Queuing for a glimpse of future issues: art mile underneath the U-Bahn high line attracts 12,000 visitors to Schöneberg over the weekend

  • by Team Urban Nation

Last weekend, Bülowstraße turned into a major attraction for fans of Urban Art: around 12,000 visitors came to see the 100-meter-long outdoor installation. Moreover, the URBAN NATION Museum counted 12,000 visitors as well. This means that the first biennial, which was dedicated to the issue of a sustainable future, exceeded all expectations. As guest of honor the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, and the Senator for Culture and Europe, Dr. Klaus Lederer,
addressed the visitors at the opening. The Biennial was curated by the Museum’s director Yasha Young.

A gorilla trudges through an abandoned city, a desert, and lands in an utopian environment and enchanted vegetation. Flickering screens, robots – relics of human life are strewn along his path, until nature reclaims them. If not for the rattle of the U-Bahn overhead, the reality of Berlin might escape us altogether. But we are underneath the high line on Bülowstraße at the first URBAN NATION Biennial. Entitled “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED,” it created a time capsule that raises the question of the future of urban life. The focus is on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the
United Nations. The works by the 27 participating artist are reactions to these goals. Images, sculptures, interactive elements and performances such as the seemingly real gorilla by the award-winning Studio Millenium FX from England activate all of our senses as well as our critical thinking about our interaction with nature and each other.

Burning issues – enormous interest on the part of the visitors

The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, together with Dr. Klaus Lederer, Senator for Culture and Europe, Markus Terboven, member of the executive board of Gewobag, and URBAN NATION director Yasha Young opened the three-day art mile. Thereafter, 12,000 visitors embarked on a
journey into unknown worlds over the weekend. In parallel, the URBAN NATION Museum was open over the entire weekend, drawing attention with gigantic purple tentacles. The museum also counted 12,000 visitors across the three days of the festival. What this veritable rush of visitors shows is how topical and engaging the issues of the Biennial are—and the potential for new positions, ideas and thoughts in Urban Art.

A unique neighborhood festival

The URBAN NATION Biennial was presented by Gewobag in the context of their 100th anniversary, which was held under the motto “Future has Space.” Social as well as cultural commitment has been a hallmark of the municipal housing company’s philosophy from the beginning. On the occasion of this special neighborhood festival Gewobag also extended invitation to its tenants. Creating neighborly encounters while drawing attention to issues such as urban living, urban development, technology and sustainability through art—all this has been achieved with the biennial.

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