Hamburg Artists Are Way More Hardcore Than New York Artists

08/26/2009 2:12 PM |

German contemporary artist Daniel Richter

According to ARTINFO, over the past weekend some 200 artists (including gallery star Daniel Richter, pictured) took over a dozen buildings slated for demolition in central Hamburg in Germany. The picturesque, dilapidated old buildings in the historic Gängeviertel district belong to a Dutch company that is planning on demolishing 80 percent of them to build new residential and commercial buildings. The artists turned the abandoned spaces and surrounding lots into galleries, studios, performance venues and makeshift bars, making this pretty much the coolest mass protest about gentrification ever — it even has its own website! (more after the jump.)

The occupying artists all moved out by Monday morning, reports Art Forum, and the demolition is likely to go ahead as planned. Still, the city government seems to have gotten the message, kinda. From ARTINFO:

the government has responded positively nevertheless, stepping forward to help out the artists, if not the buildings. Culture Senator Karin von Welck has offered to provide 30 rooms for the artists by the end of the month, and told a German radio program that a private sponsor has come forward to fund studio space as well.

Maybe some artists should take over boutiques in Soho and turn them into galleries and performance spaces. Or would the stores just turn that into some kind of edgy marketing thing?