Intervention im öffentlichen Raum von KIM/ILLI (Seulbi Kim & Christian Illi)
Eröffnung: 30.09.2023
Ort: Berlin, Warschauer Brücke

Mit Alumnus Christian Tenefrancia Illi



 Reversed Dunk is a public space intervention in the form of a large scale, site specific installation.
An impossible basketball court has been installed at Warschauer Brücke by KIM/ILLI (Seulbi Kim &
Christian Illi). The realization is a commentary on the structural limitations for genuine urban
culture within the neoliberal logic of spatial aggregation and separation. The artwork is located
between two traditionally working class districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Echoing the
shape of a single piece of Berlin Wall artists evoke the history of the place as a borderland zone
and point to new separations of public space caused by arrival of international capital to Berlin
since 1989. The close proximity to East Side Mall and controversial Amazon Tower amplify the
reflection on the gentrification of the area, where the space—as it is today—is almost fully
subordinated to commercial purposes such as tourism, mass entertainment and corporate culture.
Rich symbolism of the piece refers to neoliberal strategies of accumulation through dispossession
within urban space and reveals their effect for expropriating quotidian street cultures. A “basketball
hoop” in the form of a shopping cart is located on the top of a more than twenty meters high,
curved ramp. The most simple symbol of a commodified life is no longer accessible to an
unaugmented human body. The questions of accessibility and usability are complemented by the
dynamic composition. The shopping cart appears as if frozen in flight above the busy street,
pointing to the unjust distribution of risk within economies driven by the need for infinite
acceleration and high velocity of growth. Fantastic size of a playing field alludes to the impossibiliy
of “scoring in the game” drawing attention to the demand for extraordinary excellence imposed on
communities dispossessed by global financial capital. The demand which serves as a moral
justification to limit social mobility and maintain structural inequalities.
Reversed dunk designed in accordance with the physical and symbolic character of the
surrounding area is more than a memorial to urban culture already gone or a critique of neoliberal
urban planning. The humorous dimension of the artwork creates an open space for the public to
attribute new meanings to the piece and to the site of its location. Referring to the proximity of East
Side Gallery and Berlin Wall the artwork aims to become a container for social sentiments and a
vessel for testimonies of gentrification, gestures of resignification and transformation of the place.
The piece is thus an interruption within contagious neoliberal urbanism and an attempt for the
restoration of the public space through transforming the site into a loud and active public area.