Berlin, May 2018

Artist Dis-Placement 06: Oliver Walker at Deutsche Bahn (German Railway)


Placement 06:


As part of the Artist Dis-Placement program, Oliver will spend approximately five months at the Deutsche Bahn (DB), Germany’s nationally owned, though privately run, rail company. DB, ZKU and the artist have together agreed a completely open brief, meaning initially the artist will get a behind the scenes look into numerous aspects of the everyday running of the company, while also looking into historical archives and future plans – and exploring the network. Initial visits are in planning to a rail maintenance team, the Smart Cities team looking at the future of mobility in Hamburg, and a rail freight depot. 

Oliver Walker (Liverpool, 1980) uses live art, interventions and video to investigate social and political systems. Criticism, humor and innovations are used to analyse and partly re-configure these systems. His ‘Mr Democracy’ project saw the production of a written constitution for the UK outsourced to China, while in ‘Bringing the Market Home’, an African financial index was used to control a lighting circuit in an everyday situation in Berlin. ‘One Euro’, which has been shown widely, is an installation of six simple films each showing an individual working, and each lasting as long as it takes this individual to earn one euro.


About Artist Dis-Placement: 

The Idea of the Artist Dis-Placement programm is to connect artists to organisations which are not situated in the classical context of the art-sphere in order  to reach a different engagement and an audience which is not naturally in contact with art. ZK/U aims to look at the ‘invisible’ communal services provided by a city. Through the Artist Dis-Placement the ZK/U is extending its actions to the central organisations of the city’s infrastructure.  With this initiative, ZK/U aims to get an artistic overview on what makes a city what it is. By placing artists in organisations involved in a city’s functioning level, we wish to set up a framework for artists to research on the open field of public or semi-public services.

Five other artists are or have been placed at different institutions: Victoria Tomaschko (DE) works with inmates and employees of the women’s prison, Jan van Esch (NL) was at the DRK Berlin, Czech artist Viktor Vejvoda worked at the BSR (Berlin waste management), Alona Rodeh, a Berlin based Israeli artist, looked behind the scenes of the Feuerwehr Berlin (Berlin fire brigade) and Ben Nathan (GB) joined a metal recycling company.

More info about the Artist Dis-Placement program here.