Matthias Schamp

Die Rixdorfer Vergoldung (The Rixdorf gold-plating)—September to November 2008

In Neukölln airspace…

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Photos: Uwe Jonas, Birgit A. Schumacher

The Rixdorfer Vergoldung project (literally translated: the Rixdorf gold-plating or the Rixdorf gilding) continues the process of poetically charging the Rixdorf neighbourhood in the Berlin district of Neukölln. As soon as the wind conditions are appropriate – in other words, as soon as the wind strength and direction are favourable – the artist Matthias Schamp will go up in a hot-air balloon and hover over Rixdorf. He will then blow an ounce of gold dust into the air from his elevated position, and the wind will carry these gold dust particles and spread them throughout the city streets below. The particles will fall on Rixdorf, causing all manner of effects.

Admittedly, the amount of gold dust involved is tiny compared to the size of Rixdorf, meaning that it will not really be possible to observe the gold dust, even though it is there. However, in the manner of a homeopathic dosage, the gold dust will still have an effect since residents and visitors will be consciously aware that this intervention is taking place, thus causing a change in perspective which will alter our perception of the whole district.

This effect will be supported by a campaign which will inform people beforehand about the project and will raise awareness of the project amongst the local population. The presence of the artist Matthias Schamp, who will be spending a month in Rixdorf in order to promote this campaign, will also reinforce this effect.

As a fairytale-made-real, the Rixdorfer Vergoldung project will penetrate the sphere of experience of the local residents and become part of their conversations and memories. The goal of this project is to encourage the residents to be proud of their quarter. Rixdorf unquestionably possesses outer beauty and much inherent richness, and these are to be brought to the fore.

Hot-air balloon ride on November 17, 2008.