Bärbel Rothhaar

Part of the exhibition project “Vereinte Vereine”
Project of the Art Association of Loitz
September 2012

The BEE HOTEL ROOM was a temporary art installation in a hotel in Loitz, a town in the north-eastern region of the former GDR. For one month, the hotel guests shared their room with a living beehive kept within a transparent showcase.

During a production period of two years, the artist collaborated with four elderly beekeepers. They were interviewed, had their portraits made and were even willing to insert their wax portraits into their hives in order to have them altered by their own bees.

The interviews made it obvious how beekeeping has become a dying profession since the end of the GDR. For economic reasons it is not attractive any more for the younger generation and therefore bees might soon go extinct in this part of the country. Loosing these pollinators may have immeasurable effects on the environment.

During the art festival, one of these beekeepers took care of the hotel beehive. The bees were kept in a glass showcase with a tunnel through one of the hotel room windows. This way, the guests were able to observe the bees night and day without danger. The artist also designed linen for the BEE HOTEL ROOM printing the beekeepers´ stories, as well as diagrams of the bees´ dance language on the fabric. On the walls some finished objects – the beekeeper portraits, altered by bees – were exhibited.

The guests who stayed overnight in the BEE HOTEL ROOM were filmed and interviewed about their experiences. The artist was especially interested in the merging of private and public spaces. People are open and vulnerable in their sleep – and what could be more intimate than a bedroom? Here, the guests had the chance to meet another being who is also socially organized and has developed highly complex communication techniques. At the same time the world of insects remains foreign to us.
  Bee Projects
  Public Art