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© Frank Kleinbach

Marbach am Neckar, Town Hall

Baltensperger + Siepert: »DER MARBACH«

In 1009, Holy Roman Emperor Henry II granted the town of Marbach the right to mint its own coins, but it never exercised this right. Until now, more than a thousand years later, when Baltensperger + Siepert are making up for this omission.

Zurich-based artist duo Baltensperger + Siepert are known for creating art with a political dimension. Now, together with the town of Marbach, they have initiated the MARBACH project in collaboration with HAINBUCH as their manufacturing partner. What is of value? What creates added value? The MARBACH throws our perceptions of value into question. Its value changes, depending on where it is used. It entitles the holder to visit a museum, Planet X, a concert of the swimming baths. All participating establishments will accept the MARBACH from October 2018 until the town festival in June 2019. So what is a MARBACH worth?

Until mid-October every resident of Marbach received a MARBACH. They can use it for cultural activities – and to inspire debate on money and values. Each MARBACH is also a tiny sculpture. 15,700 pieces have been minted for the people of Marbach, and another 300 are available for purchase by collectors.

The following institutions accept the MARBACH:

Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach – entrance to readings
Hermann-Zanker-Bad – swimming pool entrance
Jugend-Kultur-Haus planet-x – entrance and other offers
Kulturamt Marbach – entrance to cultural events/film screenings
Oberer Torturm – entrance
Technisches Kulturdenkmal Ölmühle Jäger – entrance
Schillerverein Marbach – entrance to Schiller's birth house/entrance to events
Schiller-vhs im Kreis Ludwigsburg – entrance to lectures at Marbach
Stadtbücherei Marbach – entrance to readings/tinkering events/annual fee
Tobias Mayer Verein – entrance to lectures
Tourismus Schillerstadt Marbach – public city tours

The Artists

Stefan Baltensperger, born 1976, and David Siepert, born 1983, use their art to tackle political issues. They have been collaborating as Baltensperger + Siepert since 2007.

They have both been influenced by their experiences in non-Western cultures. They are interested in understanding what it means to be human in different cultural contexts, and also in global structures and geopolitical power relations. For example, they created a handbook for refugees that makes it shockingly clear what it can mean to flee one's country. For another project, they invited Chinese migrant workers to be philosophers for a day.

Their work and projects have earned them international recognition. Their work has been shown at exhibitions and biennials, including the Shanghai Biennale 2016/2017.

© Juventino Mateo Leon

The Company

Company website


Until mid-October every resident of Marbach received a MARBACH. All participating establishments will accept the MARBACH until the town festival in June 2019.
An exhibition at the Town Hall presented the project.


Marktstraße 23
71672 Marbach am Neckar


20 September–19 October 2018