CLUB FORCE BERLIN

A monument for club culture

Our club cul­ture has its ori­gins in the leg­endary ware­house raves in Man­ches­ter, Lon­don, Detroit and the near­ly end­less free­dom in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. Cre­ativ­i­ty, diver­si­ty and open-mind­ed­ness are key­words that define our elec­tron­ic music cul­ture and which, in turn, are also defined by it.

Our cul­ture, how­ev­er, is often defamed and its impor­tance often mis­un­der­stood. It is con­demned, patron­ized, ridiculed, and its social val­ue equat­ed with that of casi­nos or porno­graph­ic cin­e­mas. Far too rarely in this coun­try does it fall upon an under­stand­ing ear in the sen­ates and min­istries of cul­ture.

Club Force Berlin would like to moti­vate peo­ple to pause and rethink. Its art instal­la­tion, con­sist­ing of dis­armed mil­i­tary tanks, sym­bol­izes the cul­tur­al rebel­lion of wild Berlin. Its steel shell bears the logos of today’s clubs and those of the past that shaped the city’s scene.

We are thus setting a monument to over 30 years of Berlin club culture and its extraordinary, positive influence on the city.

Tanks have a long tra­di­tion in Berlin’s cul­tur­al scene, such as the sculp­tures of the Mutoid Waste Com­pa­ny or DJ Tanith’s tanks at the 1994 Love Parade. With our instal­la­tion, we are cre­at­ing a place where peo­ple can get to know and under­stand one anoth­er, where cul­tur­al work­ers, pol­i­tics and the gen­er­al pub­lic can meet and exchange ideas. To achieve this, pan­el dis­cus­sions, for exam­ple, are orga­nized by us direct­ly on site (see events). We want to bring peace and raise aware­ness for the real­i­ty of our cul­ture.

Club cul­ture must be expe­ri­enced and under­stood by every­one. The pub­lic should per­ceive it as it has been rec­og­nized by many peo­ple all over the plan­et: as a live­ly, diverse cul­ture and an enrich­ment for human cohab­i­ta­tion.

Cul­ture is not just an issue for the 50+ gen­er­a­tion, and it does not con­sist exclu­sive­ly of the­atre, opera, folk or jazz fes­ti­vals. It is also uncom­fort­able, rev­o­lu­tion­ary and mov­ing. It is cre­at­ed in open spaces, it is art, it is a protest and a col­lec­tive, a pas­sion and a pur­pose in life – in short: Cul­ture is essen­tial for our soci­ety.

 

Why tanks?

Tanks already have a long-standing presence in the tradition of Berlin art and club culture.

The tanks of Club Force Berlin are a trib­ute to urban arts, cul­tur­al tra­di­tion and the peace move­ment. Fur­ther­more, they sym­bol­ize the reuni­fi­ca­tion and cul­tur­al reori­en­ta­tion of Berlin, by cut­ting and reassem­bling them into a unique sculp­ture – brand­ed and paint­ed with 30 years of cul­tur­al author­i­ty.

MUTOID WASTE COMPANY – In 1989, when the British per­for­mance art group Mutoid Waste Com­pa­ny based around Joe Rush came to Berlin, they cre­at­ed leg­endary sculp­tures from vehi­cle wrecks, such as the “Bee­tle Man” and the “Peace Bird” and placed them near Goer­l­itzer Park on the old rail­way bridge over the Landwehr Canal. The “Tankhenge”, a gate­way made of three old tanks that was set up in front of the Reich­stag, was one of the most famous mon­u­ments of this peri­od.

TANKS AT THE LOVE PARADE – On July 1, 1989, the first Love Parade took place to the mot­to of “Peace, Joy, Pan­cakes” – where­by the word “peace” stood for dis­ar­ma­ment on all lev­els, includ­ing inter-per­son­al. A few years lat­er, DJ Tanith caused a sen­sa­tion at the 1994 parade when he placed a decom­mis­sioned Russ­ian tank on his truck, which had been bor­rowed from the Spi­ral Tribe musi­cal and arts col­lec­tive. He and his posse want­ed to set a coun­ter­point to the grow­ing rave-move­ment, pro­gram­mat­i­cal­ly and opti­cal­ly.

FRIEDENSBEWEGUNG – The reded­i­ca­tion of weapons and mil­i­tary tech­nolo­gies has even deep­er roots in the his­to­ry of mankind. This is made clear in the bib­li­cal quo­ta­tion “Swords to Ploughshares” that became the claim and sym­bol of state-inde­pen­dent dis­ar­ma­ment ini­tia­tives in the GDR. It was even adopt­ed by parts of the West Ger­man peace move­ment.

 

Location: the site of the former Tresor Garden

In search­ing for the right loca­tion to place the mon­u­ment, three points were par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant to us:

  1. the abil­i­ty to attract as much pub­lic atten­tion as pos­si­ble
  2. an imme­di­ate prox­im­i­ty to pol­i­tics
  3. a strong and clear ref­er­ence to Berlin’s club cul­ture

But we got even more:

  1. a site in the heart of the city,
  2. pres­ence between con­sump­tion and pol­i­tics,
  3. expo­sure to around 22 mil­lion inter­na­tion­al vis­i­tors every year,
  4. a loca­tion in the direct vicin­i­ty of the Bun­desrat, one of Germany’s high­est polit­i­cal bod­ies,
  5. the orig­i­nal site of one of Berlin’s most famous clubs to this day, the Tre­sor.

With our col­or­ful Club Force Berlin tanks, we are occu­py­ing this place of tra­di­tion, reuti­liz­ing it for our themes and recon­quer­ing one of our old cul­tur­al loca­tions.

 

Last, but not least

We are fol­low­ing in the tra­di­tion of the Berlin Love Parade, which began on one of West Berlin’s main shop­ping boule­vards – Kur­fuer­s­ten­damm.

 

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