′Trash People′ in Berlin to criticize construction of luxury apartments | Arts | DW | 05.08.2016
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'Trash People' in Berlin to criticize construction of luxury apartments

For the last 20 years, the German conceptual artist HA Schult has been sending his "Trash People" - hundreds of sculptures made of crushed cans and other rubbish - all over the world. Now they're stopping in Berlin.

They have been roaming around the world in 20 containers since 1996, "like refugees of the consumer society," says installation artist HA Schult on his website.

"After showing them on the Red Square in Moscow, on the Great Wall of China and at the Pyramids of Giza, I absolutely wanted to come back to Berlin," the 77-year-old artist said.

Since Friday, 300 of these trash sculptures, symbolizing the marginalized and exploited people of the world, are on show in Berlin's Mitte district, standing in a building pit near the Friedrichswerder Church. This is the only church designed by the famous Neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel to have survived World War II.

Schult's installation is meant to be a tribute to the great Berlin architect, and to the possibly endangered church.

The controversial construction project of luxury apartments right by the church is said to have damaged the Neo-Gothic building. The construction site has therefore been closed since 2012.

However, the congregation has said that the cause of the damage that appeared during the excavation could not be exactly identified.

Uwe Schmitz, director of Frankonia Euroba, the construction firm in charge of the project, declared the excavation was executed with the strongest safety precautions. "The church didn't move a millimeter," he said.

The temporary art installation can be seen for two days only.

eg/kbm (with dpa)

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