Etienne Boulanger

Foto Etienne BoulangerEtienne Boulanger starb am 1. Oktober 2008 in New York an einem Herzinfarkt.  

Etienne Boulanger died of a heart attack in New York on October 1st, 2008. We mourn for our wonderful friend and excellent colleague.

Franz Höfner, Uwe Jonas, Martin Kaltwasser, Folke Köbberling, Harry Sachs, Matthias Schamp, Birgit Anna Schumacher

The Cracked House—August 2008

“Volkspark Hasenheide”, Berlin-Neukölln (Close to the Hasenheide entrance/“Neue Welt”)

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Photos: Birgit A. Schumacher

The “Volkspark Hasenheide” park in the Berlin district of Neukölln is used by people of all ages and ethnic and social backgrounds – whether to simply go for a walk, to pass through it on the way to somewhere else, to play football or basketball, to have a picnic, to relax or to socialise and flirt. The layout of this vast park which is close to the district of Kreuzberg is well-suited to all of these activities: there is a maze of paths which connect the large clearings and wooded areas, there are park benches to sit on and pass the time, a small enclosure with animals found in the area, and playgrounds and sports facilities. On the other hand, the park also has a reputation for being one of the main centres for drug-dealing in Berlin. The drug dealers are flexible and mobile, and they continually find ways of blending in with the park surroundings, making them effectively invisible.

In the middle of this hidden marketplace, Etienne Boulanger is erecting a monument called “The Cracked House”, dedicated to those involved in this illegal underworld. At the same time, the piece is also a homage to the surprisingly peaceful coexistence between the many and very diverse groups who inhabit the park.

“I prefer to seek confrontation with public spaces, as this gives my work its social context. The use of active intervention tools such as infiltration, disruption, alienation and scattering is a vital part of my projects. Reclaiming a location and making a location one’s own seems to be an important statement in our society, and as a consequence my interventions often border on being illegal. However, my work does not make any demands and is not militant. Instead, it is simply the result of me an artist taking a stand.” Etienne Boulanger