Sunday 20th March 2016, 2:30pm
Getaway #14: Nadja Baldini
Nadja Baldini chose this Sunday’s getaway destination.*
– Nadja tends to collaborate. And to invite people. A couple of years ago she invited people to a public test site in Zurich. It’s the place where the EWZ tests street lighting: very differently designed lamps are installed awkwardly close to each other. Inviting artists and an audience turned this lamp test site into a test site for art on several occasions.
When I was desperately asking around for an ice compartment last summer, for the Outside Sunday with Florence Jung, Nadja brought hers to Bürkliplatz. She came by bike, and it was dangling heavily from her handlebar. She had filled it up on the way, knowing which was the only gas station that – due to weeks of 30 degrees – had not run out of ice by then. –
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Nadja Baldini for the fourteenth Outside Sunday.
Walking down the social slope
Once you reach the uptown living area around Rigiblick, you come close to descending again immediately. Frohburgstrasse starts there. Frohburgstrasse is practically the only direct connection to Schwamendingen. Schwamendingen is downtown, in a literal sense. In terms of urban integration Schwamendingen is completely cut off from the rest of the city, due to the highway and the Züriberg. Does this make Schwamendingen a Ghetto? What else do you need to produce social marginalization?
It’s in Rigiblick where Nadja grew up. We passed the house of her childhood and spied through the fence thickly overgrown with ivy. The top’s plateau is marked with a small park and a concrete fountain designed by one of the concrete artists. It might be by Max Bill. I don’t remember. Looking down you see the Irchelpark and the University campus with some art by other concrete artists. Here the way down starts.
At some point on the way down you notice the quite solid apartment houses that are radiating an unusual atmossphere. They still look proper at first glance but on second examination they seem to be falling apart. Then you notice the excessive noise level. There’s a Schallschutzmauer running all the way behind the apartment houses. It does not fulfill its purpose very convincingly. Apparently the city has been planning to tear all of this down for a long time. The whole area is awaiting a „grossräumige Gebietsaufwertung“. According to Corinne Mauch, Schwamendingen is the designated new place for gentrification. Artists are expected to move here soon since it’s the only place at this distance from the city center where rents are likely to stay affordable for the next years. So artists are functional elements of the „grossräumige Gebietsaufwertung“. Until the „Gebietsaufwertung“ really starts producing effects of „Aufwertung“. By then the highway is underneath and the Schallschutzmauer is gone and the new residents can wander the green recreational rooftop of the highway in silence. Before this two generations of residents will have had to move on, move further, like always.