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Title:Sharp edges of the horizon: a fissure between “openness” and “emptiness” on the Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin
Author(s):Leopold, Lilah A
Advisor(s):Romberg, Kristin
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Art history
Spatial politics
Land use
Tempelhofer Feld
Abstract:The former fields and runways of the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany, have layered histories. The nearly two-square-mile area served as a late nineteenth-century agricultural field, fair ground, twentieth-century German military base, concentration camp, US military base, and airport, before being opened as a park in 2010. This thesis looks at the contestation surrounding twenty-first century proposals for future use and development of the park space, including the role that contemporary site-specific art has played in negotiating this terrain. By offering spaces for collective and public discussion, these artistic actions and temporary installations cultivate the continuance of the strong civic engagement that opened Tempelhof as a park and has kept it open. This thesis problematizes discourses that render the park space as both “open” and “empty.” When open and empty are conflated, it risks erasing the multivalent histories and uses that have defined Tempelhof in the past and suggests ways to move forward. Analysis of artworks produced for the site offers a mechanism to further read its historical layers and contributes to the continuing art-historical exploration of land art and urban settings. The Plattenvereinigung (Pre-Fab) project space on Tempelhof’s southern runway offers a unique vantage point to work with a fissure between the terms of open and empty.
Issue Date:2017-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Lilah Leopold
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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