Cine Palais Duisburg
with KARO* Architekten, 2007
Together with KARO* Architekten
I took part in the art competition "Paradoxes of the public -
Art in public spaces". Organized by the city of Duisburg
(Germany), it dealt with a growing division of public space into
different fragments while public and private space are
telescoped into each other.
These changes force us to investigate a different perception of
public space and look for ways in which art and architecture can
move in this crisis-ridden paradox and constantly reconquered
space. For it is through this quest for the status of public
that art keeps "the public" alive.
Especially in consumer spaces such as shopping malls new social
forms are developing. Our project deals with the new "Duisburg
City Palais", which is not only a shopping mall but also
includes restaurants, a casino and the „Mercator hall“, an
event, concert and conference centre that is currently hosting
the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
The City Palais is trying to incorporate the insignia of public
space very hard but at the same time the working class and
immigration milieu of the area is not present at all.
The installation, a small pavilion, adapts attributes of this
very big-headed but ordinary mall architecture (compatible
logos, surveillance, cinema aesthetics) and uses them as media
for social interaction. It is trying to give an insight in the
new so called public space from a square outside the building.
Using existing surveillance cameras we transform the mall into a
stage. It can be used for drama or dance performances, politic
statements, love messages and nonsense. It provides a platform
for professional, commerce, non-profit, public and private
performers and invites people to change roles from consumers
into private ambassadors. The camera sequences from the inside
are transmitted by the main server to the pavilion onto a range
of monitors where people outside can choose their favourite
“movies“ within certain intervals via mobile (comparable with
the MTV video battle). This way the public decides what is being
watched on the LED screen in the back, that transforms the plaza
into open air cinema.