Urban Miracles

Remise Bludenz, 2010

concept by transparadiso

with Michael Ashkin, Community Museum Project, Céline Condorelli, Teddy Cruz, feld72, Osservatorio Urbano/ Lungomare, public works, Jens Emil Sennewald, Allan Siegel, SMAQ, Gerald Straub, transparadiso, Georg Winter


Remise Bludenz | Galerie allerArt


catalog published by Bucher Verlag, ed. by transparadiso

ISBN 978-3-902679-89-5


All utopias are depressing, because they leave no room for chance, for difference, for the “miscellaneous”. Everything has been set in order and order reigns. Behind every utopia there is always some great taxonomic design: a place for each thing and each thing in its place.


—Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Stories

Who still believes in miracles? And what are actually urban miracles ? How much insistence, courage, boldness, despair and confidence is needed to make miracles happen in the public/ urban space and in socio-political realm? transparadiso has invited artists/ urbanists/ architects/ cultural producers from different cultural contexts to discuss these aspects and show their personal experience and interpretation of miracles happening in the public realm and urban space.

In spite of self-censorship and pragmatism resulting from experience and obvious restrictions artists, urbanists and architects keep insisting in making the impossible happen. Miracles amaze the most when they are least expected or seem to be completely impossible. We do not believe in miracles, yet sometimes they happen. Or does believing and hoping contribute to the chance of making a miracle happen? Is it not the artist/ architect/ writer sometimes who produces that specific energy which seems as if in vein, to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and counteracting the pragmatism of today by producing a necessary, incalculable something, which one might wish to acquire more presence?

Park Fiction (Hamburg, initiated by Christoph Schäfer/ Cathy Skene) could be considered the “Mother” of recent urban miracles. “It was finally opened in 2005, after 10 years of struggle and production of wishes. Thousands of people came to participate in this “Permanent Pick-nick against Gentrification” and used the opening of the park as an occasion to protest against the latte-macchiatization of the urban space in St.Pauli”. Ever since then, Park Fiction is considered the reference project of the unexpected success of resistance which managed to prevent the investors from realizing their mere profit driven plans of urban development.

Miracles – especially urban miracles – are not linked to a scientific definition or theoretical category but rather to amazement. Therefore the contributions of the participants reflect their personal approach and interpretation of Urban Miracles. They offer a range of visible and surprisingly successful miracles in urban space to more poetic-narrative spaces which could eventually lead to miracles in real space.

If one has in mind that each miracle is preceded by a longing, one might explore the potential of transferring the Urban Miracle to the Regional Miracle, or consider how a Regional Miracle could start on its own.