Our friends at Elsewhere have been up to some very cool work in Germany. Check out their new project, Kulturkpark:
In the Treptower Park forest in East Berlin, along the Spreeriver, there is an abandoned amusement park. The park, originally called Kulturpark Plänterwald, was built in 1969 by the GDR and was a rare site for Soviet amusement and attraction. After the fall of the wall, the park became the family-owned Spreepark and suffered challenges of access, attendance, and economy. In 2001, the park closed from capital collapse. Ever since, visitors have regularly traversed the fence to explore this jungle of broken thrill machines.
Kulturpark will investigate these lands as a site for cultural imagination.
Kulturpark will connect communities to explore possibilities for shared stories, memories, and ideas.
Kulturpark will instigate physical, social, and collaborative movement.
Kulturpark will propose a future for the park as an evolving constellation of our shared past and presence.
Kulturpark will model responsible forms for creative life and ecology for the 21st Century…
Kulturpark artists are working across creative media including architecture, sculpture, photography, performance, music, food, new media and more. Kulturpark artists will spend three weeks working in the amusement park as an outdoor studio, creating site-specific works that respond to the park’s unique history, overgrown ecologies, and contemporary presence in personal and cultural memory. Many projects will be interactive investigations that use the public opening as an opportunity to create research into a new kultur for public space and creativity in the 21st century.
In addition to the creation and exhibition of new, site-specific artworks and performances, Kulturpark will include a two-day conference led by graduate students from Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programs on the topic of Occupations past and present. A urban development master plan developed in collaboration with the Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design will present research and possibilities on the park’s future. Included in the Kultur exchange program is a group from Provisions Library in Washington, DC, who will source information from the project to apply to the development of The Dupont Underground, an abandoned train station in the center of Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle–resulting in a comparative exhibition at Goethe-Institut DC.
About the Park
Built along the Spree River in the Treptow Park forest, Kulturpark Plänterwald was an idyllic and unusual site for amusement and leisure built by the GDR in 1969. After the fall of the wall, the park was privatized as Spreepark, and ran until financial collapse in 2001. Now, the park is a popular destination for tourists and adventurers fascinated by these machines frozen in time. The surrounding Treptow District contains a complex history including the site of the 1896 Berlin Trade Exhibition, the Archenhold Observatory where Einstein first lectured on relativity, and the Soviet War Memorial with its Stalinist architectures and cold war ceremonies. The Plänterwald landscape inspires reflections on public memory, resistance, leisure, amusement, ceremony, commerce and technology.