Exhibition at two venues, at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and the KOW gallery. "The city within in the city, the green city archipelago" by O.M. Ungern, Rem Koolhaas, Hans Kollhoff, Arthur Ovaska and Peter Riemann serves at both venues as a historical foil for a dystopic explanatory model of contemporary Berlin that used to be characterized by urban heterogenity – today, it is experiencing reorganization and a deliberate redistribution of social life: The center of the capital is occupied by a well-heeled clientele and prestigious apartment complexes and forces everyone who can’t or won’t bid anymore out into the suburbs. Social archipelagos emerge, new cities within the city, all organized in a similar homogenous way: the welfare recipients over here, the art scene over there, a migrant neighborhood somewhere else. The exhibition at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, curated by Marius Babias, consisted of an accessible, abstract cityscape made of concrete pourings, which were poured through the core drillings that remain from Karin Sanders’ exhibition (2011). Elements of other past exhibitions such as the "Forever Lamp" by Olafur Elliason from the "The Future Archive" exhibition (2012) by Ute Meta Bauer, were made into a collage with the cityscape as parts of it, following the principle of architectural restructuring, reusing and overwriting. The exhibition at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein was accompanied by a series of events including the discussion panel "The city within the city – Berlin: a green city archipelago today" with Arthur Ovaska and Florian Hertweck, a city walk with the mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Frank Schulz, and a music performance by Ronald and Robert Lippok (Ornamen&Verbrechen). At the KOW Gallery, daily readings from the "Green Archipelago" took place, and the mutual architectural project Brunnenstrasse – including the use practice of KOW – was reviewed based on accessibility and critical faculty. Designed as an economical building and gallery model for heterogenous interests of use, it is indeed one of those center islands itself, reinforcing social homogenity. All parties occupying the building (KOW, Redaktion 032c, Brandlhuber’s architectural office, and an artist’s studio) are actors of the culture industry, attracting others of their kind. Doors and gates of the gallery were unlocked ostentatiously, but the basement was flooded with water and therefore blocked – a retrospect on the former damp ruin on which the new building was constructed. The water interrupts the access and use of the gallery space, and acts as a mirror plane that reinforces the visual effect of the space at the same time. The resonance of the house and its environment is broadcasted by speakers from seismographic sensors that Mark Bain implemented in the concrete structural work. The public discourse on property policy in Berlin is documented in the reprint of articles from German newspapers that were collected over the course of a year. In the flooded basement, the architects of the "Mitte-Wohnpark", whose promotional films in the gallery point to future realities, continue the discourse on a high price level in rubber boots.
Thanks to all the participants to have contributed on the KOW Issue 9 "Berliner Archipele 2012": Eike Becker, Oliver Collignon, Manfred Dick und Friedhelm Haas.