APG’s first appearance in West Germany took place during the 1971 exhibition series between in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, conceived by Jürgen Harten. In the exhibition, APG gathered around a large conference table and spoke with representatives from British and German business and industry about their objectives. Although the exhibition was well received, the discussions were not taken any further.

Discussion John Latham and Joseph Beuys “Pragmatismus gegen Idealismus”, Kunstverein Bonn, 1978 © Stadtarchiv Bonn, Fotografische Sammlung – Bestand Franz Fischer

It was only their participation in the documenta 6 (1977) in the program of the Free International University, unfolding a dialogue with Joseph Beuys, that led to more long-term cooperation in German-speaking countries. As part of the APG exhibition curated by Margarethe Jochimsen at the Bonner Kunstverein with the programmatic title Kunst als Soziale Strategie (‘Art as Social Strategy’) in 1977, talks with local artists and government representatives took place, and again in Vienna in 1979. At the time there was a receptive atmosphere in the ministerial circles in Bonn. In 1976 the ‘artist report’ was commissioned by the federal government looking into the precarious working and living conditions of artists, which led to the creation of, among others, a series of measures advocating the use of artistic skills in various areas of society. APG placements in German government authorities were then to be supported with funds from the newly created budget item for the ‘utilisation of artistic expertise in the implementation of departmental tasks’. Some of the invited German artists, among them Ulrike Rosenbach, Klaus vom Bruch, Lili Fischer, Inga di Mar and Marcel Odenbach, reacted with scepticism to the approach of the APG. They feared a co-opting of their individual artistic practices for administrative ‘problem solving’. In the following years APG representatives – supported locally by Rolf Sachsse and Ros Sachsse-Schadt – repeatedly travelled to negotiations in Bonn to present various concepts, including one for the newly built district of Tannenbusch in Bonn. However, with the exception of a feasibility study by John Latham and Klaus vom Bruch at the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Economy, Business and Traffic (1984–85), no placement was ever realised, which was usually accredited to limited public funds.