Government vs. Society = Art

All over the world it happens that the government clashes with society. Artists can start, or come up with a solution for this. In many cities one can find examples of works of art and architecture as results of events like this.

In September 2016 I organized an expedition trough the city of Hamburg in search for examples in urban space. In an five hours tour a group of 15 international participants visited several sites in Altona, St. Pauli, Neustadt and St.George. At the sites I explained the context and my personal angle on how friction between society and governments, policymakers, politicians and rulers lead to artistic expressions.

Visiting Gängeviertel

One of Hamburgs most famous examples is Park Fiction near the Elbe river. In a ‘fight’ with the city government a cooperation of artists, neighbors and other citizens prevented the area from becoming the next playground for private developers.
Their initiative for a neighborhood park which is designed by the residents themselves was realized after 10 years of struggle in 2005. Since june16th. 2013 the park is named Gezi Park Fiction St. Pauli, after the clearing of occupy Gezi. Neighbors renamed the park as a gesture of solidarity with the struggle in Istanbul & Turkey.

Visiting Park Fiction aka Gezi Park Fiction St. Pauli,

Another site we visited was near Stephansplatz where 3 monuments from different time frames are situated next to each other. The first one is from 1936 and built by the Nazi-regime, the second one is a monument against the first one (1985) and a third monument is realized between the others in 2015 to remember the local victims and deserters of the Nazi-regime.
From my perspective the three monuments together tell the story how Germany dealt with its national history during the decades. An ongoing discussion told from out three time frames and visualized by artists in urban space.

Visiting the monuments near Stephansplatz

The participants of the tour came from Japan, Australia, USA, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland and China. It was my intention to show this particular role of artist in society and urban space. I advocated to the group to look around in their own cities for examples.

Screening of the project in Frise, Hamburg