27 December 2007

Dog City


Art ∕ Public Space

Berlin’s most fecund inner-city prairie, also known as Skultpurenpark Berlin_Zentrum, knows no rest. A work by German artist Valeska Peschke currently occupies the southern plot of land in the form of a black seven-meter-high dog. I was immediately reminded of the scene in Catalan director Bigas Luna’s film Jamon Jamon, in which jilted lover Jose Luis, in a fit of rage, smashes the enormous pendulous testicles from a Toro de Osborne.

«Und er kommt nicht allein», Valeska Pescke

Pescke displaces this emblematic bull from scorched Iberian hillsides, and transforms it into a daft looking mutt stood in the twiggy cruddiness of Berlin’s wintertime urban dirtscape. It’s certainly fitting for a plot of land which is regularly used by dog owners as a large public toilet and canine parade ground.

As mentioned elsewhere in this journal, Berlin is the Dog Capital of Germany: there are around 100,000 of the beasts here, and that doesn’t include the unknown number of unregistered examples. According to Berlin’s cleaning contractor BSR, around 30 tonnes of dog shit gush onto the city’s streets each day. Maybe a seven-meter-high dog turd could be erected on the lot over the street.

Two related ‘hyperlinks’:
Toro de Osborne photos
Osborne’s Bull, at Wikipedia