Since the 1990s, the work of Hamburg, Germany-based artist Christoph Schäfer has focused on urban life and the production of public spaces. He is closely involved with the group Park Fiction, which worked collaboratively to oppose the planned transformation of a section of the Hamburg harbor into housing and offices, and to establish instead a community park. The reclamation and advancement of public space required not only protest but also collective action within the community and the creation of platforms for exchange between people from different cultural fields. Schäfer also collaborates with the Hamburg activist network “It’s Raining Caviar” to work against gentrification, the “Right to the City” movement, and Occupy Gezi. His independent works have included the installation Melrose Place, in Bangalore, India which investigates the influence of new media on urban processes and imaginations in that software metropolis, and Hoang’s Bistro (2005), which deals with Asian shadow cities in Leipzig. Christoph’s work will be shown in the 2013 Istanbul Biennial.
Why we love Christoph Schäfer:
• Schäfer helped a community band together to prevent the creation of a hotly contested housing and office development in Hamburg and create Park Fiction, a public park, in its place
• He actively supports the Occupy Gezi movement; organizing a movement to rename Park Fiction to “Gezi Park” in solidarity with the movement