EUTOPIA
In the summer of 1995 the city of Potsdam, near Berlin, serves as a model for a European utopia: artists and citizens are striving to its realization, exactly 50 years after the Allied world leaders had their meeting there. With more than 150 invited artists, Eutopia becomes the most important art event in the federal state of Brandenburg. Supported by grants and sponsors from different countries, Potsdam changes in an experimental garden for the future.

Since 1993 Rob Schrama developed his plans to generate this former East German city into a cultural centre of Europe. For that he closely cooperates with authorities and citizens. Also he approaches artists from the entire world for ideas, to be able to change Potsdam together with the inhabitants into a “Gesamtkunstwerk”. On this page you will get a small impression of what happened during 17 days of Eutopia in Potsdam.

The opening of Eutopia takes place on the Glienicker Brücke that connects Potsdam with Berlin. The American artist Fred Stern creates, with the aid of a fire-boat of the Berlin fire brigade, a rainbow, ending in a water festival on the bridge, a deluge over Potsdam, with dancers and exotics of the “Amsterdam Ballon Gezelschap”.

 

 

During an entire week artists of the “Amsterdam Ballon Gezelschap” build on a Tower of Babel; a 12-meter high construction, made from pallets and wood debris. They do this on the territory of the Garrison church. In 1933 Hitler chose this church as a location to be elected as the Chancellor of the Empire. In the Second World War the church was destroyed, but since the unification of Germany there is some rumor about a possible post-war reconstruction. With the construction of the Tower of Babel, the “Amsterdam Ballon Gezelschap” wants to purify the desecrated land of its checkered past and to open the perspective of the community of Potsdam for a new interpretation of the territory. The building of the Tower of Babel ends in a performance, in which the workmen are worked to death and the working place changes into a macabre spectacle where monsters, hookers, and fire-eaters are driven to insanity and are dissipated. With a thunderous firework this tower at last is liberated from her Babylonian confusion of tongues, misunderstanding and war. The evil is conquered and the public is invited to inaugurate together with the artists, the ground of the former Garrison church for a new future.

Tooren van Babel voorstelling 001

Toren van Babel voorstelling 002

The Dutch singing instructor Geert van Tijn gives public singing lessons to the inhabitants of Potsdam.




The Dutch media artist Willem de Ridder darkens an empty house to a “dark-room”, only to be entered with a cassette recorder that carries along the visitor into a thrilling adventure.
In cooperation with the University of Potsdam the project Kunst und Heilung is performed in the St. Joseph hospital, after the idea of the American Naj Wikoff. The participating artists in Eutopia are going to work with patients, staff and visitors from this hospital with all sorts of art forms, to allow them to experience the beneficial effects of it
eutopia eutopia
The American celebration artist Marilyn Wood organizes in the inner gardens of the Dutch district a grandiose night party, with yuppies and squatters together.
Marilyn Wood
The Berlin artist Rolf Langelbartels organizes everywhere in Potsdam his “Table concerts,” a combined action between computer and participants. Each player at the table is receiving a number. The computer is indicating a random list of numbers and of playing time. As soon as a participant is in turn, he produces a specific sound of his own. In this way a special concert of sounds is arising, which may count on great amusement of the audience.
tafelconcert 1 tafelconcert 2

tafelconcert 3

At the most important tourist attraction of Potsdam, Sanssouci park, the Berlin action art group “Büro für ungewöhnliche Massnahmen” organizes an action: a number of “park guardians” stand before the entrance of the park with a big board drawing attention to the “new” regulations for entering of the park: at the entrance of the park each tourist has to put on a pair of sterile protective slippers across his footwear. With this is prevented that visitors pass on the dangerous plant bacillus “Floraglittus” into the park.
Sanssouci 1 sanssouci 2
 

 

 

 

 

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