Nomad City Passage 01 / Prosperity and Privatisation

Nomad City Passage Düsseldorf, first night, museum kunst palast. Photo: Christian Ahlborn



Everybody is going home. We will stay the night.

For five nights a mobile campsite moved around the city of Düsseldorf, inviting guests to an unusual overnight stay. The locations chosen – an art museum, the “Medienhafen“ (a hip harbour area), a shopping mall, a tennis club, and a golf course – represented Düsseldorf´s projection of itself as a prospering city.

In the afternoon, the team installed the campsite reception desk at the chosen location. In the evening the guests arrived. On checking in, each guest was handed a tent, an inflatable mattress, a towel, a torch and bedtime reading matter; then the guests chose the spot where they wished to spend the night. Together with the proprietor of the individual location, the team provided information about its specific background, history, function etc. in an informal talk with the guests present. The overnight stay enabled the participants to establish a personal link with a location superficially solely determined by concerns of representation. The indeterminate nighttime atmosphere of the vacated premises offered opportunities for perceiving the location beyond its ordinary stage-managed function.
The relocation of one of the most intimate human activities – sleeping – to a public or semi-public spot afforded a fresh recognition of this particular place and, by dint, of the urban structure as a whole.

Shoppingmall Sevens, KönigsalleeShoppingmall Sevens, Königsallee. Photo: Saskia Zeller
museum kunst palastmuseum kunst palast
Gehry-buildings, Medienhafen


concept and realisation:  Oliver Gather, Rebekka Reich
supported by: Kunststiftung NRW, dem Kulturamt und dem Stadtplanungsamt der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf 2005


Documentary film : Jens Barlag,14min
Nomad City Passage, Düsseldorf 2005. Photos: Christian Ahlborn



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