. As part of the realisation of these aims the GEDOK centre in the Hölderlinstrasse is available to its members and the interested public as a forum for artistic exchange at all levels. The installation of a studio for a visiting artist and workshops conducted by artists from around the world will in the long term intensify international cultural exchange.
The GEDOK Stuttgart is financed by member subscriptions and donations and by subsidies from the city of Stuttgart and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. All necessary conceptual and organisational work is carried out exclusively on a voluntary and avocational basis.
The GEDOK centre
In the two GEDOK studio blocks there live and work approximately 20 women artists of different ages working in different artistic fields. This creates a dynamic blend of living environment and artistic work, an inspiring atmosphere of interdisciplinary exchange and promotes the encounter of young and older artists. The studio blocks in the Hölderlinstrasse were conceived in 1954 on the initiative of the then GEDOK Chairwoman Elle Hoffmann and the architect Grit Bauer-Revellio. Construction was financed by funds from GEDOK members and the city of Stuttgart and was presented in 1959 with the Paul Bonatz Award from the city of Stuttgart.
The GEDOK was founded in 1926 in Hamburg as the Gemeinschaft Deutscher und Österreichischer Künstlerinnenvereine (Association of German and Austrian Women Artists Collectives) for all artistic fields by Ida Dehmel. In the following years several local groups were formed in Germany and Austria. The GEDOK Stuttgart was formed in 1937 and resumed activities in 1946 as the first group to do so after WWII. Although there is a national headquarters for the approximately 4000 GEDOK members, all 23 local groups work to a large extent independently concerning concepts and their programmes.