A series of 51 wooden-framed photographs, 3045 cm,
taken in May 2005 and presented in 10 rows,
nos. 1 – 29 of Binz, nos. 30 – 51 of Prora, on the Island of Ruegen, Germany.

A digital compositing version (16 minutes) of the photo­series without sound­track for projec­tion
was created in July 2006; an accom­pa­nying article Theme Park Recon­structed was completed in October 2006.

The photo series encom­passes images of Prora, the monu­mental but uncom­pleted Nazi seaside resort and of Binz, the close by, thriving tourist spa in northern Germany.

2007 (15.10.) Pdf versions of Ury’s article (English and German) Theme Park Recon­structed including all images of the photo series Theme Park, published in Recon­struc­tion: Studies in Contem­po­rary Culture, Volume 7, Number 4, English and German versions:

reconstruction.eserver…

reconstruction.eserver…

This piece repre­sents the best of politico-histor­ical art, a sort of essay version of Sebald — a genre of crit­i­cism too little explored, prac­tised, etc. The images them­selves, as well as the way Ury has placed them within the well-docu­mented text, create an uncanny (unheim­lich) feel with respect to the twin­ning of past and future, tourism and fascism, ruin and recon­struc­tion. Not only that, but Ury tells about a real place and situ­a­tion, so that social forces are revealed which are inten­si­fied by her aesthetic vision.”

Alan Clinton Submis­sions editor, Recon­struc­tion: Studies in Contem­po­rary Culture, January 2007

Prora near Sass­nitz, is part of a small holiday resort, Ostseebad Binz on the Prora Wiek, one of the bays on the Island of Ruegen, north Germany. Only a few kilo­me­tres of sandy beach sepa­rate them. The one, prac­ti­cally unin­hab­ited, is a ghost town that is never­the­less visited by 250,000 sight­seers each year because of its histor­ical impor­tance; the other is a tourist paradise, swarming with people, mainly in summer.

Prora, known as the Colossus of Ruegen, consists chiefly of numerous barrack-like, 6 floor-high build­ings, which were built and almost completed by the National Socialist Organ­i­sa­tion 1936 – 39 and lie at a distance of ca. 150 m from the beach. This would-be seaside health resort, approx­i­mately 4.5 kilo­me­tres in length, was constructed for the benefit of 20,000 German workers, so that they might relax with Kraft durch Freude”, Power through Joy” to strengthen their nerves for the coming war.

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

Tanya Ury



Presen­ta­tion

2006 (26.7. – 9.8.) Solo exhi­bi­tion, computer-based projec­tion, Seminar Theme Park Recon­structed in the exhi­bi­tion space 4pm. 27.7., Tüzrakter Inde­pen­dent Cultural Centre, Budapest (HU)

2006 (14.8) Solo exhi­bi­tion, computer-based projec­tion, Seminar Theme Park Recon­structed in the exhi­bi­tion space 3pm. 27.7, Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum (GB)

2006 (28.8. – 3.9) computer-based projec­tion, Seminar Theme Park Recon­structed, c.sides Festival, Jerusalem ICC (Inter­na­tional Conven­tion Center)(IL)

2007 (6.1116.12) Group exhi­bi­tion, opening 5th November, computer-based projec­tion, Dias­pora and Trou­bles, Kunst­bunker Tumulka, Munich (D) www​.kunst​bunker​-tumulka​.de

2007 (17.5.) Theme Park Recon­structed, computer-based projec­tion, Seminar, 11 pm, Limmud festival, Jüdis­ches Gemein­dezen­trum (Jewish Commu­nity Centre), St.-Jakobs-Platz 18, Munich (D)

2007 (15. – 29.6) Group exhi­bi­tion, photos Nos. 39 & 51 Theme Park, Urban Land­scape, Total Kunst, The Forest, Edin­burgh (GB)

2007 (21. – 24.8.)computer-based projec­tion, Seminar 10.35 am , Confer­ence on the Arts in Society, Kassel (D) A07.cgpub​lisher​.com/pr…

a07​.cgpub​lisher​.com/se…

2007 (15.10) Pdf versions of Ury’s article (English and German) Theme Park Recon­structed including all images of the photo series Theme Park, published in Recon­struc­tion: Studies in Contem­po­rary Culture, Volume 7, Number 4, English and German versions:

reconstruction.eserver… 

reconstruction.eserver…

2007 (27. – 29.10.) Theme Park Recon­structed, computer-based projec­tion, Seminar 27th October, The Past in the Present, History as Prac­tice in Art, Design and Archi­tec­ture, 4.306.30 Bourdon First Floor Lecture Theatre, Glasgow School of Art – Dept. of Histor­ical and Crit­ical Studies, Glasgow (GB)

2007 (6.1116.12) Opening 5th November, ending 16th December, Theme Park, computer-based projec­tion, group exhi­bi­tion Dias­pora and Trou­bles curated by Tanya Ury, Kunst­bunker Tumulka, Munich (D)

www​.kunst​bunker​-tumulka​.de/​v​o​r​s​c​h​a​u.htm

www​.kunst​bunker​-tumulka​.de/​u​r​y​/​u​r​y.pdf

2008 (22.3) computer-based projec­tion seminar, 12:302:00 p.m. Sierra Suite A, Popular Culture Asso­ci­a­tion confer­ence (19. – 22.3), San Fran­cisco www​.pcaaca​.org (USA)

2009 (19.3. – 24.5) Photo series with article: Theme Park Recon­structed as PDF computer presen­ta­tion (in German with all images) with Photos Theme Park Nos. 39 & 51 , opening 18.30, 19th Marchfor Dr. Jürgen Rostock’s lecture at 19 hours in the exhi­bi­tion Freizeit im Faschismus” (Free time under Fascism) exhi­bi­tion, EL-DE-Haus, the National Socialist Docu­men­ta­tion Centre, Cologne (D) www​.museenkoeln​.de

Infor­ma­tion

Photog­raphy: Tanya Ury

Digital processing: Claudia Stasch

DVD demo edit Rainer Nelissen

Digital Compositing pixel2motion

Article: Tanya Ury

German trans­la­tion: Tanya Ury and Amin Farzanefar, editor: Amin Farzanefar

Publi­ca­tions & Press

Artist’s Writ­ings & Publi­ca­tions

2007 (15.10) Pdf versions of Ury’s article (English and German) Theme Park Recon­structed including all images of the photo series Theme Park, published in Recon­struc­tion: Studies in Contem­po­rary Culture, Volume 7, Number 4, English and German versions:

reconstruction.eserver…

reconstruction.eserver…

Scroll to Top