Since 2007, HANSEartWORKS has positioned itself as a qualitatively noteworthy element of the International Hanseatic Day. For the curated group exhibition, the member cities propose artists who have an artistic connection and a connection to the life of the applying city. The works of art will be presented at a central exhibition venue during the Hanseatic Day, but if possible also beyond. If possible, the exhibiting artists should be on site during the International Hanseatic Day. They receive a certificate of participation from the organising city. After the conclusion of the event, the organising city shall publish suitable documentation of the exhibition. Furthermore, during the development of the HANSEartWORKS concept, the organising city will check whether the project can/should be designed in such a way that it is suitable as a travelling exhibition.
For the implementation, a working group (WG) was founded, which actively supports the respective hosting city. Guidelines were adopted for this purpose.
The working group not only provides administrative support in the planning, tendering and application process. As advisory members, the WG includes representatives of the Hanseatic cities that hosted the last Hanseatic Day and the next three Hanseatic Days and exhibitions/projects. The jury of the host city makes the final selection from the applications, taking into account the recommendations of the jury members of the WG. The WG therefore also includes at least three artists based in different Hanseatic cities and different countries, who support the organising city in the artistic realisation. It is expressly desired that Hanseatic cities register further artists for the WG at any time.
HANSEartWORKS was decided unanimously at the delegates' meeting of the International Hanseatic Day 2006 in Osnabrück at the request of Marion Steitner from the Dutch Hanseatic city of Doesburg. The visual arts thus became a building block in the programme planning for International Hanseatic Days. The first exhibition took place in 2007 in the Westphalian Hanseatic city of Lippstadt. The decision of the Assembly of Delegates and the personal commitment of Marion Steitner were the decisive factors for a successful start. It is also thanks to Marion Steitner that Jan Hoet could be won as an advisor for the early years. At the time, he was the founding director of the MARTa Museum in the Hanseatic city of Herford (Germany).
The success story from the beginnings to the present day is due in particular to Alfred Wübbena, Osnabrück. He has had a decisive influence on HANSEartWORKS from the very beginning as chairman of the project group and in 2018 initiated the adoption of "Guidelines HANSEartWORKS" and their inclusion in the "Guidelines for the Organisation of the Hanseatic Day". This means that HANSEartWORKS has moved from a project status to become a fixed component of all future International Hanseatic Days.
"Made in Hansa": HANSEartWORKS call for entries for the exhibition at the 44th International Hanseatic Day in Gdansk
The call for entries is addressed to artists from the member cities of the Union of Cities THE HANSA. The entries will be submitted exclusively by the member cities. The member cities will make a preliminary selection for which each city will set its own submission deadline. The deadline for submission by the member cities to the organisers in Gdansk is on 8 January, 2024.
Review of previous exhibitions
In 2023, Toruń was the organizer of the 43rd International Hanseatic Day. One of the accompanying events was the 17th edition of the HANSEartWORKS exhibition entitled Following the Common Path. This publication is a post-exhibition catalogue, presenting works by artists from New Hanseatic League cities. The works were made especially for this event, and have not been published before or presented at other competitions. Their concept was based on a combination of traditional forms of artistic expression, taking into account new technologies and the use of new media art. The works combine the historical tradition associated with the historic Hanseatic League and an innovative approach to the theme, which is to depict the new relationship of cities fused on the grounds of architecture, law, communication, trade, mobility, development, travel, but above all the old Hanseatic conventions and new meetings.
HANSEartWORKS 2022 was all about performance: artists and artist groups from 13 Hanseatic cities opened up the Cultural Forum "Alte Post" and the surrounding urban space with a wide variety of performative actions. The artistic interludes were based on this year's motto of the Hanseatic Day, "In the flow of time".
The Performance Lounge was not only a place of action but also a meeting place that invited visitors to linger. In the evening, people shook a leg to experimental sounds.
The exhibition aimed to look at the values of the Hanseatic League and thus make visible the "common and valuable gold" that lies outside the commercial value of gold. 30 artists from Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and Sweden took part in the exhibition. Conceptually, the exhibition was divided into two parts: In the "Riga Art Space", works, installations and objects with imaginative forms of expression and technical solutions outside the boundaries of traditional art were shown. The second part of the exhibition in St. Peter's Church showed works in classical techniques. For the first time, a HANSEartWORKS concert also took place in this exhibition space.