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.
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:
- the ability to attract as much public attention as possible
- an immediate proximity to politics
- a strong and clear reference to Berlin’s club culture
But we got even more:
- a site in the heart of the city,
- presence between consumption and politics,
- exposure to around 22 million international visitors every year,
- a location in the direct vicinity of the Bundesrat, one of Germany’s highest political bodies,
- 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.