text in english:
Mood Bungalow, garden fence fear, campbeds in the gym, I pile you up a house, جبل (mountain), May I dwell here?, architecture of leisure, shelter, melancoly of stay, I have to water the plants. Traffic jam into town again. One weekend gone. A life set to pause, number 148, room 3.02, בטחון (security)
Kleingartenanlagen existieren in Berlin seit 1833.
Allotment gardens exist since 1833 in Berlin. Their origins are small squares of land the city gave to the poorest of the poor to have at least the earth to provide some food for them. These “Gardens of the Poor” were controlled by overseers, who were not too shy to use violence against what they saw as the filth of the town. People so poor having to live in these quarters had no choice but to “behave” and live under this prisonlike atmosphere.
2016 marks the peak of people who seek asylum in Germany, most come from places of war. In that year and the following most of the refugees come from Syria. More than half of their asylum applications are turned down. The city partly uses recreation architecture as transitory housing, moving leisure out, but leaving appartments vacant all over the city.
These years also mark the turn of a lot of European countries towards the (far) right. Rallies over rallies. Right wing parties get into governments via democratic votes. Maybe there is a correlation or maybe it was under the surface all along.
While being stuffed together in tents, gymnasia, old hotels, container towns etc. people who took it on themselves to flee war zones, that did not have a choice to stay, are fenced off from the citizins in the cities they end up.
Towards the end of the 19th century the “Gardens of the Poor” with their overseers were abolished by the state of Berlin. The idea to have little colonies in and around the city to provide housing and small gardening for the poor stayed, along with a new need for town people to have recreation homes. In the 20th century garden colonies became the weekend home for a lot of Germans to lay in the sun, play badminton, watch your grass grow, bake a pie with the apples from your own apple tree and hang over the fence to spy on the neighbours. A German idyll; even a working class could afford.
You could say the allotment garden is the symbol of German Tristesse including the upmost prejudice towards the unknown other. Driving through the hinterlands of the US in 2016 during the presidential race, mainly Pennsylvania, I realised once again that xenophobia sits on a lot of porches and not only German ones.
In this installation I wanted to point out that what you seek as shelter may not be what it seems and what you think you will lose to others may not be as much as you think it is. A radio plays a distorted version of “Mood Indigo” called “Bungalow Indigo”.