Schumacher & Jonas

Schmücken (Makeover)—October 24, 2008

Hermannstraße at the corner of Hermannplatz

Foto

Foto

Foto

Foto

Foto

Photos: Birgit A. Schumacher, Uwe Jonas

Right where the busy four-lane street Hermannstraße meets the even busier Hermannplatz, a traffic island in the middle of the road will be given a facelift. The usual, shrivelled-up excuse for greenery on the traffic island will give way to green grass and decorative potted plants!

The reason for this intervention is the fictitious visit of some prominent person – for example, a head of state, a media star or some other V.I.P. – whose limousine will pass along Hermannstraße.

The “Schmücken (Makeover)” of our intervention is intended to clean up the image of the neighbourhood for a short time, after which the guest will have left and the area can then be safely neglected again. Things like this really do happen during important visits to cities and countries where poverty and misery are clearly visible, and we will be reflecting and commenting on this in two ways in Neukölln: firstly, there is no reason at all to clean up Neukölln on October 24; and secondly, the effect of the makeover is only an illusion, even if a prominent visitor were actually to be driven through Hermannplatz on that date.