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Park Fiction

Born, 1994 in Hamburg, Germany

From the archived Documenta 11 website: www.documenta12.de//archiv/d11/data/english/index.html

Founded 1994 in Hamburg, Germany. Members: Margit Czenki, Günther Greis, Dirk Mescher, Thomas Ortmann, Klaus Petersen, Christoph Schàfer, Sabine Stoevesand, and Axel Wiest. (www.parkfiction.org)

‘Someday, wishes will leave the house and hit the streets. They’ll put an end to the reign of boredom and bureaucratically managed misery.’ This was the leitmotif for a group of artists and musicians who joined a citizens’ initiative in 1994 in the harbor area of St. Pauli, the red-light district in Hamburg and one of the city’s poorest quarters. Their goal was to stop plans for construction on the last remaining open space and to have the city support a collectively designed park instead. The campaign and the planning process that followed brought together and enriched art, subculture, and politics in unique ways. It was not just about open space, but about organizing a collective process guided by the individual wishes and desires of the quarter’s inhabitants. This ‘wish production’ resisted the dominant interests of economic policy propagated by “Imagecity” (Schàfer). “Infotainment” (lectures, actions, concerts, raves, open-air movie screenings, and exhibitions) formed the basis for the planning process, reflecting the social, historical, and political importance of gardens and parks and the construction of public spaces. Margit Czenki joined the Park Fiction group in 1997 to capture on film the energetic spirit of the planning process. It was ultimately used as both product and propaganda, to protect the movement from being destroyed by the wear and tear of daily politics. After eight years of innovative, democratic urban planning and negotiations, Park Fiction is now being realized. It is a unique example of a combination of conceptual art and collective subjectivity, navigating between private and public space and various cultural fields: a project in which differing interests were able to benefit each other.”’

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Kassel, Germany