Shrinking cities and megacities: today, for millions of people, urban life is more explosive than ever before. With the ongoing decay of social structures, entire city districts in conurbation areas of established industrial nations are becoming depopulated at an alarming pace. And yet fifty years from now, more than 75 % of the world’s population will live in cities: the metropolises of the early 21st century have become a stage for global hopes and fears. As a result, urban issues need to be discussed across fields and disciplines. In 2005, Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society initiated the Urban Age-conference series (http://www.urban-age.net/), which takes place in different megacities each year. Its goal is to find better solutions for the growing problems of booming big cities in the 21st century.
The global development of large cities also plays a central role in contemporary art. Under the title The Urban Stage, this year’s Deutsche Bank art calendar brings together twelve international artistic positions from America, Africa, Taiwan, Japan, and Europe.
The Urban Stage Deutsche Bank art calendar associatively links works spanning four decades, illuminating the theme from very different perspectives, including photographs, drawings, collages, and prints by artists ranging from Joseph Beuys to newcomers such as the New York artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. The works focus not only on how we live in large metropolises today, but also on how we can survive in them in the future.