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Press Release: SPEKULATIONEN Series #6
Skupturenpark Berlin_Zentrum presents:

Daniel Bozhkov
Sigmund Jähn Döner Kebab Stand
Sigmund Jähn Park

Opening: Sunday, March 16, 2008, 3 PM

March 16 - 24, 2008

Neue Grünstraße / Kommandantenstraße /
Alte-Jakob-Straße / Seydelstraße

The countdown begins on Sunday (March 16), just before 3pm, for the launch of the Sigmund Jähn Doner Kebab Stand at Sigmund Jähn Park - a project by artist Daniel Bozhkov.

Bozhkov’s installation, at Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first German in space. On August 26, 1978, Sigmund Jähn flew on board Soyuz 31 to the Soviet space station Salyut 6, as a participant in the Intercosmos Space Program. Remarkable for times when both East and West Germany distinguished their heroes as clearly belonging to their respective states, Sigmund Jähn was declared, somewhat presciently, the “first German cosmonaut”.

To mark the occasion, Skulpturenpark has permitted Bozhkov to rename a section of its park Sigmund Jähn Park and run the Sigmund Jähn Döner Kebab Stand for 7 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes - the duration of Sigmund Jähn’s flight. During business hours (noon - 6pm, daily), tasty Turkish döners will be cut and served from the spinning, celestial spit. The project involves the döner wagon, a life-size sculpture of Sigmund Jähn, and a series of hand-painted billboards, which present the Intercosmos Space Program and its internationalist and futuristic aspirations. A live-feed, telescopic, surveillance camera focuses on the food stand and cosmonaut from an adjacent building’s top-floor suite, and will transmit to a black and white monitor at street level. The issues Bozhkov is tackling are further underlined by the 23-minute musical piece composed by Yotam Haber, in collaboration with Bozhkov. Played from a radio in the döner wagon, NASA Voyager sound recordings of Jupiter provide a space for Beethoven’s “Turkish March” to encounter contemporary Turkish rap. Everyday sounds – walking, eating, playing and grooming cross paths with Islamic prayers and speeches by Erich Honecker, Kemal Ataturk,and Helmut Schmidt, only to dissolve into YouTube performances of Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca”, Janissary music and German car commercials.

Bozhkov’s elaborate project intertwines topically unrelated, but significant conversations from the past with the present. On one hand, it looks into the problematics of articulating a national identity, and on the other, at the role space programs play in the “nostalgia for the future” experienced today. If the focus of the surveillance camera is any indication, it also celebrates the döner (invented here in Berlin’s Kreuzberg), as well as the potential multicultural face of post-division Germany – or is it post-German division?

Daniel Bozhkov is living in Italy this year as a 2007-08 Rome Prize Fellow for Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome. He was born in Bulgaria and is based in New York City. He is a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation, Art Matters, and Artslink. He has shown at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NYC; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles; IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK, and in international exhibitions such as the 6th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, 9th Istanbul Biennale in Turkey, the 1st Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art in Russia and the 9th Baltic Triennale in Vilnius, Lithuania. Daniel Bozhkov is represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City.

Yotam Haber is also living in Rome as a 2007-08 Rome Prize Fellow for Music. He is a Holland-born composer, and citizen of both Israel and the United States. Haber is based in New York City. He is a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and received ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards in 2002 and 2004. In 2004, he won the second bi-annual ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize for the wind ensemble work, Espresso, which premiered at Carnegie Hall. He has  been a Fellow at the Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals, and was a  resident at the Aaron Copland House and the Atlantic Center for  the Arts. Recent performances include the Volans Trio performing Stendhal Syndrome in conjunction with Dutch artist Maria Barnas in Berlin, Rome, and Leiden; Flux Quartet  performing Torus at Bargemusic in New York, and the Knights Ensemble  premiering A Wine-Dark Sea, hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross  as “deeply haunting”. 

Sigmund Jähn Park is open 24 hours a day for 7 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes beginning on March 16th at 3 PM. Sigmund Jähn Döner Kebab Stand will operate daily from 12 PM – 6 PM.

Mehr Info:

Spekulationen has been curated by Eva Hertzsch/Adam Page (Dresden/Berlin), Birgit Schumacher/Uwe Jonas (Berlin), Adam Sutherland (Grizedale, GB), and KUNSTrePUBLIK, e.V. For more on the Spekulationen Series, click here.

Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum is a project by KUNSTrePUBLIK, e.V. (Matthias Einhoff, Philip Horst, Markus Lohmann, Harry Sachs, Daniel Seiple). The exhibition series has received the generous support of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin, Germany.

For more information, please contact our office:
Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum
Neue Grünstr. 20
10179 Berlin