Cassis - Parc national des Calanques - La Cayolle

Erik Göngrich and Boris Sieverts, Germany

The Team

  • Erik Göngrich +

    German artist and architect Erik Göngrich (DE) reflects in his work on the use and transformation of public space. Societal and sculptural aspects often become starting points for long-term, often collaborative processes of developing site-specific interventions. In installations, prints, photos, drawings, and tours he examines the misunderstandings that took hold in the public consciousness alongside the International Modern and functional architecture. What are our notions of urbanity today and to what extent do they reflect our urban reality? He takes a sculptural view on the informal qualities of the public sphere and is an active archivist of its transformations– some of which he effected, others of which he discovered. Publications are a passion and integral part of his artistic work, such as The World is not fair – Die große Weltausstellung (Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin 2012), The beginning of the misunderstanding (Berlin, 2012), Non Stop City (Rhein-Herne-Kanal, 2010), Starving for Embarrassing Architecture (Los Angeles, 2005) and Picnic City* (Istanbul, 2001).

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  • Boris Sieverts +

    Boris Sieverts organizes walking or biking "urban trips", at the margins of the usual understanding of the city, in order to reveal what we don't look at anymore: plants, alleyways, industrial areas, construction sites give birth to a new perception of the city; a poetic and fragmented one, but still very real.
    Through these narratives of the urban outskirts, Boris Sieverts meticulously documents situations and encounters. He analyzes the sensations which emerge from them and tries to materialize the project which underlies his excusions in such a complex environment: that of a 'poetic densification' (verdichten) of these places in the transformation of their usual perception. Boris Sieverts connects with and focuses on these wastelands, which are intrinsically strong spaces, as the outlying landscape, in their expression of absence of preconceived form and appropriation. A new glance emerges from this pathway through wastelands.

The Project

As part of Marseille Provence 2013, Erik and Boris took part to the program Quartiers Créatifs with Stefan Shankland. During two years, they have carried out, with the Hauts de Mazargues inhabitants, artistic inquiries, explorations of the district, encounters and exchanges. The PARC project had ended in the conception, test, and presentation of different suggestions for the past, present and future of this mutating part of Marseille.

The time span of this project (2012-2013) coincided with the creation of the Parc National des Calanques. In this context, new questions have emerged: to what extent has the conception of land/hinterland characterized the citizens' relation to this landscape to this day ? Is the Parc National an animated concept ? Who perceives this landscape as a park , who doesn't ? How is the transition process going between the park and the city ?

During their residency at Camargo, the two artists continued this reflection in another area at the outskirts of the park, and explored the potentials of these locations as well as their social and cultural dimensions. Through the use of maps, sketches, pictures and urban anthropology, they proposed a new geography of the area, in-between artistic production and research.