Andreas Siekmann, Trickle Down, 2007, (c)Rainer Iglar

Andreas Siekmann. Trickle Down

The Public Space in the Age of its Privatization

The work Trickle Down traces the ideological reframing of public space and the public sphere based on an ethos of ever-improving efficiency. It was produced for the exhibition skulptur projekte 07 (sculptur projects 07) in the publlic space of Münster, Germany. Public space becomes a marketable commodity. On the one hand, it is about the economic city with its buzzwords—location marketing, public-private partnerships, security. On the other, it aims to record and reveal the history of the privatization of public space and public services, such as water supplies, telephone networks, and waste collection services. It concerned a historiography of how public needs and public space are being transformed into financial products.

Recording this history seemed to me all the more necessary as these privatizations are bound by confidentiality clauses. So there is neither access to the contracts of these privatizations privatizations, nor are there any images. Instead of images, there are parades of city marketing figures, which appear in city centers, painted by artists and funded by sponsors, companies, or business people. It is as if these are the embodiments of the privatized city’s new social behavioral norms that are erasing the memories and common-law rights of its inhabitants. For me as an artist, recording history also entails finding images for this phenomenon and recalling the mechanisms behind the appropriation of public interests.

Andreas Siekmann

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