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Berliner Festspiele | Radical Playgrounds: From Competition To Collaboration


Kunstparcours
At Gropius Bau Opened In The Presence Of Minister Of State
Claudia Roth. It challenges rules and discovers new playing
fields.

The parcours Radical
Playgrounds: From Competition to
Collaboration
, curated by Joanna
Warsza
and Benjamin
Foerster-Baldenius
, opened in the
presence of Minister of State Claudia Roth. International
artists are transforming the space beside the Gropius Bau
into an artistic fun fair where visitors can train for
eleven weeks to challenge rules and play freely with each
other.

From April 27 to July
14
, 2024, the Berliner Festspiele project will
focus on the socially educational dimension of play and will
combine a labyrinth of large-scale
artworks
, performances,
workshops, talks and an
exhibition on the history of playgrounds
prior to and during this year’s European Men’s Football
Championship. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday from
11:00 to 20:00 h.

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Claudia Roth,
Minister of State for Culture and the Media and Chair of the
Supervisory Board of the EURO 2024 Football & Culture
Foundation: “Football can be a means of cultural exchange
and understanding – we want to make this energy, which is
inherent in the sport, particularly tangible this summer at
the European Championships. With the cultural programme, we
want to bring football and culture together and encourage
participation and dialogue. Radical Playgrounds is an
important part of this accompanying programme. It is about
playful and experimental exploration of community,
accessibility in public spaces, minimizing barriers and,
most importantly, communication. The extraordinary art
project ‘Radical Playgrounds’ creates open playing fields
where new forms of community can be tried out in a very
informal way.”

Matthias
Pees
, Artistic Director of Berliner Festspiele, and
Jenny Schlenzka, Director of the Gropius
Bau: “With their ‘Radical Playgrounds’ project directly in
front of the Gropius Bau, Berliner Festspiele are
demonstrating their shared focus on performative and
interdisciplinary formats. We are creating a public space
for everyone that activates the senses and encourages
exchange. In addition to the opportunity to discover art in
a playful way, ‘Radical Playgrounds’ critically examines the
commercialization of top-class sport and seeks creative and
artistically inspired alternatives. For the Gropius Bau,
this is a wonderful start to the new program, which focuses
on the theme of play: In the fall, a permanent play venue
designed by artist Kerstin Brätsch will open at the Gropius
Bau. We are looking forward to turning old rules upside down
for eleven weeks with ‘Radical Playgrounds’
.”

Curators Joanna Warsza
and Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius
(raumlaborberlin): “We see ‘Radical Playgrounds’ as an
invitation to redefine more spaces in the city as play
spaces by crossing existing boundaries, ignoring traditions
and challenging rules. Visitors should experience a free
space of collective learning and unlearning that is open to
the exploration of a variety of activities in a radically
non-competitive environment. On every swing, above every
ramp and under every carousel exists a world of engagement
and values that the artists represent.”

17
international artistic positions for a play in which
everyone can win

Yet most of us probably remember
instances, perhaps as a child, of not being part of a game.
The artist Céline
Condorelli
has had a long-standing involvement with the
topics of play, work, leisure, and exclusion. In her large
public art installation “Play for Today”, she asks why
human beings always invent reasons as to why others cannot
play. As visitors walk into the installation by Agnieszka
Kurant
, they encounter a map of various game-related
objects, such as domino pieces, a jump rope, or a ball, as a
tribute to collective intelligence, which knows no other
author than the whole of humanity.

The
Playground Project
is an open-air exhibition as well as
a research project initiated by urban planner Gabriela
Burkhalter. The projectexplores the playground as a place
where histories are negotiated, as well as the tension
between rules and freedom, the familiar and the unknown,
boundaries and transgressions, the present and the
future.

At the invitation of Edgar
Calel
, we can build and rebuild an incomplete Mayan
pyramid, whose parts were taken away to European museums,
including those in Berlin. Inside the secret garden lies a
sandbox-cum-excavation site by The
School of Mutants
, which refers to the very basic act of
digging, linking it with the colonial history buried
underground. It is here where the first Ethnological Museum
of Berlin once stood.

On the sky walk outside,
visitors come across a mural by Irad
Verkron
, presenting a fusion of a mathematical drawing
and a story involving the search for a lost childhood
playmate. Nearby, visitors can use a swing designed by the
Sámi architect Joar
Nango
for a playground in Jokkmokk, or enter a
dysfunctional carousel by Mariana
Telleria
, which embodies the impossibility of going back
to one’s childhood. Florentina
Holzinger
presents her first skate ramp, carried by two
cards, invites visitors to skate, slide, climb or
run.

Ingela
Ihrman
offers the audience wearable costumes to play
“Love Me Love Me Not”; Tomás
Saraceno
makes us shake on a playground that offers a
tangible experience of how spiders and planets vibrate. In
the vicinity, visitors find a city oasis called “The
Fountain of Knowledge” by Raul
Walch
and self-powered bikes by the late artist Martin
Kaltwasser
. Meandering around the space is a long,
fabric-based labyrinth by Vitjitua
Ndjiharine
, which brings the past and the present, the
serious and the funny, the high and the low
together.

Navigating between game and play, on 7 and 8
July a two-person reenactment of the football match between
East Germany and West Germany from 1974 is performed by Massimo
Furlan
(as Sepp Maier), together with the
footballer-activist Tanja Walther-Ahrens
(as Jürgen Sparwasser). Its setting is at
Niederkirchnerstraße, where the Berlin Wall once stood. The
piece uses movement, muscle memory and the original radio
commentary to navigate a shifting terrain, both in terms of
current asymmetries as well as femininity, queerness and
“weakness” in football.

“Radical Playgrounds”
will gradually grow through a series of open workshops,
additions, talks, walk-throughs and Dance Gatherings by Alice
Chauchat
in the eleven weeks that follow. Together with
architects, artists, playworkers, thinkers, neighbours and
visitors, the Gropius Bau parking lot transforms into a
multidirectional public space of encounters, including a
summer garden at the Beba restaurant, and a
closing event with a stand-up comedy on the healing power of
humour and play in July.

­Radical
Playgrounds: From Competition to
Collaboration

Ein Kunstparcours am Gropius
Bau

Curated by Joanna Warsza and
Benjamin
Foerster-Baldenius
Architecture:
raumlaborberlin

With Edgar Calel, Alice
Chauchat, Céline Condorelli, Massimo Furlan, Florentina
Holzinger, Ingela Ihrman, Martin Kaltwasser, Agnieszka
Kurant, Joar Nango, Vitjitua Ndjiharine, The Playground
Project, Tomás Saraceno, Mariana Telleria, The School of
Mutants, Irad Verkron, Raul
Walch

“Radical Playgrounds” is a
project commissioned by Berliner Festspiele, funded by the
EURO 2024 Football & Culture Foundation, and the German
Federal Government on the basis of a resolution passed by
the German Bundestag with funding from the Capital Cultural
Fund (HKF). The outreach programme is funded by the
Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung
(bpb).

27 April – 14 July
2024

Opening hours: Wed – Sun 11:00 to
20:00
Address: Parkfläche am Gropius Bau,
Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin

Free
admission
Registration for workshops and performances
required: workshops-rp@berlinerfestspiele.de

Organizer:
Berliner Festspiele www.berlinerfestspiele.de

© Scoop Media

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