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Stefan Schönberg

The artist Stefan Schönberg, born in Essen, has been working as a tv-production designer for more than ten years. He has created a number of designs for such renowned German crime series such as the Cologne and Frankfurt Tatort and the Schminansky series.

Schönberg describes his day-to-day work as being both creative and artistic, but not as art-work itself. “The creation of a tv production design is very much influenced and predefined by the script, the director, the format of the production or by the ideas of the producer. Therefore, there are certainly limits to your own creativity in this field of work.“

So, it is no surprise that Schönberg understands his work at the “Crime-Scene-Room” within the 18arts project as being a unique opportunity to unfold his creativity freely and to show its full potential.

Crime-Scene Room

In my daily work, I create and conceptualize scenes for film and tv-productions. I have designed production scenes for a number of Cologne and Frankfurt Tatort. Consequently, I wanted to realize a cinematic theme in the 18arts project that is related to my work at a crime scene production.

The starting point for my room-design was a series of fundamental questions: In what way can a production designer contribute to such an art-hotel project? How do I handle the situation, when I’m dispensed of all guidelines? What is left, when there are no instructions of either the script, the ideas of the director or the producer that need to be followed? What remains of a place, where a murder has been committed, when I reduce the entire contents of the room to a minimum, with no defaults whatsoever?

The concept for my room deals with the basic structures of an interior crime scene. I abstract from there on, maintaining, however, the necessary functions of a hotel room. Thus, the furniture morphed into cubes, decorated only with forensics numbers. All that is left from the “body” is the silhouette, the outlines. Colours have become more or less meaningless. The materials and structures of the surfaces on the other hand, become the focal point. It is the attempt of creating a stylized crime-scene, with all the amenities of a first-class hotel-room.