the sense of Kreuzberg SO36 district in Berlin (G) -  artist in residence @SOMA Art Space in Berlin  september 2019

City Sphere SO36

the sense of Kreuzberg SO36 district in Berlin (G) – artist in residence @SOMA Art Space in Berlin september 2019
City Sphere SO36

City Sphere SO36

City Sphere SO36: work in progress

City Sphere SO36: work in progress

This month I am working on the City Sphere SO36 installation at SOMA Art Space, Berlin. SO36 is the old zip code of the eastern part of the Kreuzberg district. Every day I taste and capture the sense of this district, the genius loci of the neighborhood in images. That which you as a visitor immediately feel but cannot tangibly point out. I walk, photograph and paint urban reflections. The atmosphere and the daylight determine my color choice. This creates a picture of the time of this neighborhood at the moment.
The genius loci, the invisible soul of a place was a sacred fact according to the Romans … cherish the identity of a place, they would have said. According to philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, it is we, the residents who shape our own place and therefore atmosphere. We should focus more on “where we are” rather than “what we are,” Sloterdijk said. This place, where we are now and live together, the residential area in a rapidly changing urban district, that fascinates me. Specific city areas in Europe inspire me. On canvas and at a rapid pace I investigate the neighborhood as an atmosphere and as a space creation of residents.
City Sphere SO36 is my ode to the atmosphere, the local soul of the SO36 district. I experienced the fall of the wall in this neighborhood in 1989. Experience the atmosphere of history. The air crackled over the wall in disbelief, full of hope and faith in a united Europe. Now thirty years later, Europe is in a different position. Cities and national identities flatten, while at a local level some neighborhoods claim the space back. Initiatives, protests and new connections arise, local identities. You feel a strong sense of a place, genius loci in these places, they are declared “holy”. Especially in SO36 it is brewing, and change is coming, it is more local than global. Berlin, for me the cultural capital of Europe, has a pioneering role and the place where things can be done differently. Where the visual arts and artists take the space and forge a new local identity.
With each City Sphere, I invite to look consciously at the daily environment, which we humans (un)consciously build together. Awareness of one’s own, local identity leads to a better understanding of the other and the unknown, and results in an all-inclusive society. Through gentrification and one-sided municipal policy, the local soul of urban districts threatens to be swallowed up. I want to hear the soul of the neighborhood whisper again.
Opening 27 september 7-10 pm

City Sphere SO36 – Baukje Spaltro / spoken words – Dan K Sigurd / music – Gregoire Simon

Open between 3-6 pm on 28+29.Sept and 3+4 Oct. and on appointment till 4 october 2019. mail to info@spaltro.nl

SOMA Art Space

Liegnitzerstraße 35, Kreuzberg 10999 Berlin somaartspace.de