Berlin BMW Guggenheim Canceled Following Threats

by Brian Boucher 03/21/12

An urban public project by BMW and the Guggenheim, planned to open in Berlin May 24, has been canceled due to threats of protests, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab, which made a splash on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when it debuted there last summer with panel discussions, film screenings and the like, was called off “as a consequence of threats to the project,” the Lab said in a statement. Berlin was the second stop on a six-year, nine-city tour.

Left-wing activists issued calls online to urge protesters to “derail” the project, according to the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Ironically for a project intended to “address issues of contemporary urban life,” according to press materials, the Lab was derailed because opponents claimed the project would accelerate the gentrification of Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, where it was to take place, according to Bloomberg.

No new location has yet been announced, and in fact the Lab’s website still indicates it is en route to Berlin.

Advertisements

BMW Guggenheim Lab – Berlin

Guggenheim Selects New Site for BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin

Download a PDF of this statement.

January 25, 2012

Following careful consideration, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has selected a new site for the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin, the combination think tank, public forum, and community center that will operate in Berlin from May 24 to July 29, 2012, as part of a nine-city, six-year tour. Berlin is the second stop for the Lab, following its successful inaugural run in New York City last fall.

The new site is in Kreuzberg, a Berlin neighborhood known for its engagement with social action and public art, and is centrally located on an expansive lot at the corner of Cuvrystrasse and Schlesische Strasse, along the River Spree. Visible from Berlinʼs landmark Oberbaumbrücke Bridge, the site is accessible from the Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn Station. The 8,400-square-meter lot will be able to accommodate a broad range of free public programming currently being developed by the Berlin Lab Team. While considering the move to this new site, the BMW Guggenheim Lab was in close contact with several key local stakeholders.

The Berlin Lab Team is formed by José Gómez-Márquez, program director for the Innovations in International Health Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, who practices in Italy and directs the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; Berlin-based artist Corinne Rose, who works with photography and video and teaches at the Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland; and Rachel Smith, principal transport planner with AECOM, based in Brisbane, Australia. The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin is curated by Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor.

The size and accessibility of the site will provide an ideal backdrop for the Lab Team to develop programs, workshops, and other events and for participants to share, discuss, and develop ideas relating to urban life. The programming, all relating to the theme of Confronting Comfort, will focus on four main areas: Empowerment Technologies; Dynamic Connections; Urban Micro-Lens; and the Senseable (SENSEable) City.

The programs are being designed to directly and proactively engage residents from throughout Berlin, as well as visitors from around the world, and will address ideas and issues of particular relevance to the city. In addition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab website extends the reach of the Lab to a global online community through its interactive Urbanology game, multimedia, and Lab | Log, the projectʼs official blog and travel diary.

Press Contacts: Adriana Ellerman häberlein & mauerer +49 89 381 08-237 Adriana.Ellermann@haebmau.de
Tina Vaz/Betsy Ennis Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 212 423 3840 bmwguggenheimlab@guggenheim.org
Thomas Girst BMW Group +49 89 382 20067 thomas.girst@bmw.de

January 25, 2012 #1226/BGL11

http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/press-room/releases/4451-berlinsitechange