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Drive-in Fleamarket

2010 / 2012
Social Sculpture

Realized during my residency in Biedenkopf (2010)* and ADDAYA CENTRE D’ART CONTEMPORANI, Spain (2012)*

Drive-in Flohmarkt* (de) / Auto Mercat Rastro* (es)


An action that sets out to revive a public space that has ceased to serve its function as a central square. Part of a collective project, structured under an interdisciplinary theme of re-thinking one’s home, with central values such as the construction of identity, home, tradition, memory, and renewal. Despite possessing a rich historic background and local tradition, the Market square of Biedenkopf had suffered, a consequence of the advanced auto-mobilization of the population. As most of the trade businesses have moved from the inner city to the industrial area, served by the bypass road, the Market square in Biedenkopf has stopped to serve its original role. I worked with students from the european Urban studies and Architecture, and was able to closely inspect the different methodologies adopted by architects. Through identifying the urban pattern based on the architecural report, i was able to seethe town’s dynamics in a broader context. This was how i was inspired by the idea of the formation of a “pattern” in an urban planning and space. In this participatory action, people were invited to drive their cars, their trunks packed with things to sell, into the market square.

Parking was specifically directed; trunks facing in, forming a circle around the monument. The then-enclosed space formed by the cars and the monument attracted people. Beside the participating cars, i had personally set up two cars. One, as the information counter, offering tea/coffee in exchange for ideas and the other as the mobile DJ station, playing a list of music that could be spontaneously changed when requests came in. A local business sponsored the event, providing light snacks. The flea market action occurred twice. The first time, despite the challenge of severely cold weather and insufficient time in publicizing, a fair amount of people showed up. The second time, more people decided to join in on the day. All came with a fully packed trunk, some even had foldable tables and racks and decorated their car trunks to look like small shops. Some sellers creatively made use of the pedestal space around the monument for displaying bigger objects. It was an intervention that has turned the Market square into a place where people meet and discourse again. It was encouraging to see people talking about the monument, when one resident eagerly shared his ideas on how the monument could be redesigned. There was also interest from the people and the city to continue this action, welcoming it as a new tradition in the city. 

 

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