Bad Parking

Originally I set out on my bicycle to go and see Wolf Vostell’s “Two Beton-Cadillacs in the Form of the Naked Maja” at the very westerly end of Kurfürstendamm, but as I was cycling I noticed that along this long street was a whole range of outside artworks! This stretch of road, famous for its shopping, is filled with art and known as the “Skulpturenboulevard” and was created to celebrate Berlin’s 750 years! If only we didn’t have to wait for a 750th birthday to get such a present!

124.5° of separation

The first piece I came across opened my eyes to the rest of the street. A huge, dark metal arc sits in a little green area by “An der Urania”. The big bend of metal is called “Arc 124.5°” and was gifted by Bernar Venet from Paris to Berlin, supposedly symbolising the degree of separation between the cities. 

berlin, art, outside art, sculpture, Bernar Venet, Arc 124.5, an der urania, kurfurstendamm
Whip out the skateboard! Bernar Venet’s Arc 124.5 degrees looks like fun!

This solid structure looks like it could be used for many things, a huge skate ramp, a seat maybe you could even have a try sliding down it! But one thing it doesn’t look like is a gift of friendship or celebration. Even though the idea sounds a bit cheesy, I like it a lot, especially if this degree is the actual curve of separation. Yet the big piece looks a bit violent, maybe even like part of an offensive weapon, left behind after the war! Does this point out the separation as opposed to closing it?

Keep your eyes on the prize

In between I come across many other sculptures, particularly interesting was “Berlin” by Brigitte and Martin Matschinsky-Denninghoff, but at the moment it’s surrounded by road works which isn’t particularly viewer-friendly and so I didn’t stop for long! The sculpture of the concrete Cadillacs was my real interest and worth the long cycle. Half concrete, half car, I wouldn’t trust Wolf Vostell’s Cadillacs for a quick getaway!

Parking ticket please!

Sitting in the middle of the roundabout at Rathenauplatz, the sculpture was one of the most controversial post-war sculptures. It’s hard to gather exactly what the controversy was, but it seems to be that the Cadillac is seen as symbolic of capitalism and combined with the similarities to Goya’s painting, it almost creates an idol out of capitalism, something Berliners still hate! Controversy is one of the great things about art and these Cadillacs look like they have crashed straight through the boundaries! Not only a good art piece but also a good warning against dangerous driving!