It's not often that when you look at a city map, you get the feeling. If you look at the map of Berlin five meters by six, you should prepare for it. Because the areas shown clearly show what went wrong in Berlin's urban development policy over the last 30 years. Urban researcher Florine Schüschke has compiled 8,000 properties for this purpose. This is the first complete description of the privatization of public space of this type in Berlin: whoever adjusts the area for the benefit of the redeemed profits can only be stunned.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Neue Berliner Kunstverein (nbk) looks back at Berlin's urban and spatial planning – examining the consequences of the fall, not as a geopolitical event, but in terms of 39 importance for urban planning. Why this review just now, 30 years later? "Because problems are in the foreground and we can not fool ourselves anymore," is the brief and depressing response from co-curator Anh-Linh Ngo. To rent to stop, to buy back, to expropriate German life! – Anyone who leans on the claims of the political current comes to the conclusion that nothing characterizes today life in Berlin as much as the neoliberal urban policy of the years that followed the end of the post-war period. It is this "politics of space" of that time that politicians are reluctant to talk about today. The sale of municipal real estate on a national scale is often considered a mistake of the past.
The exhibition removes the myth that various decisions have been taken as a result of emergency measures in favor of fiscal consolidation. On the contrary, they represent an active "urban policy" that hardly deserves this name in the face of current upheavals. The opportunity space that opened in Berlin after the fall of the wall was quickly locked and people wanted to be masters of history. And while some Berliners were looking for freedom in techno clubs in the early 90s, politics began to fill the future of the future. Today, according to a Forsa survey, one in two Belgians is afraid of rising rents and repression. What you see here seems to be exemplary for global developments. To whom do cities belong? This is the burning question.
The n.b.k. Berlin's development follows five very different approaches and a multi-day speech program. One of these positions comes from Daniel Poller. Based on a research by Verena Hartbaum, he photographed 100 buildings for his installation. Townhouses, squares and ensembles called "Fellini-Residences" or "Carré Voltaire". This shows which architectures were created with international money. In addition, this architecture should be "Berlin", it invokes a fictional tradition that is not related to history, but this in favor of a market favoring the generic, the falsified. In the installation of Poller, the facades of this architecture condense into a caricature without character of the so-called neo-historical city of Berlin. Anh-Linh Ngo knows that not only does the architecture look empty, but many apartments are empty. "Do you see the blinds lowered? This architecture is not made to live in. These are investment envelopes."
Lofts are foreign
Asset Activation Policy, Shared Transaction, Potential Value Determination – anyone who wants to understand the market needs to understand their language. Former sociologist Andrej Holm, State Secretary for Housing in Berlin, developed a glossary for the exhibition. Language also plays a central role in the video work of the Schroeter & Berger office. "Here we were dealing with a critical reading of the creative Berlin speech," says Ngo. Because, whatever the slowness of the image campaign, there is always a burden of ardent interests. In the case of Berlin, the interest of making money with creativity. The city was therefore put on a red signal dress, on the first "poor, but sexy", finally, maximum individualistic "be berlin" stood. The fact that this equation of cultural and economic policy leads to cannibalization of the city, this will also be explained in the exhibition. A few years ago, the artist was the mascot of the campaign. Today, he is the founder of the occasional start-up. Marketing is currently trying to make Berlin a digital capital. The artist grew up, so the story. That the artist can no longer be an artist is hidden in the "city-up". In any case, powerful foreign countries live in lofts.
The n.b.k. call hard for a conversation. "The show is diabolical," Ngo says, almost apologetic. Discussions on, for example, the "Myth of Market I" will certainly be interesting. The building senator, Katrin Lompscher, and the director of a property management company, also wish to come.
1989 – 2019: The politics of space in the new Berlin n.b.k., Berlin, until the 13th of October
This article is part of the Berlin Art Week Special – a Friday cooperation with Berlin Art Week