Salon Martine van Kampen
This salon was titled “On Initiative and Public”.
We met up at the Skulpturenpark, which is a large vacant space in the middle of the Berlin’s expanding city centre. A collective of artists from the KUNSTrePUBLIK E.V. initiative founded Skulpturenpark in 2006, and have since held a variety of events and exhibitions. In 2009 it was part of the Berlin Biennale 5 and it has been a catalyst for intensive discussions around art in public space. A member of the initiative, Philipp Horst conveyed the challenging and triumphant experiences dealing with the public.
Susanne Prinz followed with the notion that ‘private’ public art is easier to achieve than ‘public’ public art. In addition, she revealed the interesting account of artist Lars Ramberg, who in 2008 built a large sculpture on the Palast der Republik. Founder of the “Kunst am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V.”, Susanne organises public art around Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.
Mariska van den Berg also attended the salon as a special guest from the Netherlands to report about her public art projects. Following the visit to Skulpturenpark, we proceeded to a nearby restaurant to continue the discussion.
Where does the initiative for public art come from, besides government policies. What are the specific motivations for these initiatives, and is there also ‘initiative’ coming from the audience, the general public?
With these questions, we entered Salon number 2, starting out at the former site of Skulpturenpark on Seydelstr/Alte Jacobstr/Kommandantenstr (next to the terrific hole by Erik Smith). The whole group by Erik Smith, Las Ramberg, Susanne Prinz. Philip Horst, Mariska van den Berg.
First introductory words by Martine. Philip Horst introducing the site and explaining the coming about of Skulpturenpark: an iniative of five artists who claimed this land to show art and experiment with the idea of a contemporary sculpture park. After was introduction by artist Las Ramberg, the maker of the work Zweifel on Palast der Republik, right in the middle of the discussion about its future. Susanne Prinz on the projects she curatted around Rosa Luxemburg Platz, where some residents wanted to have more space for art and culture, so they initiated their own ‘Verein’. Mariska van den Berg, whose research on people reclaiming pieces of land for communal use in cities, is of course very relevant for this Salon. Meanwhile the weather was extremely kind to us. After the introductions we went to a nearby establishment for discussion and lunch.