Hebbel am Ufer and raumlaborberlin announce The World is Not Fair

Hebbel am Ufer and raumlaborberlin present The World is Not Fair – The Great World’s Fair 2012 in Berlin on June 1–24, 2012.

Model of the pavilion of Toshiki Okada, “Unable to see.”
Copyright raumlaborberlin

The architectural collective raumlaborberlin, in cooperation with Hebbel am Ufer, create a counter proposal to the format of the “Expo.” Under the title The World is Not Fair – The Great World’s Fair 2012, a tour with 15 pavilions will be set up for exploration on the grounds of the former airport in Tempelhof, Berlin.

These pavilions are not to be understood as state agents for national branding, but instead as places of highly subjective artistic and political reflection. Beyond the boundaries of cultural disciplines, architects, theater artists, performers, and visual artists will seek to examine ideas, systems, and phenomena by which even the most outlying cultures are now globally connected with each other. What will be exhibited is not the world as it is or should be, but how we perceive, understand, and interpret it. Can it still be represented and negotiated as a totality at all?

Five projects that will be seen in the framework of The World is Not Fair – The Great World’s Fair 2012 should be named here:

In an architectural structure reminiscent of the damaged reactor blocks in Fukushima, the director Toshiki Okada, who comes from Yokohama, together with his theater troupe chelfitsch, will examine the abstraction and immeasurability of the catastrophic events in a language of reduced gestures and limited words.

Hans-Werner Kroesinger, one of the earliest representatives of contemporary documentary theater, is conceiving a living sound installation in an antenna building, focused on the military use and history of forced labor at the former Tempelhof Airport.

The video artist, performer, and activist Tracey Rose, with the help of non-professional actors, will put on a soap opera stretched out over the whole span of the exhibition. As a stage, she will use an oversized reconstruction of a black-and-white Blaupunkt television, which had provided her family in South Africa with access to world events during the Apartheid period.

Berlin-based filmmaker Harun Farocki will show the first part of a long research project with the title Parallele, which examines the role of computer animation for simulation systems and prognostic services. It addresses the global circulation of air, fire, and water—and the demand to control a world that is marked by a growing instability in relation to the predictability of systematically defined events.

The Stuttgart architecture collective Umschichten will build a festival center from found materials. For three weeks, a hybrid cultural space will emerge. It is meant to serve as a place of meeting and exchange for the visitors to The World Is Not Fair – The Great World’s Fair 2012, but also as a venue for events. A comprehensive program of lectures, discussions, and film screenings will be presented here.

The World Is Not Fair – The Great World’s Fair 2012 is one of two large-scale projects organized by the Hebbel am Ufer at the end of the directorship of Matthias Lilienthal. As such, it is also a contribution to a debate that has been ongoing since the fall of the Berlin Wall about the cultural use of buildings that have lost their originally planned definitions over the course of history.

Raumlaborberlin has been working at the boundaries of architecture, art, and urbanism since 1999. Strategies for urban restructuring are examined in interdisciplinary working teams. As opposed to a city of inclusion and exclusion, Raumlabor is on the lookout for a city of possibilities. In terms of its practice, architecture is a labor for experimental, collaborative, passionate action in urban space. Construction is thus not so much to be understood as working on an object, but as developing a narrative that becomes part of a place.

With: andcompany&Co., Dellbrügge & de Moll, Lukas Feireiss, Harun Farocki, Erik Göngrich, Institut für Raumexperimente, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, machina eX, Rabih Mroué, Toshiki Okada, Willem de Rooij, Tracey Rose, Umschichten, Dries Verhoeven, Tamer Yigit/Branka Prlic.

A production by HAU and raumlaborberlin. Sponsored with funds from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin and Schering Stiftung. A cooperation with Grün Berlin GmbH and IGA 2017.

Tempelhof Park / Former Airport Tempelhof, Berlin
Entrances: Oderstr., Tempelhofer Damm,

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