Public/Private/InBetween, Installation, 2019

 

Public space is designed to let people circulate, and its borders change quickly. Homeless people who live in the public space break up its rules and transform it into their private environment and survive in their “privatized” public space. They are viewed as those “others” who don't respect the rules of public space and who cause disorder. They break the rules of dignity, privacy and social distance.

 

Walking through the streets of Berlin, it is quite common to see marginalized people sitting or resting under the arcades, begging or wandering in general. The arcades, train stations and the corners of the narrow streets are attractive because they can be easily transformed into temporary beds not only for protection from bad weather but also a certain sense of privacy. Furthermore, some homeless people also tend to occupy a specific space, marking the territory with visible signs. Such space is the result of a negotiation between social actors, and the homeless “invade” public space and become stakeholders in it. What we see is a modification of the urban space, which the they adjust for their own needs.

 

The work is produced during six weeks residency program at Kültürschöpfer, Berlin followed by a collaborative exhibition in Green Hill Gallery Berlin. Space is constructed to resample a private space belonging to homeless people with its own spaces, rhythms, times, relationships, and survival strategies. The installation tries to visualize the symbols which flexibly define the borders and grey areas between public and private space.