We Still Wrap Our Buildings with Hazardous Waste
Exhibition "Beyond Walls" as part of the project WANDE | WALLS
Curators: Elke aus dem Moore, Sebastian Schneider, Sarie Nijboer
With Philipp Mecke
Text: Mikael Brkić
Production support: Oberfläche Unterstützung
Sound design: Michael Winter
“We Still Wrap Our Buildings with Hazardous Waste” (as per the testimony of a prominent Berlin developer) situates itself both as a piece of architecture and contemplative art installation. As architecture, like a wall, the open cross-sections on each side literally expose the core of new housing as hazardous waste material in the form of Styropor. In a straightforward way, the display speaks of the free-market logic and its need for cost-, time- and space-effective solutions. Stripped of its societal function, the material speaks for itself, like the ornamentation devoid of pretense, save for excusing its own existence as a driver of pricing.
As an art installation, the architecture is accompanied by the sound of knocking, filling the space with an eerie sense of human absence. In the context of this emptiness, it becomes possible to ask why is it that we do all we can to accommodate the market, even when the task at hand is to accommodate people; why does housing have to be a commodity?
The ever-lasting crises of the neo-liberal market logic will keep on justifying its destructive resources to the detriment of human dignity, draining our every faculty, environment, and even the planet to the point of exhaustion. Here it is also possible in layman’s terms to see the contours of the larger issue, namely equality. The issue of equality is one the market never has been equipped to resolve. Still, we continue to invite in the market to solve our problems, but if we listen: “knock, knock,” there is someone else who wants to come in.
Photos: Frank Kleinbach
Photos: Martin Mannweiler