Realities:United: SPOTS media facade
Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz is getting new eyes. The SPOTS media facade opens Sunday on the Park Kolonnaden building. SPOTS will be a gallery for a series of curated art projects for public space. Commissioned by ad agency Café Palermo Pubblicità for HVB Immobilien AG, the installation was designed by Realities:United, a Berlin-based architecture studio with previous experience in creating large-scale light installations. Their BIX facade for Kunsthaus Graz garnered much international attention, and won them more than a few awards.
SPOTS will last for 18 months, with four commissioned works by Jim Campbell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Carsten Nicolai and Realities:United in collaboration with John Dekron. The selection was curated by Andreas Broeckmann, director of the Transmediale festival. Visitors to Transmediale 2006 will have a chance to see all four works, as they are shown one per day in a special showing for the festival.
It should be noted that Potsdamer Platz is a problematic space in Berlin. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a symbol of regeneration or an attempt to erase history. A vibrant city center in the 1920s, it was practically destroyed in World War II and then divided by the Berlin Wall. It became a no-go zone, empty and desolate.
With the Wall down in 1989, the empty Potsdamer Platz became a prime investment opportunity and saw aggressive commercial development. The area is now dominated by corporate headquarters, three cinema multiplexes, restaurants and a shopping mall. The Sony Center is one of the most ambitious building projects in the area, and has achieved iconic status. While detractors will lecture you on the horrors of modern architecture and inorganic urban planning, the area is a de facto success, with 70 000 visitors per day.
The official opening is Sunday November 27 (tomorrow) at 17:00, so if you’re in the neighbourhood you can catch the official presentation of the project. Be sure to bring warm clothes.