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Tegel: Flights of Fancy

Tegel: Flights of Fancy

Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre


A video programme that responds to the planned closure of Berlin’s Tegel Airport

TEGEL: FLIGHTS OF FANCY is a video programme that responds to the planned closure of Berlin’s Tegel Airport. The project is organised by Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Susanne Prinz and Julie Westerman, and builds on a series of events, exhibitions, and publications that have been realised through cross-cultural collaboration between artists based in the UK and Germany. The event will be hosted by Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and screened at the Kino Babylon on Saturday 2 June from 18.00 to midnight.

The closure of Tegel airport marks an important change in the way air travel is organised and experienced. The design of this airport is of a time when flight was associated with glamour, fantasy, technological progress, romantic chance encounters, and fictional disasters. The building consists of a large concrete hexagonal structure circumnavigated by a corridor, punctuated with brightly coloured check-in desks. Viewing platforms and executive lounges populate the circumference of the building, inviting the traveller to enjoy a navigable thoroughfare instead of the shed-like enclosure with limited seating. There are commissioned art works, restaurants and bars, cafés and shops. The décor follows the distinctive bright colour schemes of its age all the way through to the plastic sinks and hand dryer in the restrooms.

Tegel Airport is closing and while there are rumours about the next incarnation of this elegant building, what it might become in the future remains uncertain. The thirty-six films selected for TEGEL: FLIGHTS OF FANCY speculate on both how the airport might be occupied in the future and what it symbolised in the past; they explore how air travel is hardwired into the imagination: the cinematic (disaster, romance, and action movie all in one), and consider concepts of cultural mobility, exchange, and internationalism.

Researchers involved

Julie Westerman - Senior Lecturer - Fine Art

Gillian Hobson - Research Degree Student Alumni (2010-2015)

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