für bildende Kunst
Talk: ›Das Fest‹ [engl. Party] on the Berlin housing estate Märkischen Viertel in 1971Saturday, 22 August 2020, 18:00
Organized by: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst
Talk with Valeria Fahrenkrog (AG Spielclub, 2019-2020) about the ›Fest‹ [engl. Party] on the Berlin housing estate Märkischen Viertel in 1971 and about other activities by AG Spielumwelt (1969-71).
The »AG Spielumwelt« [»Play Environment« project group] existed at the nGbK (formerly NGBK) from 1969 to 1972. Its aim was to develop artistic practices with and for children, in order to raise critical awareness about the effects of capitalism. In contrast to the illusions often promised by the toy industry, children were given the opportunity to build a realistic play environment – a space where they could learn ways of handling the challenges of everyday life. A loft space was rented at Kulmerstr. 20a in Berlin-Schöneberg and artists and children from the neighbourhood met in this so-called »Spielklub« [Play Club] in order to build a model city. They built a bank, a theatre, a hotel, a shop, a kindergarten, a waffle stand, a photography studio, a wallpaper shop and a boxing ring. Money was printed – the ›Kulmer Mark‹. Every child and artist had a role in the so-called »Spielstadt« (Play City). Together they produced photos, TV reports and newspapers which reported on their activities. The artists also produced an educative, open-source manifesto.
In 1971, the »Spielklub« was invited to a theater festival in the high-rise estate Märkisches Viertel in the north of West Berlin. Children from Schöneberg, from Märkisches Viertel and artists built their »play city« on a piece of empty land on the estate. The »game« that was to be played there for ten days was called »The Party« . Again there was a bank, an employment agency, money and the ›Fort Monopoly‹, a kind of castle. The role of the fort’s commander was to become the boss in the whole »city«. At the end of the ten days, the fort was stormed by »the people«!