Conversation between Matthias Ulrich and Vanja Vukovic during the exhibition "playing the city 2" in the Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt - Germany

M.U.: Public space is a closely contested realm. Michel de Certeau moreover describes this space as the result of all activities occurring within that space. Why is it important as an artist to participate in these public struggles or activities, and what is there to be gained?

V.V.: Considering who is allowed to shape public space, it is primarily industrial, economical, state and public interests. How do public spaces in our cities differ from one another – the degree of security paired with forfeited creative freedom? How ‘private’ can you be in public spaces and with limited personal scope of activity? Do I have a choice? Do I participate in the ‘whore city’ (not the religious Babylonian, but the ghettoized)? Globalization has a different impact on various urban districts: both advantageous and disadvantageous.
In principle, I am concerned with a science fiction-esque language, assuming the victory over corporate actions by acting in the interest of the private. How much privacy is public and how much public private? A kind of creative engagement emerges, by being able to make decisions and taking responsibility.

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