Marcus Maeder, Sabine Scho, Sissel Tolaas and Annett Zinsmeister
Once a Lost Place now a construction site - The Spreepark's eventful past goes beyond the closure in 2001. Starting in 2018, the park has served as a research field and laboratory for artists, resulting in interdisciplinary works of various formats: Performative tours, workshops, research and exhibition projects. From 2020 to 2023, artists have been invited to undertake extended research residencies and develop long-term projects for the Spreepark. The resulting works offer insights into the concealed: How does the Spreepark sound in its most remote corners or at night, in the summer rain or early in the morning? What scents and stories are contained in its pristine, man-made waters? Which links can be drawn between the former amusement park structures and the rampant nature? And what are the ways in which the park's architecture can be infinitely reimagined as fictional spaces? The findings of this artistic research are presented with new works in this exhibition and incorporated into the planning of the future park.
Mineral materials of different origins can be found in the Spreepark: from million-year-old erratic granite blocks dragged all the way from Scandinavia to the Berlin area by giant glaciers during the ice age, to a man-made concrete fake mountain, artificial ornamental rocks, and recently generated heaps of demolition waste materials composed of fired bricks. The artist Stefan Shankland has documented the park's natural and anthropic mineral heritage and collected waste materials coming from the deconstruction of the former Spreepark building. The act of demolition turns functional architecture into waste material. Shankland transforms this material into art by ascribing a new purpose and value to the so-called "waste".
Since 2022 Shankland’s RE.USE.UM gives public visibility both to the Spreepark’s mineral heritage and to the transformation process of this waste material, into recycled concrete and ultimately into art. For a permanent installation within the Spreepark, Shankland will create two landscape sculptures and forty artificial boulders for which he will reuse one hundred tons of mineral waste materials coming from the park’s current demolition. As public seating and orientation points, the Spreepark’s recycled material heritage is given a new form, function, and place in the future park to be.
Based on Shankland's practice, the exhibition at the Eierhäuschen shows various artistic positions that deal with mineral heritage, fictional or scientific approaches to its history and future, deconstructing, recycling, or transforming it physically, aesthetically and conceptually.
Our complex relationship with a changing world and its "negative legacy" after two hundred years of intensive exploitation of natural resources and exponentially growing waste production is negotiated. The relationship between destruction and creation, transformation and value(s) of materials, artistic authorship and industrial process are also themes of the exhibition.
Since 2011, artists Sol Calero and Christopher Kline have jointly operated the project space "Kinderhook & Caracas," in which they test new modes of immersive exhibition design. Together with Berlin artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians, they explore different models of collaboration.
Kinderhook & Caracas will develop an installation for the Spreepark Art Space and Eierhäuschen grounds that draws on various relics of the Spreepark, interweaving them in fresh perspectives. In collaboration with The Gray Voice Ensemble choir and the anonymous author collective Albert McCloud, lyrics and text fragments of the participating authors will merge into a site-specific song and text performance that can be experienced live and as a video/audio installation.
The Gray Voice Ensemble is an interdisciplinary community choir founded in Berlin in 2013 and under the direction of Elisabeth Wood. The choir is open to all - irrespective of previous singing experience. Several performances are held at various venues with an annually produced show, a program which will be dedicated to Spreepark and Eierhäuschen in 2024.
In collaboration with Christian Hiller, Anne Waak, among others
From the Kulturpark Plänterwald to the Spreepark Berlin, the time as a lost place to the current re-imagining of the site – The project explores the eventful past of the Spreepark in an exhibition format that spotlights and simultaneously questions the concept of "pleasure." Individual chapters from Spreepark's and Kulturpark's history are examined, invariably looking at the flipside and the question: pleasure by whom, for whom?
The history(s) of the park are made tangible in an exhibition design that displays archival material and objects of various origins and the scenic nature of the amusement park becomes a design principle. Through scenographic rooms and audio installations, accounts of the protagonists are interwoven in historical documents and found objects from the Spreepark.
Prologue: September 10 - 17, 2023
In Collaboration with Constructlab and collective works, Anne Waak, among others
Serving as a prologue to the project and in preparation for the exhibition, the Spreepark Art Space invites visitors as early as September 10 and 17, 2023, to share their memories and stories of the Spreepark in personal dialogues. One iconic site for these conversations will be the Futuro13 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen (1933-2013). The mobile residential capsule in the shape of a UFO served as the Spreepark's radio station. It was rediscovered by Cora Geissler, mounted on a motorboat and has been traveling along the Spree since 2021.
The former factory hall, where amusement rides were once repaired and where numerous relics from the amusement park days are still stored today, will also become a window into the history of the site. The installation Spree Space Act 01 by the artist collectives Constructlab redesigned the hall's façade and collective works to provide a glimpse into the park's past and present.