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Sound Installation (2017)

Runze Feng (China)

Malak Yacout Saleh (Egypt)

Leipzig, like many other cities, attempts to reconstruct its image as a tourist attraction. The city is home to yet another “Altstadt” (old town) with its old museums, churches, large shopping malls, and rather ungenuine cityscapes like Augustusplatz. Yet, who is to say what is genuine and what is not?


Simultaneously, Leipzig is also home to more peripheral neighborhoods - who is to say what places are peripheral? One such neighborhood is Eisenbahnstrasse, with its history as an older fashionable shopping pavilion and its recently acquired reputation for violence and petty crime. Most recently, however, Eisenbahnstrasse is going through a redevelopment as one of Leipzig’s “cool” hidden gems.


Gentrification is of course no new phenomenon, and yet it is an ongoing, violent, autocratic process that disregards and excludes the residents it affects. However, artists cannot claim to be entirely innocent as they direct attention to such “alternative” attractions contributing to gentrification cycles.


Neustädterstraße (meaning “New City street”) is an almost unnoticeable sound installation of an imaginary detonation and construction site in one such quieter residential and redeveloped street near Eisenbahnstrasse. It satirically points to destruction and reconstruction processes of neighborhoods, and the failures of gentrification to consider and engage in dialogue with residents. This artistic gesture paradoxically brings tourists to such

an outlying space - making it “cool” again.

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