New Patrons

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The New Patrons
of Eberswalde

The New Patrons of Eberswalde

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

The New Patrons of Eberswalde

Patrons*innen: Residents of the Brandenburgisches Viertel, Eberswalde: Margot Bartz, Manuela Berger, Saskia Berger, Stefanie Bugdahn, Dennis Jaekel, Kathrin Otto, Jörg Renell, Werner Voigt, Tabea Westphal,

Mediators: Holger Friese,

Artists*in: Laure Prouvost,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Federal Cultural Foundation,

Duration: 2019 –

Citizens who want to change the attitude towards life in a large prefabricated housing area are struggling with many clichés. The New Patrons of Eberswalde are not discouraged by this fact and want to create an unmissable attraction in the middle of such a quarter. In the center of the large housing estate shrinkage and dismantling have left gaps. Here, a new social meeting point is to emerge, bringing people together in a central location and thereby connecting the different generations.

Where some regard the area as a problem district, and others complain about isolation, the New Patrons want to reverse the situation through an artistic impulse. A place of shared security and comfort is to be created in order to set an unmistakable sign for the future of the Brandenburgisches Viertel quarter.

We want a water playground to be an intergenerational new hub of our neighborhood.

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

The group of New Patrons consists of members of a local residents' initiative who grew up mainly in the Brandenburgisches Viertel. In conversation with mediator Holger Friese they develop the idea of creating a water playground between the housing blocks instead of a plain design of the square. If neighbours come together these days at all, it is often because of their children. At the same time, also elderly people should be involved more actively.

From that starting point the idea of a playground is developed – a playground that creates various occasions for talking and playing with each other, that constitutes a place of one's own for the interaction of various groups and that thus sets the dialogue in motion that is currently lacking. At the same time, the square should also attract other inhabitants of the city and positively enhance the quarter.

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Artist Laure Prouvost

Courtesy Laure Prouvost

Laure Prouvost has accepted the commission of the Brandenburgisches Viertel residents. In her immersive installations, the French artist humorously combines diverse media such as found objects, architecture, video, sound and performance. She often merges personal memories with artistic and literary references and, accompanied by word and language games, blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Her video installation Wantee, for example, for which she won the renowned Turner Prize in 2013, depicts a fictional tea ceremony between the German artist Kurt Schwitters and her grandfather.

In 2019 she represented France at the Venice Biennale. Her multimedia work Deep See Blue Surrounding You transformed the national pavilion into a surreal, liquid universe. She has exhibited internationally in renowned institutions, including the Tate Britain and Whitechapel Gallery in London, Portikus in Frankfurt, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and the New Museum in New York.

© Neue Auftraggeber

The Brandenburgisches Viertel in Eberswalde, planned at the end of the 1970s as a comfortable living place for workers in the meat-processing industry, had changed considerably since the transformations of 1989. Eberswalde lost a quarter of its inhabitants at that time. The previously coveted quarter changed due to dismantling and decrease of inhabitants and is still characterized by extensive brownfields today. Attractive community places are rare despite committed district work.

The water playground is an open meeting place for the youngest and the elderly, creating a new togetherness instead of demarcation and providing residents with a place where they can find themselves.

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