Theme Park Reconstructed

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The photo series 'Theme Park' emerged from the many images I took of Prora’s grey concrete and tile-roofed buildings, or the exploded and ruined parts of mortar brick walls and alternately the older and newer holiday apartments, hotels, constitutional pathways and the animated, peopled beaches of Binz. My objective was to photograph the differences, or possible similarities between Prora and Binz. The outcome was a presentation that takes the viewer on a stroll through the various landscapes. In December 2003 the German government (under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s leadership at the time) gave its approval for the purchasing of the museum block, on condition that the District of Ruegen and the Binz community agreed with the sale. The various groups decided they would prefer to retain the so-called Museum’s Mile however, and rejected a sale to Inselbogen Ltd and Uniconsulta; the Tenants’ Association had already prepared an offer to purchase the block themselves, in 1999. In September 2004, the Ministry of Finance nevertheless, sold parts of the premises of the National Socialist recreational centre Prora, and 70 Hectares of forest and open country; Uniconsulta, an institution for market research, registered in the Principality of Liechtenstein bought the ruins in the northern part of Prora, Inselbogen bought Block III and adjacent sections. “’Should the sale be endorsed, the very centre of Prora would be presented on a plate to someone who isn’t concerned about the historical importance of the place.’ Rostock said that Meyer was marketing Prora as a sort of Disneyland.” Dr.Jürgen Rostock, director of the Documentation Centre Prora, taz newspaper 14.12.2004

Keywords: Theme Park, Prora, Binz, Photograph, German Workers
Stream: Art and Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Theme Park Reconstructed

Tanya Ury

Cologne, Germany

I was born in 1951 and studied as a mature student having previously pursued other occupations as a cook, carer, working on the land etc. only later gaining a BA HONS in Fine Art, first class, Exeter (GB) in 1988, a Masters in Fine Art, distinction, Reading University (GB) in 1990 and the Colin Walker Fellowship in Fine Art (& guest lecturer), Sheffield Hallam University (GB) 1991-92. Over the last twenty years I have been making art and writing almost exclusively on the subject of the re-appraisal of Shoah, with a particular interest in contemporary Germany in the face of the Holocaust. In order to pursue this interest I moved to Germany from England in 1993. I am a second-generation Anglo/German/Jewish artist – I come from a family of survivors. My work can be seen on the website: I have produced video, performance and lectures for exhibitions, festivals, and universities, extensively and internationally. I have made photographic and holographic art, created objects, audio texts and installation, have also been active as curator and author. I believe that activism in art practice and writing can bring necessary attention to critical political issues.

Ref: A07P0026