Bus shelter, polycarbonat,airbrush
St.Open #1, co-work with Vera Drebusch
The opening of the first bus shelter “Bushaltestelle Deutschland”, being one of the four bus shelters of the project “St. Open”, took place at the beginning of April 2017 on the former railway bridge between media park and city park of Cologne.
The gradient black-red-yellow designed shelter is now a meeting point for all kinds of people: kissing youngsters, homeless people and pedestrians stop there and leave their traces while looking into a blue sky over the train tracks, passing the Cologne TV tower.
Translucent polycarbonate boards modified with airbrush technique, replaced the walls of the shelter. The sharp colour lines, separated in the official German flag, blend and intermix here. While the sunlight shines through the tinted walls, its colours are reflected on its environment.
The rather profane architectural object of a bus shelter, from the 1970s, gains a superior aspect and starts to shine. This illuminating moment contradicts the colours, inspired by the German flag. Though the gradient of the colours slightly alienates the image of the flag, the symbol is obvious; Germany itself became a symbol, ever since it welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees over recent years. Thereby, the country achieved a new character and a re-coded appearance in the world. For many, Germany became a place of desire and a harbour of humanity. But not everyone stays here, being just an intermediate stop on a journey without perspective. And in Germany, the flag has regained some symbolic power recently, becoming more visible and present in public spaces. Flags symbolize separation and segregation, and they evoke attitudes.
The bus shelter is a waiting area, a place of expectation, resting and transit. It frames and collects the passengers and makes them visible in urban spaces. At the same time, it provides shelter and can create temporary and coincidental communities in a moment of both similar or opposing feelings and thoughts.
The temporary installation is empty and open. It stands there, alone and abandoned on the underpass. Also, it appears like an illuminated oasis, that can also be spotted by the passing street below, which was originally planned as a city motorway. The booth seems to wait for its usage, as if it would like to set a statement.