The “SPUR Museum” in Cham, the “Cordonhaus”, the “Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus”, the “Luftmuseum” and the “Museum Ludwig Gebhard” have joined forces to form the “Zeitgenössische Kunst” or “Contemporary Art” network.
Situated directly on the bank of the Regen River stands an old house with yellow-framed windows and wooden shutters. Behind it, the two towers of the “Mariahilf-Kirche” – a church – which have shaped the townscape of Cham since the 20th century, rise imposing out of the ground. 60 years ago, Bernhard Wicki shot his anti-war film “Die Brücke” against this backdrop. Locals fondly recall the days when they would whiz through the camera frame with other children riding bicycles or playing ball in front of the poorhouse.
The avant-gardists of SPUR
The former poorhouse is now a museum, a place home to the artworks of the avant-garde artist group SPUR. The four members Lothar Fischer, Heimrad Prem and Helmut Sturm from the Upper Palatinate and HP Zimmer got to know each other during their studies in Munich. They worked together intensively from 1957 to 1965. Some of their works were shown at the “documenta” exhibition and event centre in Kassel.
Leaving the SPURs on for the exciting ride ahead
During the painting round, the SPUR group developed a special artistic technique. The artists sit at a table with blank sheets of paper in front of them. Each artist paints something and passes on his or her sheet to the person sitting next to him or her. The latter adds an element to the painting of his or her predecessor. This circular procession is then over when one of the members decides that the painting is finished. “We have a number of these collective works in the SPUR Museum,” says Marx proudly.
Cooperative work does not mean that the SPUR group always paints together. “It is the search for art that arises from a shared idea. A unique spirit of creativity emerges from a communal debate,” explains the art historian.
The SPUR group also possesses high socio-political aspirations: its members get involved with leaflets and manifestos. They also publish their views in the SPUR magazines.
Cooperative work in a network
Cooperative work – the museum directors of the “Kulturkooperative Oberpfalz” are also inspired by this: The “SPUR Museum” in Cham, the “Cordonhaus”, the “Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus”, the “Luftmuseum” and the “Museum Ludwig Gebhard” have joined forces to form the “Zeitgenössische Kunst” or “Contemporary Art” network.
The aim is to introduce guests to the region’s cultural gems and entice them to produce their own creative works by acquiring a “screen printing guide”.
More information on the SPUR Museum at cham.de
... by Bärbel Kleindorfer-Marx
The festival summer in the district of Cham is fantastic. During this time, there are numerous theatre performances in the surrounding villages, castle ruins and forest clearings. One special building is the “Mariahilf” monastery church. Inside, there is an annual nativity scene with changing scenes.
Festspielsommer (only in German)
There is a large nature reserve near the Rötelsee lake. Birds of all kinds breed there. Once, there was even a baby flamingo. In mild winters, many storks come to rest there.
Naturschutzgebiet Rötelseeweiher (only in German)
The various church festivals are worth a visit. Each parish celebrates its own “patrocinium”, the name day of the church. These are always wonderful local festivals. At the Pitzlinger “Kirta”, I enjoy a nice cold beer while sat under the old walnut trees and listen to the Bavarian-Bohemian brass band music.
I like to walk along the banks of the river Regen. There is also a beautiful swimming pool with river access. Outside the breeding season, many travel down the river in boats or canoes. In very cold winters, locals can even go ice skating there.