Clara Brinkmann
»SubUrban – Berlin’s Future Lives Underground«

Billboards around Leinestrasse:
Selchower Strasse (26 14–30 August 2021), corner of Columbiadamm and Fontanestrasse (31 August–9 September 2021), Hermannstrasse 220 (10–30 September 2021), corner of Reuterstrasse and Karl-Marx-Strasse (21–30 September 2021)
Promotional items for distribution: flyers, flashlights, condoms
With performances on: Sunday, 15 August and Saturday, 18 September, 1-6 pm
With campaign slogans focussing on urban qualities, the fictitious construction company SubUrban promotes its new accommodation: »My new apartment is ten meters below the stress threshold« or »My new apartment is a fully air-conditioned, fully equipped low rider.« The unusual thing is that these apartments are supposed to be in disused subway stations. On billboards, the campaign shows full-length images of fashionably dressed people that suggest an urban lifestyle. As well as the posters around Leinestrasse, the project will also be promoted on the streets with giveaway items like torches and condoms. The slogans printed on these items are funny and sometimes cheeky, like the condom packets that read: »Deeper, deeper, deeper«. The project website features a fictitious profile of the company and renderings of the apartments scheduled for construction over the next few years, as well as several suggestions for layouts and furnishings.
The putative company is a project by the artist Clara Brinkmann that addresses discussions around Berlin’s accommodation market with an ironic take on the right to affordable housing. Although the artist is at pains to accurately replicate all aspects of actual real-estate sales campaigns, the aim is not to deceive prospective buyers but to stimulate dialogue. If an enquiry is received through the website, the artist will contact the interested party to discuss the difficult housing situation and to reveal the fictitious character of the project.
Utopia or dystopia? In some cities, the idea of using underground spaces for accommodation is already a reality. In this way, the imaginary company SubUrban functions within the context of Berlin as a glimpse of a possible future when there is no more room for affordable accommodation above ground, when the process of urbanization has advanced so far that as well as horizontal sprawl, there is also a vertical development in the downwards direction.
In her work, CLARA BRINKMANN (born 1997) deals with the concept of »movement«, creating spaces for debates, emotions and actual physical encounters in different ways, using walks and dance in temporary settings. She studied fine art at Braunschweig University of Art and has shown work in group exhibitions including: »Swim John«, Stadtbad Bürgerpark, Braunschweig (2019); »Losing Touch?«, Mönchehaus Museum Goslar (2019); »Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue«, Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst (2018). In 2021, Brinkmann opened the independent space »Garten 7« at the allotment Kleingartenverein Okerwiese e.V. in Braunschweig, and in 2019 she founded the action collective »Die 1ige Veranstaltung«.