Park Fiction - a participatory artistic park project

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Viola Rühse


The extraordinary green recreational area Park Fiction was proposed, planned, and established by a group of artists, residents, and local institutions in Hamburg from 1994 until 2005. The project was financially supported with public funds from the programme Art in Public Spaces sponsored by the Hamburg Department of Culture. The special combination of art and social work of the group has been seen as an important one and was honoured with an invitation to present Park Fiction at the documenta 11 in 2002. The basic conditions and the main phases of the eleven year history of the project are outlined in the text. Difficulties and helpful conditions are analysed. Special regard is given to the combination of social work and art in the project. The significance of the project for the careers of the project members is also taken into account. At the end, the subtle instrumentalisation of the park within the gentrification process of Hamburg is considered.

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