Bordkiosk Surprise
Individuelle Krisenvorsorge, Jenny Schäfer, 2018
Individuelle Krisenvorsorge, Jenny Schäfer, 2018

Six artistic interventions on the quarterdeck of the Seute Deern On six summer evenings in July and August 2018, the kiosk on-board the Seute Deern in HafenCity’s Tall Ship Harbour was the scene for performances by Hamburg artists, featuring Care Packages and harbour-front tattoos, music, ensigns and cocktails, WhatsApp theatre, and caretaker services.

A project by Raphael Dillhof and Nina Lucia Gross

By virtue of its distinctive premises alone – an exposed location, yet fluid, mobile and fleeting as a means of transport – the erstwhile tourist vessel is ideally suited as a venue for experiments on urban life and for interventions in the newly created quarter. A temporary meeting place for interested all-comers has emerged on the ship’s quarterdeck as a result of a low-threshold performance-based programme. What does HafenCity need? Who owns the city? How can we promote exchanges between Hamburg’s local residents and the city’s cultural players? These were just some of the questions addressed by the project which used the Tall Ship Harbour as a venue for exchanges, discussions, and casual encounters.

At the heart of the inaugural evening were garish ceramic ashtrays and Spezi combinations of different Cola and orange soda brands. Activities such as drinking, smoking and networking – the sort of natural ‘incidental activities’ that occur at any art preview event – were artistically transformed into the absurd and the anarchic: the referencing of the much-maligned ‘eventisation’ of cultural events on the one hand and an invitation to discussions and non-commercial exuberance on the other. And, as a freely accessible party situation, an ideal prologue to the programme that followed!

The evenings engaged in all sorts of ways with the venue and the format of the exchange, of this interactive encounter. Rosanna Graf invited guests to attend an intimate tarot session where they had to choose between the topics of ‘money’ and ‘love’. Afterwards, they were released back into the real world with a magic potion und an aura portrait drawn up on the computer. Tabea Venrath and Elisa Schmitt used the ship as their theatre stage for a performative cruise-ship play complete with WhatsApp accompaniment while Paula Erstmann served salmon and caviar fingerfood. Caretakers Cage & Cave organised afternoon angling sessions, held convivial get-togethers around the regulars’ table on board, and hosted expert discussions with a free choice of topics. Jenny Schäfer offered complete survival starter kits with a pack of Heisse Tasse tins, vampire teeth, and a few headache tablets that questioned the sense and purpose of catastrophe alarmism. Finally, on the last evening, Franziska Nast transformed the Kiosk into a genuine harbour-front tattoo parlour with tattoos of knots specially designed for the occasion. Job counselling and careers advice for second-chance education were also served up at the counter of the Harburg Bar along with Hanseatic cocktails. Meanwhile Axel Loytved proceeded to transform the quarterdeck into a bizarre urban model with hundreds of miniature sculptures made of concrete and PET bottles, illustrating what city districts might look like (regardless of whether they are new towns or historical) without such artistic projects: i.e. nothing other than cold grey blocks.

Raphael Dillhof (* 1986 in Vienna) is an art historian, critic, art journalist and editor for the art magazine art, among others.

Nina Lucia Gross (* 1990 in Salzburg) is a doctoral candidate in art history, author and project co-ordinator of the series Track Academy at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof art association.

In 2015 Raphael Dillhof and Nina Lucia Gross founded the art association ‘PLAN – Raum für Kunst e. V.’. In recent years, they have organised numerous exhibitions featuring international artists at various alternating locations in Hamburg (including the Golden Pudel Club, Westwerk, 2025 e. V.).

Date 11 July 2018 - 29 August 2018