WTD "What's the deal?" – A Transnational Project on Young Urban Cultures …


21. April 2014

What happened at Max-Joseph-Platz?

by Tuncay    Filed under: Munich,Nomadic SculptureComments Off on What happened at Max-Joseph-Platz?

That’s just one of a bunch of questions that come to one’s mind by hearing the impressive name of this square which is located very near to the city center of Munich? What happened here once? What is happening here now? Who is the guy sitting on top of this massive base greeting the public dressed in a royal gown? It must be an important historical person! As a tourist i could pass it by take some pictures of the monumental buildings in the back (State Opera, National Theater, Royal Residence etc.) and go on with the journey. It seems to be a representative place in the City Center – similar to a lot of central squares all around the world.
Well, to be honest: it was this kind of stereotype image that made us choose this square for Episode 1 of Nomadic Sculpture. First of all it was an amazing fact, that nearly no one in the team new the name of the square although most of them were all native born Monacians. This shows that it’s massive representative monumental structure doesn’t really reach it’s goal.
This leads us to the next question: What is the main function of this place? At the moment it seems rather to be a huge square the people just pass by on their way to the theater. Just a few people step on the central square. Mainly tourists, less natives. For years the smooth surface of the approach roads around the monumental square made this place a beloved skatespot, but of course this is forbidden. Instead billion tons of high class expensive cars are using them to reach into the save underground car park which is situated right under the square.
So we found it quite interesting to start our Nomadic Sculpture project here. And while we already decided to start Episode 1 with a public interview the idea was likely to start this series of interviews right here. We wanted to start Episode 1 by asking specific questions to the public, in order to gather input and ideas for our whole project from the people.
So we decided to do it like the big marketing agencies: “we want to get as much information about the individual as we can get!”. To achieve this we put interview teams together which we recruited out of the cities scholars-essembly – charming and clever youngsters who led the people through the interview process.

Now it was time for our question marks (http://whatsthedeal.eu/blog/?p=219). We positioned them on 3 different places on the square in order to make questions visible before they were even asked – just as a visualization of a potential need for them. And it worked out fine! It seemed like this visualization inspired the people to ask. So they came and asked curious questions and so we could answer their questions with our own ones! That was fun!

What we did was following:
The main purpose was to get as much participants for the interviews as possible. For this we built up a set of activities to receive public attention. We built up a bar, a sound system with good music from local bands and dj’s , positioned our container which served as a art workshop and a cinema in the evenings. Our interview teams then started to pick up the curious passers by to involve them charmingly into the interviews.

Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery

We asked questions about:
1. The identity and it’s relations to certain products.A skateboarders vision on Max-Joseph-Platz
2. The personal habits concerning upcycling, recycling of personal belongings.
3. The most important: questions about the personal relation to this specific public space, the very very private and personal visions and wishes one has concerning the usage of this place. We asked the question: “Look, a skateboarders dream about this place would be this. what would be yours?”. And of course we asked them, whether they know the name of this place and about the identity of the guy depicted in the huge central monument.

Well first of all i will quench your thurst about this central question: the guy depicted here is “Maximilian I. Maria Michael Johann Baptist Franz de Paula Joseph Kaspar Ignatius Nepomuk” (* 27. Mai 1756 in Schwetzingen / Mannheim; † 13’th October 1825 in Munich), King of Bavaria from 1805 to 1813. Well the most surprising fact was: most of the interviewpartners neither knew that guy nor the name of the square although a lot of them declared to pass this place frequently (most of them were Munich residents and a few of them were regular visitors of the national opera).

At least this showed us that the question marks were well placed here.

As we explained in the article before, we plan to include all the input we received from the people (total amount of interviews done: around 100) into the further development of our project “Nomadic Sculpture” and “From Space to Place to Utopia”. But first of all we wanted act differently like all the marketing agencies by giving something back to the people who invested time and energy to answer all that questions. The interview forms were brought to our artists who created quickly done “personal giveaway artwork” for every filled interview form – and those individual artwork we handed out to all the participants (they will be worth a fortune after a few years!).

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To have a better view please go to our Flickr-page!

Production of silkscreen patterns on cardboard: Matt Wiegele
Artists who produced the artwork: Rosanna Schumacher (http://www.mitrosa.de/), Serena Ferrario (http://www.serenaferrario.de/), Steffi Müller
& Klaus Dietl (http://www.ragtreasure.de/), Cordula Schieri.
Art direction of the project "Nomadic Sculpture": Philip Metz (http://www.philipmetz.de)


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